Featured Snippet Optimization Tool


Frequently Asked Questions About Google Featured Snippet Optimization

The Google Featured Snippets Education Center by Ann Smarty

The links below are excellent resources to learn about Google’s featured snippets and how to optimize your content to get more featured snippets for your pages.

Jim Boykin and Ann Smarty Talk About Featured Snippet Optimization

In this YouTube video, Jim Boykin and Ann Smarty talk about different aspects of featured snippets, including what they are, how sites get them, and how to optimize your pages to have a better chance of obtaining a featured snippet.

How to Optimize for Google Featured Snippets

Ann breaks down the process of creating featured snippets in this post at Moz. You’ll learn more about identifying opportunities and how to create content that is more likely to become a featured snippet. Ann’s guide will walk you through collecting featured snippet data and research and applying that data to your pages. By Ann Smarty @ Moz

Google's Featured Snippet FAQ

Ann answers all of the essential featured snippet questions in this FAQ she wrote for the Content Marketing Institute. If you have questions about adding photos to your snippet, which snippets to target, and how snippets will affect your rankings, you will find the answers here.

Ann Smarty's Powerpoint Presentation on How to Optimize for Featured Snippets

If you want to know how to get a featured snippet, Ann’s slideshow will guide you through every step of the process. You’ll learn how to best use keyword phrases, create optimized headings, and more. There are plenty of screenshots and examples to guide you through the process.

Google’s Featured Snippets: A Roundup of Recent Stats and Studies

If you had any doubt about the importance of featured snippets, this data, compiled by Ann in a post for Search Engine People, will clear it up. Featured snippets are taking clicks away from the #1 result, and 41% of question queries have featured snippets, which means that your site is probably full of opportunities. By Ann Smarty on Search Engine People.

How to Rank at the Top of Google Search Results (Even if You’re Not No.1)

It may sound too good to be true, but it’s completely possible to secure position zero with successful featured snippet optimization. Find out what happens to traffic when you get a featured snippet, and learn more about how to get there. This guide provides plenty of details and step-by-step instructions.By Ann Smarty at Marketing Profs

Optimize for Google Featured Snippets

What? You Are Not Optimizing for Google’s Featured Snippets Yet? Here’s What You Should Do

Frequently Asked Questions

Featured Snippet Questions

What are featured snippets?

A featured snippet is a box of information Google places on top of the organic search results in an effort to quickly answer the search query. Google has introduced featured snippets to better serve mobile and voice users (featured snippets are being read when a person is using voice to search).

Featured snippets are also referred to as position 0.

Featured snippet example

What are types of featured snippets?

There are three major types of featured snippets:

Each of the above snippet types may have an image that shows up next to the text.

The fourth type of featured snippet is a video featured snippet, i.e., when a user can play a video right away. These are usually sourced from YouTube.

What are some featured snippet examples?

From the above types, here are a few examples:

Table featured snippet

Video rich snippets

Featured snippets vs. rich snippets: How are these two different?

While the terms may sound confusingly similar, featured snippets and rich snippets are actually two completely different things:

Featured snippets vs rich snippets

Featured snippets vs. answer boxes: Are these the same?

It all comes down to terminology: You'll see a lot of experts referring to featured snippets/position 0 as "answer boxes." For the sake of clarity and consistency, we do distinguish between the two:

Featured snippets

Answer boxes

Aim to answer the user's query quickly and efficiently from the search results page
Reference the source of the information Give a dictionary-/glossary-like answer, with no sources cited
Offer additional exposure to the featured page Often eliminate the need for a click (may be stealing clicks from organic results)
Example: [best seo plugin for wordpress] Example: [what is marketing]
Featured snippet example Answer Box example

Is there some type of specific featured snippets code?

There's no specific code that will get you featured in Google. There's no magic bullet, and there's no way to guarantee that something will get you featured, just like there's no way to guarantee top organic Google rankings in general.

From analyzing hundreds of featured snippets, we have identified one HTML element that may help:

H2 subhead

How do you optimize for featured snippets?

To get featured snippets in search:

Here's a quick screenshot showing how I implemented the above edits to successfully get featured in Google:

Featured optimize

Is Google the only search engine that features certain search results?

Bing also has featured snippets that work very similarly to Google's. Bing may feature two URLs, and they often pick snippets farther down the page than Google.

Bing featured snippets

How do you get featured snippets in search?

Both Google and Bing keep emphasizing one featured snippet optimization tactic: To get featured, give the best possible answer to the user's query.

As broad as it may sound, that's actually the best way to get featured snippets in search:

  1. Research niche questions.
  2. Research your competitors' featured rankings.
  3. Brainstorm content that can best answer niche questions (1) and will do a better job than that of your competitor (2).
  4. Optimize one solid, long-form content asset for many related queries to get it to rank for more featured snippets.

Do featured snippets drive more clicks?

In most cases, yes. In multiple case studies, the numbers have varied from a 10% to 30% increase in click-through rates from search results once a page gets featured.

Sometimes, when the featured snippet is pushed down by ads, the impact may be more mild. And in some cases, a featured snippet can eliminate the need for a click, so the overall search result page will receive fewer clicks, including the featured page. But in either case, someone will get featured there, so if you have to choose between you and your competitor to be featured, who would you choose? Exactly. Besides, apart from a potentially higher click-through rate:

How many queries show featured snippets?

