Position 1 is no longer the holy grail in Google’s search result rankings. Position zero is now the coveted spot. Here’s how to get it.
Everybody wants to rank number one on Google search results, but what if I told you there’s something even better than achieving this hallowed spot?
What if I told you that you need to be shooting for position zero?
What is position zero? It’s the spot above the first search result, and if you’re not securing this online real estate, then you’re missing out.
Officially known as a featured snippet, it offers a brief answer to a user’s search query in an eye-catching format. This position not only gets clicks, but it steals them from position one.
That means you can gain attention and outdo your competition at the same time. It’s a win-win. Want to learn? Keep reading for the lowdown on featured snippets.
Featured Snippets 101
Featured snippets have seen incredible growth in recent years. They often appear with another element that you need to know about, the “people also ask” box. This box contains a list of related questions that are clickable.
The “people also ask” box has seen even higher growth than that of featured snippets, and both are increasingly important drivers of traffic.
Less is known about how Google generates the questions for the “people also ask” box, but one thing’s for sure. In many instances, there’s no cap on the number of questions the box can display.
Just keep selecting “see more” and scrolling down to find out what I mean.
No matter how you slice it, the featured snippet box remains the most coveted Google search position for a company to achieve. The power of this position will only continue to increase as technology moves towards voice search. Find out more about snippets.
Featured Snippets & Voice Search
Featured snippets are the crème de la crème of search engine results. Both their position and presentation garner immediate attention. What’s more, as search engines continue to move towards voice search, zero position will matter even more.
Why? Because when it comes to voice search, there is only one answer, the best explanation, and that’s increasingly being displayed as the featured snippet.
As of writing this, approximately 50 percent of teens and adults already use voice search every day. Featured snippets represent a vital function when it comes to voice search.
Also, in keeping with the move towards voice search was the introduction in 2012 of Knowledge Graph. Knowledge Graph is a smart system designed to understand the interconnected nature of places, things, and people.
It represents a move away from search engines as directories of vast quantities of knowledge, and it also means a step towards providing people with the best answer.
That’s why garnering as many featured snippets as possible is a critical aspect of any forward-looking digital marketing strategy.
How to Secure Position Zero
So, how are featured snippets generated? Google makes each call based on results produced organically and the relevance of the information. To do this, Google conducts searches via websites to determine the best one to be featured.
To gain the featured snippet position, your content should rank on the first page of Google results, typically in the top five results.
It should also contain relevant information. In other words, it must thoroughly answer the question posed in the user’s initial query. It should also prove relevant to the search term overall.
The article must be highly readable and get formatted in a way that avoids dense blocks of text. That means including subheadings, lists, and an easy-to-read table of information.
Content that Dominates Featured Snippets
It’s safe to say that featured snippets now represent the holy grail of SEO. Besides producing content that’s relevant, well-formatted, and capable of ranking on page one, it’s essential to consider which types of content dominate the zero rankings.
This content includes:
- Answers to the five Ws
- Instructional and how-to posts
- Definitions for complex concepts and terms
- Cost/Price Analyses
- Best content
Let’s take a quick look at each of these types of content so that you can start planning your editorial calendar accordingly.
Answers to the Five Ws
The most common function of a featured snippet remains answering one of the five Ws. So, it’s well worth your while to craft posts that answer these questions with in-depth, relevant analysis.
What are the five Ws? Who, what, when, where, and why?
Instructional and How-To Posts
No matter how you slice it, the majority of featured snippets are instructional or how-to posts, including recipes. This reality is in keeping with Google’s goal of providing users with THE essential answer to any given question.
There are many ways to compare and contrast two or more items online. Think tables, lists, and text to create content that’s snippet-worthy.
Another highly “snippable” type of content? An article that explores a complex term or concept with a comprehensive definition. Provide a thorough explanation of a question related to your products or services, and you could find yourself in the zero sweet spots.
It doesn’t get much more informative and useful than price/cost breakdowns. That’s why everybody, including your users, loves to see them. Create content that compares your products and features against those of your competitors and grab position zero.
It’s hard to deny the appearance of the word “best” in many featured snippets. So, use this term to your advantage by creating “best-of” lists. You can also go the route of “best laptop” or “best Mexican food near me.”
Stay Informed About Digital Marketing
Position zero remains the most sought after ranking in SEO and with good reason. Armed with the tips above, you’re well-positioned to earn top spots with your content. So, start writing!
Looking for more valuable digital marketing insights? Browse our blog now for the tips and information you need to leave the competition in the dust.