How To Optimize For Google Featured Snippets: A 12-step Guide

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Google Featured Snippets are an SEO goldmine that can help your website generate a significant amount of traffic. This article will teach you how to optimize for Google’s featured snippets, and also includes step-by-step instructions on how to set up the snippet feature in WordPress.

Google’s featured snippets are a powerful tool for marketers, but they’re not always easy to get. In this guide, we’ll show you how to optimize your site for Google Featured Snippets and make sure you’re getting the most out of them. Read more in detail here: google featured snippets not showing.

How To Optimize For Google Featured Snippets: A 12-step Guide

Editor’s note: As the year draws to a close, we’re counting down the top 12 most popular and useful expert posts on SagaReach Marketing this year.

Our editorial staff selected this collection based on the performance, usefulness, quality, and value provided for you, our readers.

We’ll reprint one of the finest articles of the year every day until December 24th, beginning with No. 12 and going down to No. 1. Today, we begin our countdown with our No. 2 column, which was first published on July 8, 2021.

Himani Kankaria’s 12-step tutorial sets out all you need to know about featured snippets, including how to optimize them and how they may help your site. For SEO specialists, it is a must-read. 

Himani, you’ve done a fantastic job this year! We had a great time having you as a contributor at SagaReach Marketing, and we hope to see you again soon. 


It’s no secret that highlighted snippets may be quite effective. Every SEO practitioner (including me) strives to possess as many highlighted snippets as possible for their content.


Continue reading below for more information.

These enlarged, detailed search results are presented in a separate box towards the top of the search results page (SERP). Whether you optimize for featured snippets (FS), Google will be able to tell when your page is the best response for a relevant query with one of these search features present.

This column contains my tried-and-true technique for optimizing for featured snippets (with examples), my curated content calendar template for featured snippets (which you can copy and use), and FAQs to answer any lingering FS questions. You’ll discover:

  • What are highlighted snippets and how can I use them?
  • You may choose from four different sorts of highlighted snippets.
  • Optimizing for highlighted snippets in a 12-step approach.
  • What’s new in snippets featured?
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Featured Snippets

Let’s get this party started.

What Are Featured Snippets and How Do They Work?

The enlarged snippets that display first in the Google SERPs are known as Featured Snippets. The goal of Google featured snippets is to provide answers to users’ questions directly in the search results.


Continue reading below for more information.

Google’s definition is as follows:


Users who want to read the whole article may go to the highlighted snippet’s URL.

When Google first introduced featured snippets, certain websites were able to get two results on page one of the SERPs, resulting in significant increases in organic exposure and traffic.

But, like with all things SEO, good times don’t last forever; witness Danny Sullivan’s tweet:

We no longer duplicate a web page listing in the search results if it is upgraded to the highlighted snippet position. This clears up the results and makes it easier for consumers to find what they’re looking for. One of the 10 web page listings we provide is a featured snippet.

January 22, 2020 — Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan)

Adding queries to your headlines and subheadlines isn’t the only way to optimize for highlighted snippets. It’s a lot more complicated than that.

You Can Target 4 Different Types Of Featured Snippets

When it comes to optimizing for featured snippets, it’s important to know what sorts of snippets are accessible.

Featured Snippets (paragraph)

The paragraph type accounts for 70% of highlighted snippets, with an average of 42 words and 250 characters.


The majority of the highlighted snippet titles begin with “What” or “Why,” suggesting that they are primarily educational.


Continue reading below for more information.

Pro Tip: The majority of “What” question keywords have the largest search traffic, but to win them, you must pick question keywords with a low Keyword Difficulty (KD) score.

Snippets from the Listicle

Listicle style snippets account for 19% of all highlighted snippets, with an average of 6 items and 44 words.

Ordered and unordered lists are the two types of listicle highlighted snippets.

List of Ordered Items


List of Unordered Items

1640328367_508_How-To-Optimize-For-Google-Featured-Snippets-A-12-step-GuideListicle highlighted snippets are formed from the keyword words “How” and “Why.” They’re your go-to themes if you’re seeking for highlighted snippets quickly.

