Over the last few years, Google has explored ways to expand organic search results and reward high quality content. The landscape has gotten far more competitive, making it more difficult for websites to be noticed amidst all the noise. One of Google’s more recent search innovations is the featured snippet, which highlights articles that answer questions or issues that a search engine user might have.

As Search Engine Watch put it, featured snippets “let you win the game without playing”, acting as an invaluable resource for websites and blogs that are lucky enough to be featured. Featured snippets play a major role in attracting new users to your website, increasing overall traffic and in many cases, increasing leads and sales.

What is a featured snippet?

A featured snippet is a brief summary of an answer to a question that a user has searched for on Google. It appears in a box above the organic and paid search results, offering an answer to said question – this answer has been taken from a blog post or web page, and includes the title of the article it was pulled from, as well as a link to that post or page in particular. For example, if you searched “what is a featured snippet?”, the results would yield a box with the answer to your question, and underneath it would be other relevant search results. Generally, featured snippets come in three forms: paragraphs, lists, and tables, depending on the page that the snippet has pulled from.

How can featured snippets help me?

Featured snippets have become an important part of the organic search landscape, with brands competing over this marquee treatment because of the many benefits they can present. Featured snippets can help you by increasing your brand’s perceived reliability or authority on a specific topic – because Google has chosen to feature your content above all others, users are more likely to see your company as the authority on that specific subject.

For our clients who have featured snippets, we notice that some of our blogs bring in more traffic than even their most important product or service pages. As long as the right conversion forms are on these blogs (which they will be if we manage your website!) they can bring in an astonishing number of leads.

Featured snippets are also a great indicator that your brand’s content marketing strategy is head and shoulders above your competition, as Google has identified you as the leading authority on answering the questions of its users. This puts you in an advantageous position, as Google users will see your snippet before they’ll see any search results relating to your competitors.

How can I get a featured snippet?

Getting a featured snippet requires a number of things – most importantly though, it requires that you have an effective content marketing strategy. Your website and blog should feature keywords and phrases that your audience is actively searching for. It’s crucial that while you should always write with the possibility that a featured snippet could result from your work, you don’t let it dominate your copy. If you produce unnatural content in the search for a featured snippet, you only serve to harm your brand and its chances of standing out against the competition. There’s never a guarantee that your copy will be featured, but following SEO best practices increases your chances of being rewarded with a featured snippet.

Quantity of content is also important. In addition to constantly feeding search engines fresh content, which contributes to keeping high rankings or boosting them, a regular blogging program will give you more chances to score a featured snippet with Google. However, putting up hastily crafted 200-word blogs won’t do the trick. Only high-quality content follows Google’s sniff test.

The most effective way to achieve a featured snippet is to enlist the services of a content marketing professional with the skills and experience needed to produce engaging and SEO optimized copy. ion8’s team of skilled copywriters have consistently produced high quality content that Google has rewarded with featured snippets. In fact, every single one of our ongoing blogging clients have had at least one featured snippet.

These featured snippets have worked to significantly increase the amount of traffic to client websites, and have driven sales. When leads land on your website, we use tools to track what brought them, and what actions they took before becoming a lead. This helps you refine your sales funnel and focus on high quality content that engages and converts leads.

ion8’s team of experienced copywriters, designers, digital marketers, consultants, integration experts is ready to take on projects of all sizes, unifying your workplace technology and communications, and delivering consistent and measurable digital marketing efforts. For more information about everything ion8 can do for your business, contact us today.