5 Ways to Optimize Your Content for Google’s Featured Snippet


Have you noticed how Google has changed the way it displays search results over the years. Google is always trying to make it easy for its users to find answers. Google’s featured snippet is one of the ways in which Google has simplified results for its users. In this blog we will share 5 ways to optimize your content and rank in Google’s featured snippet.

But, first let us look at what featured snippet is and how can it help you

What is Google Featured Snippet?

Featured snippet is the answer to user query that Google display at the top of organic results in a box. This is the most relevant answer pulled out by Google and displayed for users. Users can get an instant answer without the need to click on a link and go to another page.


You can see in the above image the post by huffingtonpost.com featured in the snippet. It ranks before the organic results. This is sometimes referred by marketers as position 0 for the result.  Featured snippets can be in paragraph, lists or table format.

So why should you eye this position 0? The answer is simple and based on hard numbers. Featured snippets have known to increase traffic to your site anywhere from 30% to 114%.

Ranking in a feature snippet will increase your CTR, give you more space on results page and increase your trust and credibility. What’s even better is that your page authority and brand is not important to rank in a snippet. This means that even small brands can compete with big names and rank above them.

Here are 5 ways you can optimize your content for Google’s featured snippet:

1. Answer Common Search Queries

Pick the most common question in your industry and answer them in your post. Questions starting with ‘how to’, ‘how does’, ‘which are’, ’what to’ etc usually feature a snippet. Phrases such as ‘benefits of’ or ‘uses of’ also draw up featured snippets.

Keywords with more volume will draw more traffic with featured snippets. So it is better to focus on high volume keywords. If you are a small domain with low authority then featuring for low volume keywords can also be a good strategy for you.

You can visit forum threads, user review sections or Quora.com to find the most common questions that users are asking in your industry.

2. Average Number of Words

A study of 1.4 miilion featured snippets by SEMrush has revealed that certain word limits are more likely to be pulled up in a snippet. Here are the findings on the optimal featured snippet length:

  • The optimal length of a featured snippet in paragraph form is 40-50 words (or 97 characters)
  • The optimal number of items/steps of a featured snippet in list form is 4-5 items (with 8 being the maximum)
  • The optimal number of rows for featured snippet in table format is 3-4 rows (with a maximum of 9 rows)

3. Include Search query in header

Make it easier for Google to read that your page specifically answers the search query. Search query that you want to rank for must be under a heading tag<h1> <h2> etc.  The answer to that query must be directly under it under the paragraph <p> tag.

4. Answer Logically

Answer the query right away under the header. The answer must be logical, easy to understand by common users. Avoid using industry jargons or giving introduction to the topic if you want to rank in position 0.

Include lists, steps or tables wherever possible. Sometimes Google can just pull up your sub-headings as list to query.  For example, Google may feature just the 5 points in this blog for a query ‘Ways to optimize for Google featured snippet’.

5. Learn from Competitors ranked in Featured Snippet

One of the easiest ways to rank in featured snippet is to optimize your current content. Here is how it works:

  1. Draw a list of all the search queries for which you rank anywhere from position 1 to Position 10 but do not feature in the snippet. Invest in some SEO if you are not ranking in top 10 for any keywords.
  2. Then look at the current results in the featured snippet. How is their page structured? Is the content in list format or in a table? How does the answer differ?
  3. Then optimize your page to fit the structure and format of the page that is ranking in featured snippet. Keep the search intent in mind while re-formatting. Simple answers are the best when it comes to ranking in featured snippet.

Google featured snippet is a good opportunity for low authority domains and small sites to rank above the big players. Many times the site pulled up on featured snippet are those ranking lower than fifth position. Following above tips can help you to rank above the big domains and increase your CTR.

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