How To Optimize For Google Featured Snippets: A 12-Step Guide – 19coders

It’s no secret that featured snippets are extremely efficient. Every search engine advertising and marketing expert (along with yours truly) objectives to non-public any on the market featured snippets for his or her content material materials.

These expanded, descriptive search outcomes appear as a selected discipline prominently displayed at or near the best of the search outcomes internet web page (SERP). Optimizing for featured snippets (FS) would possibly assist Google increased understand when your internet web page is the best reply for a associated query with one amongst these search choices on the market.

In this column, you’ll uncover my tried and examined method for optimizing for featured snippets (along with examples), my curated content material materials calendar template for featured snippets (which you’ll have the ability to copy and use), and FAQs to clear up any remaining questions on FS. You’ll research:

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

Let’s get started.


What Are Featured Snippets?

Featured Snippets are the expanded snippets that appear on the first place of the Google SERPs. The purpose of the Google featured snippets is to answer the particular person’s need correct there throughout the search outcomes.


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Here is Google’s definition:


What are featured snippets.

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

When Google launched featured snippets, some web sites had been able to acquire two outcomes on internet web page 1 of the SERPs, which initially drove dramatic enhancements in pure visibility and website guests.


But as with all points search engine advertising and marketing, blissful days under no circumstances last endlessly; see this tweet from Danny Sullivan:


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Optimizing for featured snippets isn’t solely about together with inquiries to your headlines and subheadlines. It’s way more involved than that.

4 Types of Featured Snippets You Can Target

When making an attempt to optimize for featured snippets, you need to understand the kinds of featured snippets on the market.

Seventy % of featured snippets are the paragraph variety, with a imply of spherical 42 phrases and 250 characters.

Paragraph Featured Snippets example.

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

Pro Tip: Most of the “What” question key phrases have one of the best search amount, nevertheless you might need to find out the question key phrases with low Keyword Difficulty (KD) ranking to win them.

An frequent of 19% of featured snippets are of Listicle variety, consisting of a imply of 6 objects and 44 phrases.

You’ll uncover two kinds 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 making an attempt to get featured snippets sooner, they’re your go-to issues.

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

Table featured snippets example.

Pro Tip: To optimize for such a featured snippet, mark up associated content material materials in a desk format using the desk tags in HTML. Some are tempted to make graphics for tables, nevertheless you then’re missing out on this opportunity.

Only 4.6% of featured snippets are of the video variety, the everyday one being 6 minutes and 35 seconds in dimension.

Video featured snippet example.

Pro Tip: If your viewers intently consumes video content material materials, a video featured snippet is your method to success. Look for the important thing phrases with low search amount and tada! You’ve purchased them.

How to Optimize for Featured Snippets

Whenever you see a competitor ranking on featured snippets, that you must have this one question in ideas:


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

Here’s learn how to get started.

Stealing opponents’ featured snippets is simply not easy.

Put the opponents’ URL in Semrush and search for the important thing phrase groups that non-public featured snippets.

Steal competitors featured snippets from Semrush.

Now, that you must:

  • Export the itemizing.
  • Categorize them into numerous sorts of featured snippets.
  • Sort them by higher search amount.
  • Highlight the low KD ranking.
  • And acquire them to impress planning.

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

Content Calendar example.

Don’t neglect so as to add the content material materials issues and the type of featured snippet in your content material materials calendar to carry observe of why you’re optimizing the net 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 materials issues, it’s time to determine the important thing phrases present on the content material materials in the meanwhile proudly proudly owning featured snippets.

Click on the down arrow in Semrush beside the chosen key phrase to see the expanded information on the important thing phrases ranking on featured snippets.

Keyword Research to optimize featured snippets.

Collect the related along with question key phrases and add them to your content material materials calendar.


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3. Understand Searcher Intent

One of essential points in optimizing for featured snippets is realizing the search intent behind each triggering query.

Three kinds of people seek for your key phrases:

  • Potential shoppers.
  • Influencers who persuade your potential shoppers to buy from you.
  • And your opponents.

You’re going to write down the content material materials for the first two. Each can have utterly completely different intents whereas looking, nevertheless it’ll always be informational (and navigational when clients have to click on on through them).