Snippets from the Table of Contents

Tables make for around 6.3 percent of highlighted snippets. They feature five rows and two columns on average, each with 40 to 45 words.

1640328368_763_How-To-Optimize-For-Google-Featured-Snippets-A-12-step-GuideUse the table elements in HTML to mark up pertinent material in a table format to optimize for this sort of highlighted snippet. Some people are inclined to create visuals for tables, but this is a missed opportunity.

Snippets from the Video

Only 4.6 percent of highlighted snippets are videos, with the average running time of 6 minutes and 35 seconds.

1640328368_747_How-To-Optimize-For-Google-Featured-Snippets-A-12-step-GuideA video featured snippet is your ticket to success if your audience consumes a lot of video material. Find terms with a low search volume and voila! You’ve nabbed them.

How to Make Featured Snippets Work For You

When you observe a rival rating on highlighted snippets, one thought should come to mind:


Continue reading below for more information.

How can I acquire one of those highlighted snippets for my website?

Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

1. Identify the Featured Snippets of Competitors

It’s not simple to steal rivals’ highlighted bits.

In Semrush, enter the rivals’ URL and search for keyword groups that possess highlighted snippets.


Now you want to do the following:

  • The list may be exported.
  • Sort them into the many sorts of featured snippets.
  • Sort them by the number of searches they’ve received.
  • The low KD score should be highlighted.
  • And get them together to begin preparing.

Start planning, developing, and optimizing your content to rank with this content calendar template.


To keep track of why you’re optimizing the page, add the content themes and kind of highlighted snippet to your content calendar.


Continue reading below for more information.

2. Compile a list of keywords for each FS-owned piece of content.

After you’ve finalized your content subjects, it’s time to look for keywords in the material that presently has highlighted snippets.

To view more details on the keywords ranking on highlighted snippets, click the down arrow beside the chosen term in Semrush.


Add the keywords that are relevant as well as those that raise questions to your content calendar.


Continue reading below for more information.

3. Recognize the searcher’s intent

Understanding the search intent behind each triggering question is one of the most critical concerns when optimizing for highlighted snippets.

There are three categories of persons that look for your keywords:

  • Customers who may be interested.
  • Influencers are those who can influence prospective clients to purchase from you.
  • As well as your rivals.

The material for the first two will be written by you. Each will search with various goals in mind, but the end result will always be informative (and navigational when users want to click through them).

Because a highlighted snippet could only have one search intent, I decided to divide them into four groups based on whether they want:

  • A precise response is required.
  • A quick response.
  • This is a comparison.
  • A video.


Continue reading below for more information.

Obtain a Specific Response

A user search query is a question that demands a particular response in this case. This form of FS has a lower CTR since consumers are often looking for a precise solution and do not want or need to read much farther.

This form of FS may aid in brand development, but it is unlikely to generate significant traffic.

1640328370_903_How-To-Optimize-For-Google-Featured-Snippets-A-12-step-GuideGet a Quick Response

As mentioned in the kinds section above, the user expects a paragraph or listicle type of featured snippet in this case. Users will click on the results if they want further information.


Continue reading below for more information.

CTR and brand repute are both aided by this sort of search query.

Compare and Contrast

This kind of search query returns a featured snippet in the form of a table. Google Featured Snippets can’t display the table content because it’s too big. As a result, this form of search intent is likely to increase CTR.

Obtain A Video

Finally, if consumers are seeking for “how-to” answers with a video attached, it will have the highest CTR.

Recognize the various sorts of informative search intent included in the search query. They are related to the several types of featured snippets that are accessible, and they may assist you in planning and optimizing your material.

4. Conduct a competitor analysis.

Return to Semrush and use the SEO content template tool there. Select the desired area and click the green button after entering your keyword or content subject.

To plan the content optimization for highlighted snippets, you’ll get the following SEO tips for your material.

  • Your top ten competitors for target keywords so you know who you’ll be up against.


  • They provide key suggestions in terms of what your content should include, how many backlinks it should have, how easy it should be to read, and how long it should be to meet the user’s search intent and expectations.



