How Do You Rank for Position Zero on Google?
It’s no secret that ranking well on Google is key to gaining traffic to your website. But since 2013, Google has offered websites another way to be featured above and beyond every other site.
Originally known as ‘Quick Answers,’ Google offered simple information from their knowledge base. This SERP feature soon evolved into ‘Featured Snippets,’ which gave more details, lists, and resources.
Today, featured snippets are also known as ‘position zero’ on Google. Currently, about 12% of the content on Google has featured snippets.
Every business owner would love to have their business have position zero in the niche. But, alas, for each topic and keyword, there can only be one winner of the featured snippet.
Over the past few years, Brandastic has been fortunate to gain a few snippets in Google for different topics in our niche. While you can never guarantee that you will gain a position zero, there are some best practices to follow that can help.
1) Research First
Start by researching the main keywords in your niche. What are customers or clients in your industry asking? What information could you offer that could potentially answer important questions?
Keep in mind that snippets are more likely to be given to pages that already rank high (at least in the top 7-10 positions). Look at these top-ranking results first. Also, review the ‘People Also Ask’ (also known as the quick answer section) section for more context.
Start by analyzing your competitors’ high ranking web pages and narrowing down to those queries that could trigger featured snippets.
2) Identify Opportunities
Generally, the higher your pages already rank in Google results, the higher your chances of getting featured on position zero.
However, it’s not always that simple. Sometimes, a competitor gets the Google featured snippet even if they rank below your listing organically.
Therefore, whenever your page ranks higher organically than the featured result, that’s your biggest opportunity to snatch the featured snippet position.
This ranking signals to you that the snippet article is giving a better answer to the searcher’s question than you.
Now you know that fact you can plan on ways to improve your answer.
3) Choose The Best Format
Currently, Google offers three types of information in position zero:
Generally, the best bet to capture your competitor’s featured snippet is to optimize your answer to whatever type is featured now. This can easily be done by reviewing the current winning results and copying the schema markup as the competitor’s snippets.
Putting something into a numbered or bulleted format is likely to attract that kind of snippet. Or creating a table, or putting the keywords into the first paragraph of your article will attract those kinds of snippets. Correct placing of a header tag, or a bulleted list is essential to win Google’s featured snippet.
Once you get a feel for what Google wants, it makes it much more predictable.
Google is very good at analyzing search intent, so if they have decided that a list format helps a user best, then give them a more useful, better-optimized list.
4) Write To Be Helpful
One of the big traps of trying to get a position zero on Google is that you write blog posts about things that contain a lot of keywords. But in taking this approach, it is easy to forget that you are writing for humans.
The era of keyword stuffing blog posts for better rankings is over. Today, you have to match the search intent, and people have to engage with your content for it to rank.
Think about the mindset of the person who is searching. Try to be helpful and offer useful insights that can help them. Make being useful your priority, and your content will gain traction in the search engines.
5) Analyze What Works, Then Repeat
If you follow the steps above and keep creating valuable content, you are likely to rise in the Google rankings, and eventually, achieve position zero for some keywords.
Once you have an idea of what it is that is working best for featured snippet optimization, you can start planning out the next campaign for your content that follows the same pattern.
Position Zero is Not a Save All
Many people fall into the trap of thinking if they get a few snippets on Google that all their problems will be solved. However, it’s important to remember that there is no guarantee that you will retain a snippet once you get it. The search engine algorithm is constantly updating and looking for new ways to improve the quality of the answers for each search query. New featured snippet opportunities are appearing everyday, as more information is requested and long tail keywords continue to evolve and change.
It is great to aim to reach position zero on Google for your website, but don’t depend on it. Focus on making your website as useful as possible and practicing proven SEO methods. This approach will help you gain more traction and build trust with your audience.