Because there was only one search intent for a featured snippet, I assumed to categorise them further into 4 courses counting on whether or not or not they want:

  • A explicit reply.
  • A transient reply.
  • A comparability.
  • A video.


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Get a Specific Answer

Here, an individual search query is a question that requires a specific reply. This type of FS has a lower CTR as people come to get a specific reply and typically don’t want or need to study further.

This type of FS would possibly assist in mannequin setting up nevertheless is unlikely to drive an entire lot of website guests.

Question keyword with search intent of getting specific answer.

Get a Brief Answer

Here, the particular person expects a paragraph or listicle type of featured snippet as confirmed throughout the varieties half above. If clients have to get further information, they’ll click on on on the outcomes.


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This type of search query assists in every CTR and mannequin reputation.

Get a Comparison

This type of search query comes up with a desk type of featured snippet. The desk content material materials is larger than what Google Featured Snippets can current. So, such a search intent is most likely to boost the CTR.

Get a Video

And lastly, if clients are attempting for “how-to” options and a video hooked as much as these options, it’ll get the utmost CTR.

Understand the varied sorts of informational search intent behind the search query. They are associated to the type of featured snippets on the market, which could assist you suggest and optimize your content material materials.

4. Run a Competitive Analysis

Go once more to Semrush and open its search engine advertising and marketing content material materials template instrument. Input your key phrase or content material materials topic, select the targeted location, and click on on on the inexperienced button.

You’ll get the below search engine advertising and marketing options on your content material materials to plan the content material materials optimization for featured snippets.

  • Your prime 10 rivals for purpose key phrases to let you understand whom you’re going to compete with

SEO Recommendations by SEO Content Tool.

  • Key options from them by means of what your content material materials ought to have, backlinks it shall buy, readability it ought to have, and actually helpful textual content material dimension to serve the particular person search intent and expectations.

Key recommendations by Semrush.


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  • Suggestions on how they’re using purpose key phrases so that you must use them increased.

Competitors target keyword research.

  • Basic search engine advertising and marketing options to make your content material materials search-nice.

Basic SEO recommendations.

5. Create/Update the Content Outline

By now, you might need the content material materials issues, their targeted key phrases, type of featured snippet, its search intent, and a pool of search engine advertising and marketing options from opponents’ snippets.

If you’re writing new content material materials, you need to create the content material materials outline. And in case you’ve already written the piece, it’s potential you’ll need to revamp the outline as per the evaluation gathered above.


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6. Create Content Better Than the Competition’s

  • Cover the basic information clients depend on in content material materials primarily based totally on the particular person search query and its intent.
  • Add further price than competing blogs by along with statistical information, rich media, examples, pointers, and so forth.
  • Write in straightforward and shorter sentences to boost the readability of the content material materials.
  • Focus on evaluation-primarily based content material materials over opinion-primarily based. Citations help Google increased understand your content material materials.

You must always goal to create the best content material materials — that’s, content material materials that delivers price for years, similar to the piece below.

The example of best content.

7. Validate the Content

Once you might need the content material materials ready, double-confirm that it meets your desires for:

  • Your goal market.
  • Defined particular person search intent.
  • Targeted key phrases.
  • Suggestions listed.

This confirm is vital to be sure to’re not off course in course of getting a featured snippet.

8. Organize Your Content for Readers & Search Engines

Well-organized content material materials is easy to scan through, study, and understand for patrons and search engines like google and yahoo like google.


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Here’s an occasion of the best way you might organize a little bit of content material materials to provide it good development.

Organize your content with Heading Tags.

I latterly tweeted about how one can flip a paragraph featured snippet proper right into a listicle just by organizing and creating content material materials accordingly.

9. Add Question Keywords in Heading Tags

Organizing your content material materials to get featured snippets is incomplete with out together with question key phrases to the heading tags.

Pick up the associated question key phrases with extreme search amount and put them in your heading tags. Most of the featured snippets you see on Google start correct after a heading tag.


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Look at an occasion below:

Heading Tags in Featured Snippets.

The correct question key phrase phrase within the appropriate place may make all the distinction.

10. Add Relevant Graphics

Graphics play an vital place in proudly proudly owning a featured snippet, significantly for the paragraph and listicle-variety featured snippets.

Try to make use of precise-life footage or personalized-made graphics considerably than stock pictures to boost the shoppers’ experience and steer clear of exhibiting generic.

