When it comes to Google ranking algorithm, your SEO efforts will never be enough. When you think you have got everything figured out, Google will invent something new to keep you on your toes. For a while now, the aim of most websites SEO has been to rank top on the first page of Google SERPS. There is a tweak in Google's algorithm in its efforts to provide its users with the best user experience that has been introduced. It goes by the name position zero. It took time before marketers learned how to rank for this coveted position, but finally, they got the breakthrough.
If you are completely new to this world of position zero, no need to worry! This article is about to help you discover the meaning of position zero, the different types, why it is so important, and lastly, how to achieve this position with your SEO efforts.
What is Position ZeFro?
The term refers to the results returned by Google at the top of the normal search results. Many marketers refer to it as the 'featured snippet.' It is usually on top of the number one search result and thus the name. It provides concise answers for how/who/what /why questions. It is usually composed of a web page address, title tag, and a snippet of what the page contains. Google rolled out the featured snippet to provide users with results of whatever they are searching for as quickly as possible.
Types of featured snippets
Paragraph - It is the most used of the various featured snippets. It contains 40-60 words that are shown in block providing a relevant answer to a search inquiry.
List - Contains a bulleted or numbered list explaining how to do something that is asked.
Table - This type contains a chart of data or content structured in table format.
Video - It is available for queries that require a visual explanation. If a video is unavailable, Google will fetch one from YouTube and display it on position 0.
Importance of ranking position 0
If you haven't figured out how ranking position 0 is crucial for your site, read on to find out how achieving that position can be relevant for you.
It increases your click-through rates - According to a study by HubSpot in 2016, position 0 rankings of a particular page produced 114% CTR boost.
Boosts organic traffic - A study conducted by SEOpressor found that achieving position 0 for a particular keyword phrase provided a 200% increase in traffic for that article.
Position 0 is also crucial for voice search.
With that said, achieving position 0 should be a must for all websites. How do you achieve it using your SEO efforts?
How to rank for position zero with your SEO efforts
Well-crafted SEO efforts are enough to rank your page higher on search results. However, there is a new number one these days, position zero. Can your SEO efforts still get you on that coveted spot? You are about to find out. Here are 7 ways your content can rank on the position zero;
1. Identify the opportunity for your site
Some search terms and markets do not return featured snippets. For instance, local businesses should focus on enhancing their local SEO to be visible on local search results, instead of throwing money away trying to get featured on position 0. However, if you are in a market that constantly uses terms that need explanation or deal with data, achieving position zero is a good opportunity for your site. If you can't identify the opportunity for your site to get featured snippets, here are a few ways you can find featured snippets;
Find your competitors' snippets using a tool such as SEMrush - You need to know the featured snippets your rivals are already using for ranking. With that in mind, optimize your content for the same words and topics. You can create whole new content or update the existing ones.
Browse Google for more featured snippets - With the topic your competitors are already ranking for or one that you are ranking for, expand it by using Google to uncover more snippet opportunities. Start by thinking the way your audience does. To do this right, you should put yourself in your audience shoes. If you were new to a particular topic, what would you search for? Having that in mind, check what featured snippet that question provides. Check out the "people also ask" section for more ideas. Optimize your content to meet the same criteria.
Tools such as AnswerThePublic.com or Bloomberry.com are also good sources of questions that people commonly ask. Knowing what people are looking for and providing them with concise answers will help your domain rank at position 0.
You can also ask your customers or family members or friends how they found your site. The question they ask Google to reach your site can help you optimize your content to land on position 0.
2. Keywords research matters
Keywords are powerful for SEO, and in the same way, they are essential for featured snippets. Research and identify the right keywords that will get your site ranking for position zero. Generally, you need to come up with a well-researched list of all possible keywords that your site wants to be ranked. Use a tool such as Moz Keywords Explorer to test the difficulty of the keyword phrases as well as their competitiveness. Here is a list of types of keywords that will secure you a place at the position 0 spots of SERPs.
