Position zero is the web page positioned above the first search result, also known as a featured snippet. They are chunks of content pulled from a web page usually with the details of the URL and a snippet of the content. The web page in position zero aren’t always the number one ranking page, but the page that best answers the user’s search query. Here I’ll reveal how you can achieve it and the benefits you’ll gain.
1. What type of content qualifies for Position Zero
Your website has 0.000002ms to impress the Google robots.
To achieve Position Zero, not all types of content are suitable to be displayed as a featured snippet. There are specific types that will more likely make it. For example:
Most of the time when you’re thinking of buying a gadget or a new phone you want to compare it and these comparisons tend to appear as featured snippets. Sites that compare products using tables to display them are generally picked because it’s easy information for Google to pick out.
- Answers to the what, why, when, where and how questions
The majority of information on the internet these days is created on the sole purpose of answering internet user’s questions. It’s important to anticipate what the users will ask Google so that your site answers to their search request.
Definitions of complex terms are a common one for featured snippets and the Google algorithms are good at detecting the best definitions to post in position zero results.
- The ‘Top’ Lists
What I mean here are articles such as the ‘Top 10 cities to visit in the world’, content with lists of information being rated. These featured snippets are normally in the form of bullet points and generally once you click through, each bullet point has additional information.
- Step-by-step instructions
This type of content solves a specific problem, for example a recipe on how to bake a cake.They can either be in the form of text or even Youtube tutorial videos. If you have a site that provides instructions, pay close attention to your choice of keywords so that it increases your chances of being chosen.
- Knowledge graphs
These are another type of featured snippets and are generally displayed as answer boxes, for example if you wanted to know the age of Queen Elizabeth II or her family history, you would get an answer box like this with additional general information.
- Not all forms of content can be in the form of a featured snippets
- Some content forms include comparisons, definitions, instructions, and what and how questions
2. How do I get my page to Position Zero?
It’s my turn to take the limelight!
First thing to take away here is that you can’t choose if your website can be displayed in a featured snippet. It’s the search engine that determines which ranked web page provides the best answer to the search query. However a few factors play into which web page’s content is chosen:
- your web page needs to at least be ranking on the first page of the SERP, not necessarily number one but on that first page.
- you need to really make sure that your page is providing the relevant information.
- you need to make sure you’ve formatted your content well; Google will more likely pick information that is in tables or bullet point form.
- your images must include the alternative text as images are indexable by Google.
The websites that most often appear in Position Zero are health, financial, DIY and sites providing requirements. These tend to have Q&A type content which makes it easy for Google to provide the best answer. Rare sites are e-shopping and local businesses. If you’re a local business I’d advise that you focus more on Google Maps Business over Position Zero as showing your potential customers your physical location will be a lot more beneficial for you.
If your website fits the above criteria and you want to get to that Position Zero then you need to focus on your page’s content. What you write on your site needs to answer potential search requests and nine times out of ten it’s a game of question and answer. And for this, you need to focus on the ‘Inverted Pyramid Effect’, a method of writing content to win one featured snippet at a time. So how does it work?
- Start with the answer
This is a brief summary of your page’s content but the user can still get their answer by just reading this. Show off your expertise in a few lines.
- Add the details
This is where you write your main content detail, expanding on the summary and providing the internet user with credible, expert information so they stick around on your website.
- Think about the sub-questions
Now this is where you preempt further questions that internet users might be asking after having read your answer. This is especially good to do if the original question was quite broad.
Now you’ve got to be careful here, rather than answer simple questions that can be written in one or two lines, stick to how-to questions that have lots of rich content behind them. You tease them in your summary (still providing some sort of answer), and if you get across your credibility, they’ll click through. Your goal is to get qualified visitors that are actually interested in your content to your site. Simple answers won’t convert visitors as much because they want a quick result but more in-depth ones are well-suited for those who are in search to read on.
- You can’t create them yourself, it’s Google that chooses which web page provides the best answer
- You need to be at least ranking on the first page of the SERP results
- Focus on the Inverted Pyramid Effect: start with the answer, add the details, preempt the sub-questions
3. Benefits of being in Position Zero
I know my visitors get an amazing answer but what do I get?
Where do I start, there are lots of advantages of being in Position Zero but I’ll focus on the most important ones .
Firstly it will massively improve your online visibility, we’re always hearing how ranking first is the place to be…well position zero has overtaken that. You will be the first website that users will see when they carry out their search request. Remember though that just because you’re in position zero doesn’t mean your site will rank in first place. First place ranking is still done on organic keyword optimization.
This in turn leads to more traffic towards your website because you’re reigning over the search engines results page, and if you focus on the in-depth questions, it’ll be qualified traffic too thus attracting leads and potential future sales.
Featured snippets in this position zero are also becoming more and more important for voice search queries. With the rise of voice search becoming ever so prominent in the world of search, it can be very beneficial for if you have a featured snippet. Google tends to take featured snippets as the answers to voice search queries so if you can get in this position, your traffic and site authority will start going through the roof!
- It will improve your online visibility and generate more qualified traffic towards your site
- Featured snippets are becoming more and more prominent with the rise of voice search
Position zero quickly puts your web page right in the SERP spotlight and allows you to increase your website traffic, authority and credibility. Since Google is the one who chooses who gets placed there, make sure your website content is ‘featured snippet friendly’ to increase your chances.