How to Optimize for Google Featured Snippets: A 12-Step Guide

It’s no secret that featured snippets are highly effective. Every search engine optimisation skilled (together with yours really) goals to personal any obtainable featured snippets for their content material.

These expanded, descriptive search outcomes seem as a particular field prominently displayed at or close to the highest of the search outcomes web page (SERP). Optimizing for featured snippets (FS) might help Google higher perceive when your web page is the most effective reply for a related question with one among these search options obtainable.

In this column, you’ll discover my tried and examined technique for optimizing for featured snippets (together with examples), my curated content material calendar template for featured snippets (which you’ll be able to copy and use), and FAQs to clear up any remaining questions on FS. You’ll be taught:

  • What are featured snippets?
  • 4 kinds of featured snippets you may goal.
  • A 12-step course of for optimizing for featured snippets.
  • What’s new in featured snippets?
  • FAQs for featured snippets.

Let’s get began.

What Are Featured Snippets?

Featured Snippets are the expanded snippets that seem on the primary place of the Google SERPs. The objective of the Google featured snippets is to reply the consumer’s want proper there within the search outcomes.


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Here is Google’s definition:

Users wishing to learn the entire content material can click on on the URL of the featured snippet.

When Google launched featured snippets, some websites have been in a position to obtain two outcomes on web page 1 of the SERPs, which initially drove dramatic enhancements in natural visibility and site visitors.

But as with all issues search engine optimisation, completely happy days by no means final eternally; see this tweet from Danny Sullivan:


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Optimizing for featured snippets is not only about including questions to your headlines and subheadlines. It’s far more concerned than that.

4 Types of Featured Snippets You Can Target

When wanting to optimize for featured snippets, you want to perceive the kinds of featured snippets obtainable.

Paragraph Featured Snippets

Seventy p.c of featured snippets are the paragraph sort, with a median of round 42 phrases and 250 characters.

Paragraph Featured Snippets example.

Most of those featured snippet titles begin with “What” or “Why,” indicating that they’re largely informational in nature.

Pro Tip: Most of the “What” query key phrases have the best search quantity, however you could have to discover out the query key phrases with low Keyword Difficulty (KD) rating to win them.

Listicle Featured Snippets

An common of 19% of featured snippets are of Listicle sort, consisting of a median of 6 objects and 44 phrases.

You’ll discover two sorts of listicle featured snippets: ordered and unordered lists.

Ordered List

Ordered Listicle Featured Snippets.

Unordered List

Unordered listicle featured snippets example.Pro Tip: Listicle featured snippets are derived from “How” and “Why” key phrase phrases. If you’re wanting to get featured snippets quicker, they’re your go-to subjects.

Table Featured Snippets

Around 6.3% of featured snippets are of the Table type. They have a median of 5 rows and two columns with 40 to 45 phrases.

Table featured snippets example.Pro Tip: To optimize for this sort of featured snippet, mark up related content material in a desk format utilizing the desk tags in HTML. Some are tempted to make graphics for tables, however then you definately’re lacking out on this chance.

Video Featured Snippets

Only 4.6% of featured snippets are of the video sort, the common one being 6 minutes and 35 seconds in size.

Video featured snippet example. Pro Tip: If your viewers closely consumes video content material, a video featured snippet is your method to success. Look for the key phrases with low search quantity and tada! You’ve acquired them.

How to Optimize for Featured Snippets

Whenever you see a competitor rating on featured snippets, you need to have this one query in thoughts:


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How do I steal that featured snippets and get one for my web site?

Here’s how to get began.

1. Identify Competitors’ Featured Snippets

Stealing opponents’ featured snippets just isn’t simple.

Put the opponents’ URL in Semrush and look for the key phrase teams that personal featured snippets.

Steal competitors featured snippets from Semrush.

Now, you need to:

  • Export the listing.
  • Categorize them into various kinds of featured snippets.
  • Sort them by larger search quantity.
  • Highlight the low KD rating.
  • And collect them to provoke planning.

Copy this content calendar template to begin planning, implementing, and optimizing your content material to rank.

Content Calendar example.

Don’t overlook to add the content material subjects and the kind of featured snippet in your content material calendar to preserve observe of why you’re optimizing the web page.


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2. Gather the Keywords for Each FS-Owned Content

Once you’re executed with finalizing the content material subjects, it’s time to determine the key phrases current on the content material at present proudly owning featured snippets.

Click on the down arrow in Semrush beside the chosen key phrase to see the expanded data on the key phrases rating on featured snippets.

Keyword Research to optimize featured snippets.

Collect the associated in addition to query key phrases and add them to your content material calendar.


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3. Understand Searcher Intent

One of an important concerns in optimizing for featured snippets is knowing the search intent behind every triggering question.

