18 Tips to Optimize Your Content for Google’s Featured Snippets in 2021

Landing a spot in featured snippets can rank your site at the top of SERPs. They also make your content more clickable, whether it is on mobile or desktop.

The importance of Google’s featured snippets is that the results signify brand authority, which makes users see you in a better light and leads to them being more likely to choose your result over the others listed.

But, just how do you optimize your content to get it to appear in Google’s featured snippets? Fortunately, I’m here to offer you some advice to help you do just that.

Here are 18 tips to help you optimize your content for Google’s featured snippets in 2021.

1. Don’t optimize only your target keyword.

Featured snippets are lively and very often unpredictable. It is a great idea to create a content strategy that will cover the featured snippets organically rather than chasing every opportunity.

You can create longer content with more of the related concepts and that answers questions more thoroughly than other similar content out there. Plus, focusing on optimizing your long-tail keyword strategy will also benefit you in the long run with more targeted results.

Luckily, you can use tools like Text Optimizer to help you improve your chances of landing featured snippets. The tool makes use of semantic analysis to spot related concepts and terms and impels you to cover more of those by giving a score to your content depending on what you have covered so far. All in all, it is a good tool that can help you create more detailed and optimized content.

2. Include a “what is” heading 

To optimize your featured snippet, find a place in your content to add a “what is” heading followed by a keyword. It will send a clear message to Google that the text that could be used for the forthcoming featured snippet answers a specific question searchers are asking. 

Consider adding the heading as close to the top of your content as possible. For a blog post, ideally, you can add it right underneath the introductory paragraph. It will flow well with the content while allowing you to add it near the top of the page. 

Here’s a good example. 

Example of a 'what is' header
Image: Example of a ‘what is’ header

As you can see, the heading has been added right above their “Table of contents” at the top of the page. Ideally, you’d want it below and right above relevant copy, but I just wanted to share an example of what a header might look like. 

When you include this section, Google gets a straightforward message of the text they can add into the featured snippet. As a result, they get the answer box for the competitive keyword “eCommerce marketing.” Grabbing these featured snippets, if you use the ‘what is’ strategy, can lead to your content stealing clicks from very high quality content on other sites.

3. Match the featured snippet format

There are different types of featured snippets – Paragraph, Bulleted, and Numbered List, and Table. The featured snippet type you perceive on the SERP should be matched in your content. For instance, if you see a bulleted list appear, you are to add a similar bulleted list to the content of your page. 

Example of bulleted list snippets
Image: Example of bulleted list snippets

4. Use subheadings to structure content. 

For many years, Google has been making an effort to become an answer engine. They have been filing numerous patents. One of the patents is about accommodating users using search engines to find answers instead of listing resources.

This particular patent digs into the details on how they find and take out answers from pages. 

Here’s a graph that shows how Google utilizes on-page subheadings to find out an answer to a question:

Image: Source

And in search it looks like:

Image: Source

Google heavily depends on the meaningful content structure to find an answer to the question. So it is a good idea to break your content into parts and make use of subheadings. To optimize it more, use secondary keywords and queries to word those subheadings. If you don’t have the resources in house, you can outsource your work to data-driven SEO experts to up your SEO game.

Also, consider adding a clickable table of contents that points to each subhead. It will enable Google to locate each answer more easily.

5. Don’t use your brand’s name in featured snippet text.

The purpose of featured snippets is to fuel voice search. Tools like Google Home can read the content in the featured snippet directly back to users. So, the content in the featured snippet has to make complete sense here. 

Instead of using your brand name, replace it with general language to give your content a better chance of getting a featured snippet. 

6. Create and optimize images

Featured snippets are becoming more and more visual these days. Unless Google finds relevant images on your site, they will pick images from other pages.

If you want to increase clicks and brand visibility, see that you always include images in all of your web pages to optimize your content. Tools like Canva or DesignCap can help you out. Using images more meticulously can improve your metrics.

7. Create content for several questions

As per SEO experts, a page has more chances of getting featured for other similar questions once it earns a featured snippet. So, to get features, you can organize your content in a way to answer several related questions.

It is a good idea to hire a team of expert content writers to create an all-inclusive article that answers different questions. You will be saving a lot of time as well, and it won’t cost you much since you don’t need each article to have featured snippets. 

8. Use the optimal length

The content of your snippet should be precise and to the point. As per Moz, the optimal length of a featured snippet paragraph should be around 40 to 50 words (300 characters). Another study by SEMrush shows that 40 to 50 words should be the ideal length for a snippet paragraph.

featured snippet length
Image: featured snippet length – Source

You can create headers to split up your content into segments and then create lists, steps, and paragraphs to make it visually attractive.