Continue reading below for more information.

  • Suggestions on how to improve your usage of target keywords based on how others use them.


  • Simple SEO tips to make your content more search engine friendly.


5. Make a content outline and keep it up to date.

You now have the content themes, targeted keywords, featured snippet type, search intent, and a pool of SEO suggestions from rivals’ snippets.

You must establish a content plan if you are creating fresh material. If you’ve already written the essay, you may need to revise the outline in light of the aforementioned information.


Continue reading below for more information.

6. Create content that is superior than that of your competitors.

  • Cover the fundamental information that consumers anticipate from material depending on the user’s search query and intent.
  • Include statistical data, rich media, examples, pointers, and other features that rival competing blogs.
  • To increase the readability of the information, use simple and shorter language.
  • Prioritize information that is grounded in science above content that is based on personal opinion. Citations aid Google’s understanding of your material.

Always strive to produce the finest material possible, such as the item below, which will provide value for years to come.


7. Double-check the content

Once you’ve finished creating the material, double-check that it fits your requirements for:

  • The people you want to reach.
  • The user’s search intent has been defined.
  • Keywords that are specifically targeted.
  • Suggestions have been listed.

This check is necessary to guarantee that you’re on the proper path to obtaining a featured snippet.

8. Make Your Content Organized for Readers and Search Engines

Users and search engines can easily scan, interpret, and understand well-organized material.


Continue reading below for more information.

Here’s an example of how to arrange a piece of information so that it has a decent structure.


I recently tweeted about how you can easily transform a paragraph highlighted snippet into a listicle by properly arranging and producing content.

The way you produce and arrange your content determines whether or not Google will pick up your page for Featured Snippet. Because the inquiry begins with Is, a paragraph FS is theoretically expected. However, if you combine this Q with hyperlinks in your content, it might transform into a listicle FS.

June 4, 2021 — Himani Kankaria (@himani kankaria)

9. Use Heading Tags to Include Question Keywords

Without adding question keywords to the header tags, organizing your material to earn highlighted snippets is inadequate.

Select relevant query keywords with a high number of searches and include them in your header tags. The majority of Google’s highlighted snippets begin just after a heading tag.


Continue reading below for more information.

Consider the following example:


It’s all about using the proper query keyword phrase in the right spot.

10. Include Graphics That Are Relevant

Graphics are very important when it comes to owning a featured snippet, especially for paragraph and listicle-style featured snippets.

To enhance the user experience and prevent seeming generic, utilize real-life photographs or custom-made graphics instead of stock images.

Fill in the blanks with as many photos as your material demands.


11. Use SEO strategies

Users will be able to access your material. Now you must swiftly assist Google in comprehending the page’s content.


Continue reading below for more information.

Here are some SEO strategies for highlighted snippets that work:

  • The URL structure is ideal: Make your URLs as brief as possible, preferably three to four words.
  • Create a creative title tag that fulfills the pixel criteria with the Coschedule Headline Analyzer and the SEOmofo snippet optimization tool.
  • Meta description tag: To get the maximum hits, utilize SEOmofo to make the most of the pixels available and develop user-centric and keyword-specific meta descriptions.
  • Use question keywords in your heading tags, as stated above.
  • Image Alt attributes: Use descriptive alt text for all visuals to help Google understand what the image is about. Images with alt characteristics appear in the majority of the best-performing content.
  • Internal links: These links assist Google in determining which pages on your site are the most significant. If you get a featured snippet, you should use it to boost the rankings of your most important sites.
  • External links: Let Google know which external sites you trust, and use your citations to establish trustworthiness.
  • Help Google understand what your website is about and identify things like tables using schema markup tags.
  • Link building: Create links to aid Google in determining the authority of your website.

12. Continue to improve your content until you get a featured snippet.

I assess the outcomes at 7, 14, and 21 days after putting this method of optimizing for highlighted snippets in place.

If impressions improve, I’ll work harder to increase clicks. In Google Search Console, keep track of impressions, ranks, and CTR, as well as traffic and visibility in Semrush.