Three kinds of individuals search for your key phrases:

  • Potential clients.
  • Influencers who persuade your potential clients to purchase from you.
  • And your opponents.

You’re going to write the content material for the primary two. Each could have totally different intents whereas looking out, however it’s going to at all times be informational (and navigational when customers need to click on via them).

Because there was just one search intent for a featured snippet, I believed to classify them additional into 4 classes relying on whether or not they need:

  • A particular reply.
  • A transient reply.
  • A comparability.
  • A video.


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Get a Specific Answer

Here, a consumer search question is a query that requires a particular reply. This sort of FS has a decrease CTR as individuals come to get a particular reply and usually don’t need or want to learn additional.

This sort of FS might help in model constructing however is unlikely to drive loads of site visitors.

Question keyword with search intent of getting specific answer.Get a Brief Answer

Here, the consumer expects a paragraph or listicle sort of featured snippet as proven within the sorts part above. If customers need to get extra data, they’ll click on on the outcomes.


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This sort of search question assists in each CTR and model repute.

Get a Comparison

This sort of search question comes up with a desk sort of featured snippet. The desk content material is bigger than what Google Featured Snippets can present. So, this sort of search intent is probably to boost the CTR.

Get a Video

And lastly, if customers are wanting for “how-to” solutions and a video connected to these solutions, it’s going to get the utmost CTR.

Understand the various kinds of informational search intent behind the search question. They are related to the kind of featured snippets obtainable, which might help you propose and optimize your content material.

4. Run a Competitive Analysis

Go again to Semrush and open its search engine optimisation content material template device. Input your key phrase or content material matter, choose the focused location, and click on on the inexperienced button.

You’ll get the under search engine optimisation suggestions for your content material to plan the content material optimization for featured snippets.

  • Your high 10 rivals for goal key phrases to allow you to perceive whom you’re going to compete with

SEO Recommendations by SEO Content Tool.

  • Key suggestions from them when it comes to what your content material should have, backlinks it shall purchase, readability it should have, and beneficial textual content size to serve the consumer search intent and expectations.

Key recommendations by Semrush.


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  • Suggestions on how they’re utilizing goal key phrases so you should utilize them higher.

Competitors target keyword research.

  • Basic search engine optimisation suggestions to make your content material search-friendly.

Basic SEO recommendations.

5. Create/Update the Content Outline

By now, you could have the content material subjects, their focused key phrases, sort of featured snippet, its search intent, and a pool of search engine optimisation suggestions from opponents’ snippets.

If you’re writing new content material, you want to create the content material define. And in the event you’ve already written the piece, you could want to revamp the define as per the analysis gathered above.


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6. Create Content Better Than the Competition’s

  • Cover the fundamental data customers count on in content material primarily based on the consumer search question and its intent.
  • Add extra worth than competing blogs by together with statistical information, wealthy media, examples, pointers, and so on.
  • Write in easy and shorter sentences to enhance the readability of the content.
  • Focus on research-based content material over opinion-based. Citations assist Google higher perceive your content material.

You ought to at all times purpose to create the most effective content material — that’s, content material that delivers worth for years, just like the piece under.

The example of best content.

7. Validate the Content

Once you could have the content material prepared, double-check that it meets your wants for:

  • Your audience.
  • Defined consumer search intent.
  • Targeted key phrases.
  • Suggestions listed.

This examine is important to make sure you’re heading in the right direction in the direction of getting a featured snippet.

8. Organize Your Content for Readers & Search Engines

Well-organized content material is straightforward to scan via, learn, and perceive for customers and engines like google.


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Here’s an instance of the way you would possibly manage a bit of content material to give it good construction.

Organize your content with Heading Tags.

I not too long ago tweeted about how one can flip a paragraph featured snippet right into a listicle simply by organizing and creating content material accordingly.

9. Add Question Keywords in Heading Tags

Organizing your content material to get featured snippets is incomplete with out including query key phrases to the heading tags.

Pick up the related query key phrases with excessive search quantity and put them in your heading tags. Most of the featured snippets you see on Google begin proper after a heading tag.


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Look at an instance under:

Heading Tags in Featured Snippets.

The proper query key phrase phrase in the suitable place could make all of the distinction.

10. Add Relevant Graphics

Graphics play an important position in proudly owning a featured snippet, particularly for the paragraph and listicle-type featured snippets.

Try to use real-life photos or custom-made graphics moderately than inventory photos to enhance the customers’ expertise and keep away from showing generic.

Add as many photos as your content material requires.

Add relevant graphics.

11. Implement search engine optimisation Tactics

Your content material is prepared for customers. Now you want to assist Google perceive what the web page is all about — and shortly.