9. Create videos for video featured snippets

As per Ahrefs stats, YouTube stood at number seven of the “most featured” websites on search engines. 

When you create search-optimized Youtube video content, you can control more featured snippets and get your message heard.

Moreover, it is easier to get a Youtube video to rank higher and get featured compared to ranking a small business website. Thus, video content optimization is an excellent opportunity your business should leverage. 

Video production is considered too expensive and complicated for some companies, but you can use tools like InVideo or FlexClip to lower the cost and still produce high-quality content. Luckily, such tools offer rich video creation and editing capabilities along with ease of use. You don’t even have to download the software and it allows you to create your script, select a template, and make use of a visual editor to assemble your asset.

10. Uncover what questions users are asking

Featured snippets always have content that answers a query. Thus, to help your content to appear in the featured snippets, you will have to identify the queries users are asking.

One of the easiest ways to discover which queries people want answers to is having a look at the “People also ask” section. The queries will be connected to specific target keywords or search queries related to the search you have already entered.

Google's "People Also Ask" Section
Image: Google’s “People Also Ask” Section

11. Search queries using SEO tools 

There are SEO tools that will help you to find out the types of queries people might be asking. 

For example, ‘Answer the Public’ is a good tool that you can use.  It will give you suggested autocomplete searches to find out the best topics to answer.

The recommendations offered by ‘Answer the Public’ are linked to different categories of queries. There will be ‘how,’ ‘what,’ ‘why,’ ‘which,’  and ‘will’ questions. Make sure that you are doing a little keyword research prior to using the tool to ensure you get SEO friendly topics.

Suggested Reading: SEMrush Product Review: The All-In-One Marketing Toolkit

12. Add a “how-to” section to your site

Since featured snippets are known to attract website traffic and increase leads, it’s a good idea to redesign your website to optimize “how-to” content.

For instance, you can create entire sections on your site that are dedicated to answering your readers’ questions.

Look at how this brand manages its “How-to Library.”

It will give your how-to content guides and text-based tutorials a place on your website. In case you don’t want to make a “how-to” section, you can alternately create a Q&A area.

In the Q&A area, you can add answers to FAQs about your products, services, or industry. Adding high-quality images and videos will also increase your odds of ranking for featured snippets.

13. Find competitors’ snippets

Competitor analysis can be truly beneficial for you if you invest some time to find featured snippets for which your competitors are ranking for at present.

Likewise, while searching for them, you can find out if Google is bringing up featured snippets for your keywords that are currently ranking high.

After you gather the information, you can edit your content to optimize it and make it align according to other snippets getting featured by Google. 

14. Use several phrasings for the same query

Writing in-depth articles that answer several related queries can increase your chances of getting featured. 

Moreover, Google ranks long-form content better, possibly because users can find several relevant answers within a single piece of content. You can ask questions in your subheadings and give an immediate answer.

Google will credit content with the best user experience and thereby might end up featuring it as well. So, this is also vital to get featured snippets.

15. Organize questions based on content structure

Google ranks content with good structure. And a well-structured piece of content is one with paragraphs, lists, and tables. Thus, you should organize your content similarly to help your readers easily find what they require in your content by looking at your lists.

Try introducing answers in your paragraphs in lists making use of descriptive names and numbers. Your content should also contain comparison charts and tables.

16. Show that the page is authoritative

A great way to boost a page’s organic search ranking is by making your page authoritative.  For that, you can acquire high-quality backlinks that will indicate to Google that your site is authoritative and reveal that the page is a valuable search result.

17. Schema markup will have no impact 

The belief that featured snippets in search are linked to schema markup is not true. As per studies, the two do not impact each other. So, you don’t have to worry about implementing a schema strategy in case you want to show it as a featured snippet.

18. Utilize strong on-page SEO

The content that gets displayed as featured snippets in search is normally taken from pages with a high organic search ranking. Thus, using the on-page keyword optimization and implementing SEO best practices to improve the page’s natural rankings is a great idea.


Featured Snippets is a crucial part of the search engine optimization strategy. The snippets are visible on all other search results, and it is more significant and more noticeable than the typical search results. Getting a featured snippet will increase the visibility of your content significantly.

No matter what industry you are in or whether you have an authority site or not, if you provide highly valuable and concise answers to the queries made by users, Google will show your information in their snippets.

You can implement the 18 essential tips mentioned in this article to optimize your content for Google’s featured snippet in 2021.

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Hazel Raoult

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