What are Snippets?

If you have an internet connection, chances are you’ve seen an SEO snippet before.

We’re so sure about this because one of the most common types of snippets–called featured snippets–is that answer text that appears right on top of the search results page when you search for a question.


By definition, a snippet is a small, interesting part of something. In the SEO world, a snippet is a brief text extracted from one website belonging to a set of search results. An SEO snippet typically consists of an answer text with a keyword(s) highlighted, a URL, and a title.

Snippets are a game-changer in search engine ranking as they place a website even above the conventional position of the #1 result. This corresponds to more organic clicks, views, traffic, and consequently, better SERP performance.

What Type of SEO Snippets Do Search Engines Use?

Search engines use different forms of snippets to present users with snippets that effectively answer their inquiries. Here are the main types you can come across:

Rich Snippets

This type of SEO snippet looks like a regular search result, but more elements are added to it to make it more informative or “richer”.

Besides the traditional URL, title tag, and meta description, rich snippets show various types of extra data such as:

  • Reviews: Insert a rating (usually a star rating out of 5), either from collective reviews or a single review.
  • Product details: For example, price and availability.
  • Recipes: Displays information like cooking time, rating, and ingredients.
  • Music: Adds data on genre, length, producer, studio, and release date.

Featured Snippets

This type of snippet takes an answer and showcases it at the top of the search results page.

The featured type is what comes to most people’s minds when the word snippet is mentioned. But did you know there are multiple forms of feature snippets?

Here are the main ones:


This type of featured snippet displays a short bit of data that provides a core response to the inquiry. It can be a definition, an answer, or a description.


This featured snippet type offers you information in a list format. The list can be ordered (for example, steps of a process that require a specific sequence) or unordered (when no sequence is needed).


As you can expect, this type of featured snippet shows users a table with information sourced from the featured page.

Why Do Websites Use SEO Snippets?

Websites can reap many benefits by optimizing for snippets on search engines. Some of these advantages include:

  • More clicks: A boost in CTR (click-through rate) is pretty much a guarantee for websites that manage to get featured in a snippet.
  • Higher traffic: An increase in organic website traffic results from more people clicking on your featured page and browsing through the website.
  • Improved visibility: With featured websites taking center stage position on search result pages (appearing before the #1 result), people are much more likely to see them. This translates into massive visibility and better SERP (search engine results page) performance.
  • Boost brand awareness: The more people click, visit, and view your website thanks to the snippet, the more brand familiarity is created.
  • More sales and conversions: Whether you’re looking for leads, purchases, subscribers, followers, or any other sort of conversion, featuring in a snippet can significantly enhance your results.
  • Supports authority: Search engines generate snippets from websites that they deem to be trustworthy as a source of information on a given topic. Having your website associated with such authority can, in turn, boost your rankings and traffic.

How Do Search Engines Generate Snippets?

There’s no exact formula for how search engines create snippets.

Multiple variables contribute to the decision to display a snippet from a particular website including the type of the page, the meta description, and the body text.

Additionally, search engines may pull data from different locations in a document depending on where the keywords relevant to the query are mentioned.

Even the type of the query can affect the generation of the snippet.

Other factors that impact snippet choice on search engines include:

  • Paragraph lengths
  • Italics and bold
  • Title tag
  • Punctuation amount

Steps to Implement SEO Snippets

The many benefits of getting featured in an SEO snippet have websites fiercely competing for getting featured in snippets. The measures below can help you reach that goal:

Adding Structured Data to the Website

A well-structured format can greatly boost your chances of snagging a snippet position. To achieve this, consider the following tips:

  • Use more “What” headings
  • Provide informative answers in a few sentences at the beginning of the article
  • Use “is” sentences
  • Use snippet formats (paragraphs, lists, tables)
  • Insert SEO-optimized keywords
  • Write for search intent

Using Schema.org Markup

Schema.org employs microdata to add tags to web pages’ HTML.

The purpose of these tags is to help search engines understand the information presented in the tagged pages.

When search engines can easily interpret your content, they’re more likely to choose it for snippets.

Testing with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool

You can use this tool by Google to easily and quickly test Structured Data on your web pages.

Structured Data is a format that helps search engines decipher a page’s content within a website scheme.

After you paste the URL of your page, just click to run a test.

Best Practices for Optimizing Snippets

Increasing your chances of featuring in snippets calls for some optimization efforts that are mostly simple to implement. Here are examples of effective strategies:

  • Ensuring content is accurate and relevant: Research-based, value-delivering content will always be a reliable tactic to please search engine bots.
  • Using high-quality images where applicable: Original pictures and visuals are superior to stock images.
  • Keeping schema markup updated: This ensures your page health is always maximized and that search engines continue to properly interpret your content.
  • Integrating SEO techniques: These include short URLs, catchy title tags, question headings, keyword-targeting meta descriptions, and internal/external links.

Final Thoughts

Getting featured in a snippet is the ultimate power-up for SERP performance.

Higher CTR, larger traffic, better visibility, greater brand awareness, and more conversions are just some of the benefits webmasters can experience by optimizing for SEO snippets.

Published on: 2023-11-06
Updated on: 2023-11-06

Avatar for Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.