Featured Snippets: What’s Myth, and What’s Fact?
Google introduced a variation on today’s featured snippet back in 2013. Nowadays, these “quick answers” are SEO hotbeds. As you might expect, a few myths about the optimization of the snippet have popped up as a result its algorithmic popularity.
Let’s break down those myths and get to the real value of a Google featured snippet.
Myth 1: Snippets Immediately Boost Your Business
Everyone dreams of a quick and easy solution to their problems. SEO, however – not to mention featured snippets – don’t work as quickly as myth would have you think. Featured snippets not only take time to craft, but they also take time to rise to popularity.
Myth 2: Featured Spots Promote Dramatic Business Growth
This common belief about snippet business growth works hand-in-hand with the myth of snippet immediacy. Many of us hope that once Google offers our content a top-ranking spot, we’ll be able to see an immediate, monetary response.
This isn’t the case. Even once a snippet does end up featured, it only garners 8.6 percent of all page clicks. The pages listed under the featured snippet actually generate more than the feature itself. You may see a bit of business growth, but it won’t be as significant as SEO myths would have you believe.
Myth 3: Your Snippet Needs to be Snappy to Win a Feature
Some businesses go all-in on the cleverness of their snippets. This is hardly a bad thing. Cleverness, however, isn’t what attracts the eye of Google’s crawlers. While a snappy snippet might win over a few consumers, your chances of scoring a featured spot on a Google SERP are about 50/50, depending upon how well you’ve optimized your platform’s other SEO elements.
That said, you should take advantage of the space you have to write your snippet. You’ll typically be able to work with between 130 and 150 characters. You shouldn’t let your content run long, or else you risk it trailing off. Use that character limit to provide information-rich content that lets consumers know what your business is about. Combine that value with a few well-placed keywords, and you’ll be good to go.
Myth 4: Never Ask Rhetorical Questions in Your Snippets
When you’re crafting content, you need to sound authoritative. Authorities don’t ask questions. Right?
You’ll want to integrate questions into your snippets for their SEO value. Long-tail, question-oriented keywords help your business contend with international market chains. You’ll also be more likely to capture voice-to-text content if you include rhetorical questions in your snippet.
As Alexa, Siri, and Cortana grow in popularity, more consumers are using voice assistants to complete online searches. If your snippet is conversational, informative, and includes a question or two, then you’ll likely find your content brought up by one of these AI assistants.
The myths surrounding snippets aren’t without their value. While a featured snippet won’t win you the torrential attention you want, it’s still worth your while to experiment with your snippet style. You never know what kind of consumer attention you might attract if you do.
image attribution: Alexander Limbach – stock.adobe.com