How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets in 2022

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The importance of Google Featured Snippets, through the lens of data:

  • A Featured Snippet covers 50% of a mobile screen.
  • 19% of SERPs have Featured Snippets.
  • 7.3% of SERPs have double Featured Snippets.   

You reading this article proves you know the importance of Featured Snippets. However, you might not know how to optimize for Featured Snippets. If that sounds like you, this article is here to help.  

In the next five minutes, learn 8 ways to optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets before you hire an SEO services company for the same. 

8 ways to optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets

1. Spot your competitor’s Featured Snippets

You can use third-party tools such as SEMrush to identify competitors’ Featured Snippets. Here’s how to do the same:  

  • Enter the competitor site URL into the SEMrush homepage. 
  • Search for the keyword groups that own Featured Snippets.
  • Use the Advanced Filters option to filter ‘snippable’ keywords. 
  • Check the SERP source to find how the snippet appears on the search results. You can do so by choosing the ‘View SERP’ option.
  • Afterward, export the list.
  • Sort the keywords into different types of Featured Snippets.
  • Categorize the keywords by the higher search volume.

That’s it. Now you can use the keywords to optimize for Featured Snippets. 

2. Grasp the search intent of the user

The first step to that is finding out which of the three types of people search for your chosen keywords:

  1. Potential customers
  2. Your competitors
  3. Influencers who can persuade your potential customers to buy from you

Furthermore, categorize the search intent of the user into these four categories:

1. A brief answer

The category features search queries where the user expects a listicle or paragraph type of Featured Snippets. The users will click on the results if they want to know more information.

These search query types help in building brand reputation and increasing click-through rate (CTR). 

2. A specific answer

The category features search queries that are questions needing specific answers. The Featured Snippet type offers a lower CTR. The reason behind this is the users come to get a specific answer and don’t want to or need to read further.    

The Featured Snippet type helps in brand building.

3. A video 

Featured Snippets with a video receive the maximum CTR if the users are searching for ‘How-to’ answers.  

4. A comparison

The category features a table-type Featured Snippet. 

The table content appears larger than what Google Featured Snippets can show. Thus, this category of Featured Snippets offers the highest CTR among the 4 types.   

3. Include question keywords in heading tags

A survey confirmed that 19% of 850,000 question-based queries received Featured Snippets. Furthermore, SEMrush confirmed that 77.63% of search queries that begin with the word ‘Why’ triggered Featured Snippets.  

Why so? Question-based keywords help Google determine what the searcher is looking for without hassle. Thus, you too must follow the same path.

Here’s how you can do the same:

  • Enter your target keywords into Google and pick the question-based queries with high search volume. You can check the ‘People Also Ask’ section. Furthermore, you can use third-party tools such as AnswerThePublic. 
  • Use the questions to add an FAQ section to your existing pages or create new content using the questions.
  • Place the keywords in your heading tags.

Note that most Featured Snippets begin after a heading tag. Here’s a Featured Snippet example of the same nature:

Source

Thus, where you place the right question keyword phrase can make difference.

4. Opt for a definition-style approach for non-question-based keywords

Shorter keywords that are not question-orientated (for example, ‘outbound sales’) receive a paragraph type Featured Snippet from Google. 

However, Google prefers answers that take a definition-style approach and begin logically. Here’s an example:

Source

Thus, opt for the same when you’re targeting a non-question-based keyword. 

5. Add SEO tactics

Implement these SEO tactics to compel Google to offer your content a Featured Snippet:

  • URL structure: Create short URLs with 3 to 4 words.
  • Title tag: Create a title tag that fits the Pixel requirements. You can use third-party tools such as SEOmofo Snippet Optimization Tool or CoSchedule Headline Analyzer for the same.    
  • Heading tags: Use question keywords in the heading tags.
  • Meta description tag: Write keyword-specific and user-centric meta descriptions for driving the highest traffic. You can use SEOmofo for the same.
  • Schema markup tags: Strive for helping Google understand what your content is about and recognize elements such as tables.
  • Image Alt attributes: Use descriptive Alt text for all graphics to help Google understand what the image is about.   
  • Link building: Build links to showcase your website’s authoritativeness.
  • Internal links: These links help Google understand what the most important pages on your site are. 
  • External links: These links help Google to see your credibility with your citations and know which external sites you trust.

6. Run a competitor analysis

You can use a third-party tool such as SEMrush for running the competitor analysis. Here’s how to run a competitor analysis (for ease of understanding, we will use SEMrush as the tool):

  • Open the SEO content template pool.
  • Enter your content topic or target keyword.
  • Select the target location.

That’s it. Now all you need to do is press ‘Search’ and let the tool do the rest. 

You’ll receive the below-mentioned SEO recommendations you can use to optimize for Featured Snippets:

  • Your top 10 competitors for your target keywords. The data helps you understand whom you’re competing with.
  • Suggestions on how your competitors are using target keywords. The data helps you understand how you can use the target keywords better than your competitors.
  • Key recommendations from your competitors on how your content should be, the readability your content must offer, backlinks your content can acquire, and ideal text length to satisfy the user’s expectations and search intent.     

Source

7. Avoid subfolders

33.7% of all Featured Snippets link to an URL with two subfolders. Furthermore, the number is followed by 21.9% with one subfolder and 21.2% with three subfolders. Thus, it’s clear that Google doesn’t prefer subfolders.

If you don’t know, subfolders refer to the parts of the domain listed after forward slashes. For example:

  • Say example.com is a domain. The domain has zero subfolders.
  • example.com/subfolder has one subfolder.
  • example.com/subfolderone/subfoldertwo has two subfolders.

Furthermore, Google prefers short URLs for the Featured Snippet positions. Another reason you should avoid subfolders as subfolders increase the URL length. 

8. Opt for 54-58 words long content for the Featured  Snippet section

54-58 words long paragraph-style answers perform the best for Featured Snippets. 

Source

Thus, answer the query in a short paragraph underneath the relevant subheading. Leave the rest of the content to go into more detail. 

Ways to optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets — date the content

70% of articles Google’s Featured Snippets feature have been published within the last 3 years. Thus, when you date your content, your chances of getting Featured Snippets increase.

We hope the ways to optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets shared in the article will help you make the most out of the Featured Snippets.

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