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Here are some SEO tactics that work for featured snippets:

  • Perfect URL construction: Keep your URLs quick, ideally three to 4 phrases.
  • Title tag: Use Coschedule Headline Analyzer and the SEOmofo snippet optimization device to create a catchy title tag that matches the pixel necessities.
  • Meta description tag: Use SEOmofo to benefit from the pixels obtainable and write user-centric and keyword-specific meta descriptions to drive the best clicks.
  • Heading tags: Use query key phrases, as mentioned above.
  • Image Alt attributes: For all graphics, ensure you use descriptive alt textual content to assist Google perceive what the picture is all about. Most of the best-performing content material has photos with alt attributes.
  • Internal hyperlinks: Help Google determine your web site’s most necessary pages. If you obtain a featured snippet, you need to help the rankings of your finest pages with it.
  • External hyperlinks: Let Google know which exterior websites you belief and display credibility together with your citations.
  • Schema markup tags: Help Google perceive what your web page is about and acknowledge parts like tables.
  • Link constructing: Build hyperlinks to assist Google perceive your web site’s authoritativeness.

12. Keep Optimizing Your Content Until You Achieve a Featured Snippet

With this technique of optimizing for featured snippets in place, I examine the outcomes at 7, 14, and 21 days.

If I see an enchancment in impressions, I’ll work tougher for clicks. Be positive to observe the variations in impressions, rankings, and CTR in Google Search Console, and site visitors and visibility in Semrush.

Keep on optimizing your content material till you see a featured snippet and might observe outcomes from it, akin to:

Track Featured Snippets.

What’s New for Featured Snippets in 2021?

Recently, the search engine optimisation business seen two new options on Google Search outcomes for featured snippets.


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“Hear this out loud” Button

When you click on on this button, the content material is learn aloud whereas the textual content is highlighted alongside.

“Also coated on this web page” Section

This part seems under the primary part of the featured snippet and picks up the heading tags that you just’ve added to your web page.

Also covered on this page section example.

Now you could have one more reason to higher manage your content material utilizing heading tags!


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Google Featured Snippets

Here are among the most ceaselessly requested featured snippets questions I get from search engine optimisation professionals.

Why Might Featured Snippets Be Removed?

Your featured snippet might get eliminated mechanically or manually by Google if it comes below:

  • Dangerous content material.
  • Deceptive practices.
  • Harassing content material.
  • Hateful content material.
  • Manipulated media.
  • Medical content material.
  • Sexually express content material.
  • Terrorist content material.
  • Violence and gore.
  • Vulgar language and profanity.
  • Content that contradicts with the content material by specialists within the fields of civic, medical, scientific, and historic.

If you fall astray of Google’s policies, you could lose the featured snippet. Of course, you would possibly lose it if a competitor does a greater job of answering that question, too.

Are Featured Snippets Available for Ecommerce Products or Category Pages?

No. Ecommerce merchandise can get featured listings on Google SERPs utilizing Google Shopping and Product Listing Ads (PLAs).

However, ecommerce web sites can nonetheless personal featured snippets for their guides and blogs.

Featured Snippets vs. Rich Snippets: What’s the Difference?

Featured snippets are picked up from the online web page’s content material to reply a consumer question, whereas wealthy snippets are an enhanced natural search consequence.


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If your search consequence has opinions connected to it, that’s a wealthy snippet. If your net web page offers data to customers in a bit extra detailed method on the primary place on SERPs, it’s a featured snippet.

Learn extra about optimizing for rich snippets here.

How Do Featured Snippets Work?

To perceive how featured snippets work, let’s break down Google’s patent on producing snippets primarily based on content material:

How Does Featured Snippets Work? Google Patent Figure 4AHow Does Featured Snippets Work? Google Patent Figure 4B

When Google receives a search question, it tries to discover the most effective consequence to match it. And when Google is prepared with the listing of search outcomes, it follows the under course of to decide up the related featured snippet from the highest 10 search outcomes:


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  1. Identifying the textual content options inside a keyword-based sentence to examine its eligibility to rank as a FS.
  2. Determining the break options that may point out the place the place the keyword-based sentence will be truncated on a featured snippet.
  3. Calculating and assigning the snippet rating to determine the power of the snippets.
  4. Selecting the snippet with the best snippet rating.

That’s how Google selects an internet site for featured snippets and works to present the related data shortly to the customers.

Go, Get Your Featured Snippets Now!

Google’s featured snippet format focuses on offering data to the customers on its platform itself. However, not all data will be displayed in 40-45 phrases.

Hence, they could be a useful gizmo to increase your natural site visitors.

Use the above information to personal featured snippets and turn into a thought chief in your business, giving your model repute and natural site visitors a lift. If you’ve optimized your web site properly, conversions will observe!

More Resources:


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Image Credits

All screenshots taken by creator, June 2021

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