You have likely heard of the SEO goal of ranking in the #1 organic position on Google, but have you thought about Position #0? What is Position #0? This is the organic position that ranks ahead of the #1 organic position on Google and is reserved for content such as featured snippets.
Google introduced featured snippets back in January of 2014. A Featured Snippet is displayed at the top of a Google SERP as an information box that aims to answer a query or question, whether the actual search contains a question structure or not. For example, a simple search of “PPC” might bring up a featured snippet to answer the question of “What is PPC?”
How do Featured Snippets/Position #0 affect my website?
Why should you care? When featured snippets were first introduced, many feared that it would reduce click-through to your website, because people would have the information they needed displayed right on the SERP. Through the many iterations and revisions of featured snippets, research has found that content in Featured Snippets can see 2x higher CTR. This means that your content will receive more organic traffic when it is in a featured snippet/Position #0 than if it is not, regardless of ranking #1 otherwise.
The Interaction of Voice Assistants and Featured Snippets/Position #0
While numbers vary by study, it is estimated that over 100 million people in the United States use a voice assistant monthly, such as Google Assistant or Siri. In fact, a report from Microsoft found that Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri are both the most used voice assistants.
Google Assistant is available to use on both Android phones as well as Google Home smart speaker products. When a user performs a voice search with Google Assistant, the response is pulled from a featured snippet if one is available. With spoken featured snippets, Google will read the name of the source/publisher before reading the answer to the search. Google will also send a link to the source content to the user’s phone.
How Do I Rank in Position #0 in a Featured Snippet?
There are a number of recommendations on how to have your content published in a featured snippet on Google, so here are a few places to start:
- Write content that answers the 5 W’s (+ H)
The purpose of featured snippets is to answer a question, whether or not the search term actually contains any of the 5 W’s + H — who, what, when, where, why, and how. In order to rank in position #0, your content must answer a question in this format, whether explicit or implied. Write content (related to your business) that answers common questions such as how to do something, why something happens, or what something is.
- Study competitors featured snippets
Are your competitors ranking for featured snippets on keywords that you want to rank in position #0 for? Study the content and determine why they rank and you don’t. How is the content structured? What is the featured snippet pulling out? This is a great place to start to determine how you can rank in position #0 instead. Use tools such as SEM Rush to see what keywords competitors are ranking in position #0 for with featured snippets. Another method is just performing searches for relevant keywords to your business and reviewing any featured snippets.
- Use headers
Just as with ranking in position #1, the use of headers is important when ranking for position #0 in a featured snippet. Google uses header tags to better understand the context of the content on your site. Further, headers break up your content and help Google when it is determining what to pull from your content.
With all of this being said, does your company and information have what it takes to rank in position #0? If the answer is yes, that is great! If not, let us know how we can help you get there.