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) can assist Google higher perceive when your web page is the perfect reply for a related question with considered one of 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 possibly can 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 goal of the Google featured snippets is to reply the person’s want proper there within the search outcomes.


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Here is Google’s definition:

What are featured snippets.

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

When Google launched featured snippets, some websites had been ready 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, joyful days by no means final ceaselessly; see this tweet from Danny Sullivan:


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Optimizing for featured snippets isn’t just about including questions to your headlines and subheadlines. It’s way 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 % of featured snippets are the paragraph kind, with a mean 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 have got 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 kind, consisting of a mean 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 sooner, they’re your go-to subjects.

Table Featured Snippets

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

Table featured snippets example.Pro Tip: To optimize for any such 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 definitely’re lacking out on this chance.

Video Featured Snippets

Only 4.6% of featured snippets are of the video kind, the typical 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 manner 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, it’s best 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 rivals’ featured snippets is just not straightforward.

Put the rivals’ 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 record.
  • Categorize them into various kinds of featured snippets.
  • Sort them by increased search quantity.
  • Highlight the low KD rating.
  • And collect them to provoke planning.

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

Content Calendar example.

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


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2. Gather the Keywords for Each FS-Owned Content

Once you’re carried out 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 prospects.
  • Influencers who persuade your potential prospects to purchase from you.
  • And your rivals.

You’re going to write the content material for the primary two. Each can have completely different intents whereas looking, however it’ll all the time be informational (and navigational when customers need to click on by way of 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 person search question is a query that requires a selected reply. This kind of FS has a decrease CTR as individuals come to get a selected reply and usually don’t need or want to learn additional.

This kind of FS can assist in model constructing however is unlikely to drive a number of site visitors.

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

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


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This kind of search question assists in each CTR and model status.

Get a Comparison

This kind of search question comes up with a desk kind of featured snippet. The desk content material is bigger than what Google Featured Snippets can present. So, any such search intent is almost definitely to enhance the CTR.

Get a Video

And lastly, if customers are wanting for “how-to” solutions and a video hooked up to these solutions, it’ll 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 can assist you intend and optimize your content material.

4. Run a Competitive Analysis

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

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

  • Your prime 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 will need to have, backlinks it shall purchase, readability it will need to have, and advisable textual content size to serve the person 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 have got the content material subjects, their focused key phrases, kind of featured snippet, its search intent, and a pool of search engine optimisation suggestions from rivals’ snippets.

If you’re writing new content material, you want to create the content material define. And for those who’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 person search question and its intent.
  • Add extra worth than competing blogs by together with statistical information, wealthy media, examples, pointers, and many others.
  • Write in easy and shorter sentences to enhance the readability of the content material.
  • Focus on research-based content material over opinion-based. Citations assist Google higher perceive your content material.

You ought to all the time goal to create the perfect content material — that’s, content material that delivers worth for years, just like the piece beneath.

The example of best content.

7. Validate the Content

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

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

This test is significant 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 simple to scan by way of, learn, and perceive for customers and search engines like google.


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Here’s an instance of the way you may 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 beneath:

Heading Tags in Featured Snippets.

The proper query key phrase phrase in the correct 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 slightly than inventory photographs to enhance the customers’ expertise and keep away from showing generic.

Add as many photographs 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 search engine optimisation techniques that work for featured snippets:

  • Perfect URL construction: Keep your URLs brief, ideally three to 4 phrases.
  • Title tag: Use Coschedule Headline Analyzer and the SEOmofo snippet optimization software 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, be sure you use descriptive alt textual content to assist Google perceive what the picture is all about. Most of the best-performing content material has photographs with alt attributes.
  • Internal hyperlinks: Help Google determine your web site’s most essential pages. If you obtain a featured snippet, you need to help the rankings of your greatest pages with it.
  • External hyperlinks: Let Google know which exterior websites you belief and show 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 means of optimizing for featured snippets in place, I test the outcomes at 7, 14, and 21 days.

If I see an enchancment in impressions, I’ll work more durable for clicks. Be certain to monitor 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 monitor outcomes from it, corresponding to:

Track Featured Snippets.

What’s New for Featured Snippets in 2021?

Recently, the search engine optimisation trade 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 covered on this page” Section

This part seems beneath the principle part of the featured snippet and picks up the heading tags that you simply’ve added to your web page.

Also covered on this page section example.

Now you have got 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 steadily 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 beneath:

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

If you fall astray of Google’s insurance policies, you could lose the featured snippet. Of course, you may 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 net web page’s content material to reply a person question, whereas wealthy snippets are an enhanced natural search consequence.


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

Learn extra about optimizing for wealthy snippets right 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 perfect consequence to match it. And when Google is prepared with the record of search outcomes, it follows the beneath course of to choose 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 test its eligibility to rank as a FS.
  2. Determining the break options that may point out the place the place the keyword-based sentence might 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 might be displayed in 40-45 phrases.

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

Use the above information to personal featured snippets and grow to be a thought chief in your trade, giving your model status and natural site visitors a lift. If you’ve optimized your web site effectively, conversions will comply with!

More Resources:


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Image Credits

All screenshots taken by writer, June 2021