There have been several studies trying to answer this question. On average, it has been found that between 10% and 15% of queries trigger featured snippets at this point. But it all comes down to the type of query:

Featured snippets are still volatile (Google keeps tweaking the algorithm on a regular basis), so these numbers are going to change as Google gets better at identifying the best answers to queries.

By optimizing for featured snippets, you also improve your overall on-page SEO:


Tool Specific Questions

What is "people also ask"?

When you search for a phrase in Google, often, on the results page, there is a section called "People also ask." Usually, four or five of these questions will be shown, and if you click on any question, you will get a drop-down with more information. That information is similar to how Google shows data for featured snippets.

What is people also ask?

Below is a drop-down "answer" to a "people also ask" question.

People also ask answer

How does the Featured Snippet Optimization Tool use "people also ask" data?

When we gather ranking data on your keywords, we also collect any "people also ask" questions in the search results for those phrases. This data can be found in its own People Also Ask report, which shows the number of times each question was found when we gathered data on your keyword queries.

We also add these questions in your Featured Snippet Optimization Tool results because if you search for those questions in Google, there are featured snippets for the vast majority of them.

How does the Featured Snippet Optimization Tool use people also ask data?

What is "searches related to"?

Often, when you search in Google, on the bottom of the results page, there is a section called "Searches Related to [phrase you searched]."

Under that title, there are often eight other phrases shown. If you click on any of those phrases, you are sent to a new Google search results page for that phrase. Here's an example:

What is searches related to?

How does the Featured Snippet Optimization Tool use "searches related to" data?

When we gather ranking data on your keywords, we also collect any "searches related to" phrases found in the search results for those phrases. This data can be found in its own Searches Related To report, which shows the number of times each phrase was found when we gathered data on your keyword queries.

We also add these phrases into your Featured Snippet Optimization Tool results because they often have featured snippets (not as many as the "people also ask" phrases, but still often), plus it is good to know related phrases that might be good to include on your pages.

How does the Featured Snippet Optimization Tool work?

When you enter in your domain and start a domain-level run, we collect a list of up to 5,000 keyword phrases that you rank in the top 15 for. We then group these keyword phrases by URL and apply some custom filtering, limiting each URL to the best 80 keyword phrases that it ranks for. This is done to help focus your efforts on the most valuable keyword phrases. Once we have a pared-down list of valuable keyword phrases grouped by URL, we sort the URLs by page value, ensuring that when you load the report, the most valuable pages and keyword phrases will be seen first.

This part of the process is highly dependent on how well your site ranks in Google. If your domain does not rank in the top 15 for very many keyword phrases, it will be difficult to be successful in capturing featured snippets.

Instead of doing a domain-level run, you can instead input a list of URLs; the tool will then collect keyword phrase data for these pages instead of the entire domain.

Where does your snippet data come from?

We collect data from third parties. Due to the frequency in updates to the structure of the data, our system requires frequent maintenance to ensure that we are providing the most accurate data possible.

What exactly is Ninja Value?

The Ninja Value is the monthly estimated value of a URL or keyword phrase, with the assumption that the referenced URL ranks #1 for that phrase. When a Ninja Value is provided for a URL, it assumes a #1 ranking for all of the keyword phrases that that URL ranks for. Frequently, a URL will not actually rank #1 for all keyword phrases, but the Ninja Value can be a potential guide to the value of a URL.

The parameters used in calculating Ninja Value are the CPC of each keyword phrase, the search volume of the keyword phrase, and the approximate click-through rate for a #1 ranking.

What does the Featured Snippet Optimization Tool guarantee me?

This tool does not guarantee you anything at all. It doesn’t guarantee your rankings, and it doesn’t guarantee that you will get featured snippets. If this tool is used properly and the Google Gods are with you, you can analyze and optimize for phrases and obtain many new featured snippet placements, but there is no guarantee of anything.

Can I get a refund or a partial refund?

Sorry, but no, you can’t. But feel free to use up credits on any sites you want to analyze.

Can I run this tool on my competitors?

Yes; currently, it basically does this. After the keywords that you rank in the top 15 have been chosen, anyone who has featured snippets for these terms is your competitor. Our tool will show you a summary of your biggest competitors at the top. You can run a competitor’s site through this tool, but it probably won’t be as helpful because you need to analyze phrases for which you currently rank in the top 15. Analyzing anything else isn’t likely to be worth your time.

Does this tool publish edits on my site live?

No, it doesn’t. You can make edits in the tool, and you can send those edits to the person who updates the content on your site. The “Optimized Snippets” tab and the HTML export option make it easier for your team to edit or add to the existing content, but the final step is still a manual process. Maybe in the future, we can make this a WordPress plugin, but not today.

Can I add keywords to my tool run? I'm missing phrases

When we gather data for each of your URLs, we only gather phrases for which where you rank in the top 15 in Google. There’s a 98% chance that the keyword you think you’re “missing” is one that you don’t rank in the top 15 for. If you’re not in the top 15, your odds of obtaining the featured snippet are around zero, which is why we don’t show you these phrases. If later on, you rank in the top 15 for that phrase, we’ll show that data then.

Is there an API for this tool?

No; we see no need for one. Just use the tool here.

When should I re-run the tool?

We recommend you re-run it a month after the new/edited content has been published.

How can I tell if my edited content now has featured snippets or not? Can I measure the results?

Re-run the tool about a month after publishing your new/edited content. When the tool is re-run, you will see additional stats on the top of the page showing changes from the last time that the tool was run so you can see the differences. Each time the tool is re-run, additional stats will be pulled in.