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Position Zero – The Featured Snippet

Once upon a time if a search result was at the top, it was considered the best. Now, a search result is superior if it has placement as the featured snippet, also known as  position zero.  This Google update populates snippets of information and positions them at the very top of search results for a quick and easy answer without ever needing to click on the website. In the SEO world, it is prime real estate to have your content featured.   How can marketers optimize their content for position zero?

Use Imagery for Position Zero

Often the snippet at position zero will include an image or most recently a video. Including relevant images or videos in your content will provide a visual element for the keywords you are targeting. In addition to imagery and videos benefiting your rank, it also enhances the user experience. For example, if you are searching “How to use on-SERP SEO?” a video explaining the process would enhance your content and also increase your rank for achieving that superior placement.

Position zero makes RRR content even more important because those added benefits like photos, videos, tables, etc. will help in ranking content. Try turning your normal blog into a video or an audio blog.  If you do a monthly podcast, turn that conversation into a blog.

Stand Out with Lists and Tables

Sometimes position zero snippets are formatted like bulleted lists and tables.Lists occupy 10.77% of featured snippets and typically answer a question by responding with a step-by-step process, or with a response to a multi-answer question.  7.25% of featured snippets are shown as tables. There is a real opportunity here to be featured as a snippet if you optimize your content in the form of a table because not a lot of content is optimized for this result.

You can increase your chances of being in position zero if you include lists and tables. Google is searching for the quickest and most relevant answer to a posed question, so including easily accessible and viewable content helps both your content and your search results.

Use Questions for Position Zero

Featured snippets are answering a posed question so using questions in your subheadings makes it easier for Google to find and pull an answer. (Your subheadings should pose a question and your answer should be in the body text.) Paragraph snippets occupy 82% of total snippets, so your content has a real opportunity to be featured if you can pose and answer a question.

Ranking and Position Zero

Your chances of getting a featured snippet will depend on your rank so if you already rank in search results you are halfway there. According to Search Engine Watch 31% of featured snippets are pulled from a first position search result, 23% from a second position result, and 16% from a third result. The lower your rank the less chance you have to be a featured snippet.

High-ranking results have the best optimization, so it only makes sense that most featured snippets come from high-ranked sources.

Not ranking? Try these 7 Google SEO Rules from Moz:

  • Never Abuse Keywords.
  • Don’t Compete for Crowded Keywords.
  • Create Unique Content.
  • Don’t Use Low-Quality Links.
  • Update Your Site regularly.
  • Follow Google’s On-Site Optimization Guidelines.
  • Keep an Eye on Your Site Speed.

There will always be new ways to win over featured snippets as the tool and the industry evolve. As marketers, we must continue to find what’s working and optimize our content in the pursuit of position zero.

Does anyone have any additional tips? What’s worked for you?



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