Continue to optimize your material until you get a highlighted snippet and can see the outcomes, such as:


What’s New in 2021 for Featured Snippets?

The SEO industry has observed two new features for highlighted snippets in Google Search results.


Continue reading below for more information.

“Say it out loud,” Button says.

The information is read aloud while the text is highlighted when you click this button.

In Google’s search results, there’s a fascinating feature. By hitting the ‘Hear this out loud’ button, the content of the Featured Snippet may be read aloud. As each word is read aloud, the text is highlighted. Thoughts? Is it conducive to accessibility? @MusingPraveen @Suganthanmn h/t @MusingPraveen @Suganthanmn

1 June 2021 — Brodie Clark (@brodieseo)

“This page also covers” Section

This part displays underneath the highlighted snippet’s main section and takes up the heading tags you’ve put to your website.


Now you have one additional incentive to use heading tags to better arrange your information!


Continue reading below for more information.

Google Featured Snippets Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most common inquiries I hear from SEO specialists about highlighted snippets.

Why Are Featured Snippets at Risk of Being Removed?

If your highlighted snippet falls within the following categories, Google may delete it automatically or manually.

  • Content that is potentially harmful.
  • Deceptive tactics are used.
  • Harassing material.
  • There is hateful stuff on this website.
  • Media that has been manipulated.
  • The material is medical in nature.
  • Content that is sexually explicit.
  • Terrorist material is present.
  • There will be blood and gore.
  • Profanity and vulgar words.
  • Content that is at odds with what professionals in the domains of civics, medicine, science, and history have to say.

You risk losing the highlighted snippet if you violate Google’s regulations. Of However, you might lose it if a rival provides a better response to the same inquiry.

Is it possible to use Featured Snippets on Ecommerce Product or Category Pages?

No, Google Shopping and Product Listing Ads can help ecommerce items gain highlighted listings on Google SERPs (PLAs).

Ecommerce websites, on the other hand, may still have highlighted snippets for their guides and blogs.

What’s the Difference Between Featured Snippets and Rich Snippets?

Rich snippets are an improved organic search result derived from the content of a web page to answer a user question. Featured snippets are derived from the content of a web page to answer a user query.

A rich snippet is a search result that includes reviews linked to it. A featured snippet is a web page that appears first on SERPs and gives visitors with more specific information.

Here’s where you can learn more about optimizing for rich snippets.

What Are Featured Snippets and How Do They Work?

Let’s dig down Google’s patent on producing snippets based on content to see how highlighted snippets work:


When Google gets a search query, it attempts to match it with the best possible result. When Google has the list of search results available, it goes through the steps below to choose the appropriate highlighted snippet from the top 10 search results:

  1. Checking a keyword-based sentence’s ability to rank as an FS by identifying the text characteristics inside it.
  2. Identifying the break characteristics that would show when a keyword-based phrase on a featured snippet may be trimmed.
  3. Identifying the strength of the snippets by calculating and awarding the snippet score.
  4. The snippet with the highest snippet score is chosen.

This is how Google chooses a website for featured snippets and strives to provide relevant information to consumers as fast as possible.

Now is the time to get your Featured Snippets!

The featured snippet format from Google focuses on giving information to visitors on its own platform. However, not every data can be presented in 40-45 words.

As a result, they may be an excellent technique for increasing organic traffic.

Use the tips above to own highlighted snippets and establish yourself as an industry thought leader, boosting your brand’s reputation and organic traffic. Conversions will follow if your site has been properly optimized.

Christmas Countdown 2021 SagaReach Marketing:

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you optimize a website for featured snippets?

A: Google has a guide on this which can be found here.

What is the best way to appear on Googles featured snippet answer box?

A: Before submitting your website to be featured on Googles search, it is recommended that you make sure the following things are met. You should have a domain name, professional contact information (email address), and an active blog with at least 200 visitors per month.

How do you win featured snippets?

A: Typically, you need to follow the game on Twitch.

Related Tags

  • when should you optimize for rich snippets?
  • types of featured snippets

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