For years, the coveted SEO spot has always been the first listing. The further you are from this spot, the more invisible you become. Accordingly, wise marketers always worked hard to gain this top position. But as the years go by, Google continuously throws in new features on its search page. It has greatly enhanced the consumer experience, but it tends to mean a new challenge for marketers to address. Google snippets are no exception. Whenever a snippet exists, it overshadows the other listings, including the top organic spot. What exactly is a Google snippet? And, how can you end up there? Learn more below.

What is a Google Snippet?

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you probably have (frequently) seen a Google snippet. It’s essentially the “answer box” at the top of your page, directly answering your question within a paragraph, list, or table (tip: mark up a table on your page by typing <table>), rather than requiring you to click through links. Snippets appear in 9.1968% of search queries. While far from the majority, that’s a significant chunk that you can’t ignore. Especially since those featured in the snippet position see increased performance:

  • One company saw organic traffic revenue increase by a whopping 677% and the click-through rate (CTR) jumping from 2 to 8%.
  • Another company found a 20-30% increase in traffic

How Does Google Determine What Ends Up in the Snippets?

From the top 10 results of a given search term, Google will programmatically detect which pages answer the user’s question. 99.58% of snippets come from the top 10. Think being the #1 slot practically guarantees a snippet feature? Think again. 70% come from sites outside of the first organic position. So if you’re trying to land in a snippet, focus on ranking high overall for that search term; your odds will be reasonably good.

Who’s Most Likely to End Up in the Snippet?

Wikipedia is a website most frequently found in the snippet, so if Wikipedia places in the search query, it will be difficult to surpass, but not impossible.

The most common search query types include:

  • DIY processes
  • Health
  • Financial or mathematical
  • Requirements

The top 30 words include words like recipe, best, definition, vs, and price (see below for the full list).

There are some search types that rarely include a snippets box. These include:

  • Images and videos
  • Local
  • Shopping
  • Help
  • Factual

How to Optimize Your Content for Google Snippets

So after learning some key facts, how do you place in the snippet position? Roll up your sleeves.

Keyword Research

If you care at all about SEO, you know to do keyword research. To place in the snippets position, it’s not any different. The tool Serpstat will help you view and identify keywords with featured snippets. You’ll be able to see which snippets your competitors rank for, as well as what questions people are asking. If you already rank high for that keyword, simply adjust the content to directly answer the questions and include the appropriate tags that relate to these questions. Don’t limit yourself to answering one question per blog! You can answer multiple in one article.

Ask People

Computers can tell you so much, but sometimes it’s good to have a human perspective. People will open you up to new questions and ideas you would have never thought of previously. Readers, customers, and followers are great for answering this question. They’re already interested in your product, so hearing their insight will help you find other like-minded customers. Random consumers, however, could provide valuable insight as well, so be a little broad when looking for input.

Focus on the Draft Itself

If you’ve learned nothing else about SEO, just know high quality content usually prevails on Google. Make your first focus good content. Answer the questions concisely: (1) Ask the question using a sub-heading, (2) immediately answer that question, then (3) elaborate. Make sure it’s well-organized. Enhance the content with images and links to back up your claims. Also, try to make it as entertaining as possible and keep your audience in mind throughout its drafting.


It’s Not About Position 1 Anymore; It’s About Position 0

Position 0, or Google snippets, are one of the newest goals for SEO-focused marketers. With good research, good ideas, and good content, you can place in the top 10 for a search query; then set your sights on that snippet feature. It can be difficult and with some stiff competition, like Wikipedia, but the payout is increased traffic, CTR, and revenue, so why not give it a go?