High volume terms
Long tail queries, for instance, those comprising of six or more words
Answers to questions such as who/why/what/how/where
If you are already ranking top of SERP for a particular keyword, match a question to the content and tailor it to be your heading.
3. Create relevant content
With the Google algorithm, high-quality content is an all-time hack. There is no exception to achieving position zero using unique, relevant content. With the keywords you have come up with, especially those in featured snippets, use them to generate content ideas. Create texts of about 2000 words and use the following tips;
Write on topics that are likely to remain green for a long time. The reason for this is that position 0 is not a permanent status when your content is not evergreen or up to date. Ensure the content is always up to date and current as possible to avoid being struck off from the position.
Explore the topic from all angles without assuming that a reader has prior knowledge. Offer direct answers to questions within your chosen keywords. Your content should not only answer the question on the heading but also feature and answer a series of other similar ones. However, your answers should be organized properly. You can opt to break down the ideas into subheadings for a more improved structure.
The keywords should fit naturally in the content. You should avoid keyword stuffing at all costs if you really want to achieve position 0. Related phrases are also allowed within the content to convince Google you have a great understanding of what you have written.
Snippet bait is encouraged. It is a short version of your content located at the top of your page. It makes it easy for Google to find it when pulling search results. Your content should also include explanations paragraph of 40 - 60 words. Incorporate lists with bullets or numbers, and if applicable include tables to display data. It is a great way to win position 0.
Readers love visuals. For this reason, include eye-grabbing images in content to ensure Google selects the best ones for the featured snippets. The images should be updated and uploaded again to match with the up-to-date content. You can include video content to make it interesting.
Add how-to content. You can leave an entire page for giving answers to your readers' common questions about products, services, or industry in general. Make sure to use proper grammar in your heading as well as in the content. The structure of the content also matters. The best way to structure it is by using the "inverted pyramid" model. It requires you to start with content that directly gives solutions to inquiries. It is then followed by detailed information and concluded with other general information about the topic.
4. Format your HTML
Formatting optimizes your page for search results and increases your odds of ranking at position 0. Here is how to do it right;
Your H1 and H2 should be the question you seek to answer, a version close to it, or a formatted version of the question,
Use a single paragraph to summarize the answer to the question,
The paragraphs should be directly placed just below the heading,
The paragraph should contain 40—60 words,
Include helpful Alt tags on images,
Page titles and meta descriptions should also include keywords that have not been stuffed.
For instance, make sure to link your content to other relevant ones. Request people to link their content to yours. Partner with influencers and other professionals, and invite them to share your content on their social media profiles. Optimize your site for mobile devices and ensure it performs seamlessly. These practices boost your SEO and give you a chance to rank on the first page of SERPs, thus increasing your odds of achieving position zero.
6. Consult an expert
A little help from an expert is never bad. Hire an SEO expert to ensure you are doing it right. There are many moving parts in the process of optimizing a site for position 0. A professional in this field will help you achieve position 0 with much ease. Although there are no guarantees since Google has its own discretion on what pages to include in featured snippets, your site will at least appear on the first page. It might cost you an investment, but it is worth every dime. You don't want to regret later.
7. Monitor your featured snippets
Position 0 is not permanent. If you have already achieved it, that is not the end of your efforts. You need to keep an eye on how searches that are essential to your audience are ranking. You need to know how you are ranking when compared to your competitors. Tools such as Ahrefs or Content Ranking Indexing will help you monitor the queries for which your website featured.
It is no secret that keeping up with the Google algorithm is quite a task. However, Google is not to blame. It is only trying to give its users a seamless user experience, something that you should also be doing for your consumers. With position 0 becoming the new number one ranking, websites are working around the clock to achieve that favorite spot. After all, it is excellent in increasing your website traffic, conversion rates, and standing out from your competitors.
Follow the above guide to achieve position zero. However, you must remember that is a never-ending job. You don't want to be overthrown as soon as you have attained the spot. You have to keep an eye on your competition and maintain the relevance of your content through constant updates.