Add as many pictures as your content material materials requires.

Add relevant graphics.

11. Implement search engine advertising and marketing Tactics

Your content material materials is ready for patrons. Now you need to help Google understand what the net web page is all about — and shortly.


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Here are some search engine advertising and marketing strategies that work for featured snippets:

  • Perfect URL development: Keep your URLs temporary, ideally three to 4 phrases.
  • Title tag: Use Coschedule Headline Analyzer and the SEOmofo snippet optimization instrument to create a catchy title tag that matches the pixel requirements.
  • Meta description tag: Use SEOmofo to benefit from the pixels on the market and write particular person-centric and key phrase-explicit meta descriptions to drive one of the best clicks.
  • Heading tags: Use question key phrases, as talked about above.
  • Image Alt attributes: For all graphics, you’ll want to use descriptive alt textual content material to help Google understand what the image is all about. Most of the best-performing content material materials has pictures with alt attributes.
  • Internal hyperlinks: Help Google set up your web site’s most crucial pages. If you acquire a featured snippet, that you must help the rankings of your best pages with it.
  • External hyperlinks: Let Google know which exterior web sites you perception and present credibility alongside together with your citations.
  • Schema markup tags: Help Google understand what your internet web page is about and acknowledge parts like tables.
  • Link setting up: Build hyperlinks to help Google understand your web page’s authoritativeness.

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

If I see an enchancment in impressions, I’ll work extra sturdy for clicks. Be optimistic to look at the variations in impressions, rankings, and CTR in Google Search Console, and website guests and visibility in Semrush.

Keep on optimizing your content material materials until you see a featured snippet and will observe outcomes from it, resembling:

Track Featured Snippets.

What’s New for Featured Snippets in 2021?

Recently, the search engine advertising and marketing commerce seen two new choices on Google Search outcomes for featured snippets.


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“Hear this out loud” Button

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

“Also covered on this page” Section

This half appears below the precept a part of the featured snippet and picks up the heading tags that you just’ve added to your internet web page.

Also covered on this page section example.

Now you might need another reason to increased organize your content material materials using heading tags!


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Google Featured Snippets

Here are a couple of of essentially the most recurrently requested featured snippets questions I get from search engine advertising and marketing professionals.

Your featured snippet would possibly get eradicated robotically or manually by Google if it comes beneath:

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

If you fall astray of Google’s policies, it’s potential you’ll lose the featured snippet. Of course, you might lose it if a competitor does a higher job of answering that query, too.

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

However, ecommerce web pages can nonetheless private featured snippets for his or her guides and blogs.

Featured snippets are picked up from the net internet web page’s content material materials to answer an individual query, whereas rich snippets are an enhanced pure search finish consequence.


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If your search finish consequence has critiques hooked as much as it, that’s a rich snippet. If your internet internet web page provides information to clients in a bit further detailed method on the first place on SERPs, it’s a featured snippet.

Learn further about optimizing for rich snippets proper right here.

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

How Does Featured Snippets Work? Google Patent Figure 4A

How Does Featured Snippets Work? Google Patent Figure 4B

When Google receives a search query, it tries to find the best finish consequence to match it. And when Google is ready with the itemizing of search outcomes, it follows the below course of to decide on up the associated featured snippet from the best 10 search outcomes:


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  1. Identifying the textual content material choices inside a key phrase-primarily based sentence to confirm its eligibility to rank as a FS.
  2. Determining the break choices that may level out the place the place the important thing phrase-primarily based sentence could also be truncated on a featured snippet.
  3. Calculating and assigning the snippet ranking to determine the ability of the snippets.
  4. Selecting the snippet with one of the best snippet ranking.

That’s how Google selects a web page for featured snippets and works to current the associated information shortly to the shoppers.

Go, Get Your Featured Snippets Now!

Google’s featured snippet format focuses on providing information to the shoppers on its platform itself. However, not all information could also be displayed in 40-45 phrases.

Hence, they could possibly be a helpful gizmo to boost your pure website guests.

Use the above data to non-public featured snippets and alter right into a thought chief in your commerce, giving your mannequin reputation and pure website guests a raise. If you’ve optimized your web site correctly, conversions will adjust to!

More Resources:


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Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, June 2021

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