A Guide to Featured Snippets

May 17, 2019

Kerrie Ashall


A Google snippet or featured snippet is a small summary of your website on the Google results page. It offers small segments of detailed information with the aim of helping a Google user choose if he or she should visit your website. It is programmatically chosen from your web pages. If you are wanting to land a featured snippet, you’ll have to optimise your content, conduct some keyword research and answer the questions that your target audience are looking for.

Where Are Google Snippets Coming From?

Information is extracted from what a reader sees on your web page. If the Google algorithm indicates that your website offers an answer for a Google user’s question, then the answer  will be presented on the featured snippet.

The snippet shows directly under the paid ads, but before the rest of the search results on the SERP (search engine results page).

The snippets come in a range of formats:

  • Paragraph
  • List
  • Table
  • Video

Is There Anything I Can Do To Affect Snippets?

There is nothing you can do besides offer a suitable level of information or content on your web pages. For example, if your web page has a single image and a single line of text, then there is not very much for the website to go on.

To optimise your content for featured snippets, there are many things you can do. But it all comes down to content.

  • Keep your content concise. And make sure it’s quite specific as well. Add bullet points or short paragraphs (the average length of a paragraph snippet is 45 words), as these will help user retention.
  • Answer the questions that people are asking. Your content needs to provide the information that they are looking for, so do your research (the ‘People also ask’ tab on SERPs are useful for this) and lay out the answers searchers want on your page.
  • Do your keyword research. Try and fit a range of keywords with a decent search volume into your content – just make sure you don’t spam, else you’ll likely be penalised by Google. It would also help if your keyword research included a mix, such as long-tail keywords and questions.

Are there any search terms that usually give featured snippets?

There are so many search terms that generate featured snippets. While many are questions, a few short searches do frequently show them as well, such as ‘definition,’ ‘vs,’ and ‘recipe.’

Build an Online Brand

If you want your website message and your Google snippets messages to match up, then simply brand your website correctly. If your website is not sending mixed messages, then your Google snippets will not transmit mixed messages. There is nothing wrong with website wackiness, but do not break or bend your brand principles. If you make a claim, then live up to that claim consistently and your online brand will hold.

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