What is “Position Zero”?

The featured snippet at the very top of a search engine results page (SERP) is what is known as “Position Zero.” Originally known as “Quick Answers” and the “Answer Box,” the information in position zero was an effort to efficiently deliver answers to users on the SERP.

Why Position Zero is Important

To stay competitive, businesses need to give potential and returning customers information they need about the products and services they offer as soon as possible. When your snippets are in position zero, they rank even higher than organic results because a user’s experience is enriched when they see a relevant answer and click on your site.

If you’re a new brand, ranking keeps you relevant and is a great way to reach your target audience. When the content you have to offer organically ranks at position zero, there is no need to pay for extra visibility and you have the opportunity to increase your site’s traffic. Also, with more consumers using voice search for information, SERP featured snippets have a high chance of being read aloud.

To answer user queries, the types of featured snippets you should prioritize are:

  • Lists: Google prefers numbered and bulleted lists for instructions or steps that a user is inquiring about.
  • Paragraphs: this short SERP snippet is a direct answer or description of what a user is looking for.
  • Tables: content is presented in a table to provide a user with lists, data, rates, and prices.  
How to Rank for Position Zero

So how do featured snippets work and how can you get to position zero? These are our tips on how to get Google featured snippets:

Keywords are Key

As you know, keywords are essential in search engine optimization (SEO) and are just as important for a Google featured snippet. The right words can get Google’s attention which can be done manually by studying your competition’s content or using tools like Google Keywords Planner, SEMrush or Ahrefs Site Explorer. These tools can analyse which keywords have gotten other content in position zero and help you achieve this status as well. 

The types of keywords that can help your content get to position zero include:

  • Long-tail keywords (6 or more words)
  • High volume phrases
  • Answers to the who, what, where, how and why questions

These keywords in your URL, meta description, title, page content tells a search engine about what you have to say and will be chosen to be featured on a SERP if Google can identify the phrases that users search for.

SERP Position Zero - Top Tips to Stand a Chance
SERP Position Zero – Top Tips to Stand a Chance
Think Like a Searcher

Another great way to get featured snippets on Google is to think of all of the different ways searchers will ask one question. Use Google’s “People Also Ask” section to your advantage and prioritise user search intent by answering different questions that are related to your keywords. This can help you tweak your current content or find new content ideas.

Some tools that you can use to generate content for a featured snippet include:

  • AnswerThePublic
  • AlsoAsked.com
Content: More Than Just Words

Make the most of your SEO content strategy by diversifying what you have to say. Your content should be relevant but also have high-quality videos and images. If you can, add charts, lists, graphs, and tables to enrich your content and keep users interested ‘til the very end of the page.

Add a Limit

The most common type of SERP featured snippet is the paragraph where 50% of position zero content in this format. Keep your paragraph short and straight to the point in 40 to 60 words. This number of words is optimal because the algorithm will easily pick it out and your paragraph fits into the Google answer box.

Put Content Format First

Formatting your content can make it easy to read and increase the odds that it’ll rank at position zero. Some best practices include:

  • Your title (H1) and H2 should be the question you are going to answer or a variation of it
  • Your answer to the question users is asking can be summed up in a paragraph and the rest of the content should be laid out in a way Google can understand it
  • Images should have Alt tags
  • Keywords should be organically included in your site’s URL, page title and, meta description
  • Providing transcripts to videos on your site
Use Schema Markup

Schema markup helps structure your content so that search engines can understand it. You make it easier for Google to read your markup then generate a featured snippet which in turn makes it easier for users to find the information they are looking for.

For instance, an FAQ rich snippet is a simple but powerful way to get to position zero. You can choose to include FAQ Schema markup on pages that already have an FAQ section or dedicated FAQ pages.

Some popular Schema options that can help you achieve position zero include:

  • WebPage
  • Article
  • WebPageElement
  • Episode
Get Featured

While there’s no one way to get to position zero, these are a few ways you can reach searchers and answer their questions. You can also reach out to us at GTECH, the leading SEO Agency in Dubai to improve your search engine results ranking. 

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