I’m often asked if there’s a way to increase the chances of getting a question-and-answer box (actually called a ‘featured snippet’) in the Google search results. While there’s no direct required formatting or tagging to help do this, experts seem to agree that presenting information in a certain manner can increase our chances.
This is the sort of thing we’re talking about:
As you can see, the first ‘normal’ result is a long way down the page, so it’s great to have the featured snippet. While it’s true that some people may get the information they need directly from the answer shown, the majority do click through – and any percentage is better than not being in that spot.
Google will be looking for a neat encapsulation of the answer to show, so that’s what we need to provide on our page: recommendations range from 40 to 90 words. Naturally, it helps if the question itself is the title and headline on our page. The headline and summary are not sufficient, however – there needs to be a substantial article beneath them. This could just answer the main question, or it could look at related questions. Indeed, the question we’re hoping to answer could be taken from lower down the page (even if the heading and introduction are more general). Here’s a great example, our long-standing page on What is a 4-20mA Aerospace Widget?