Search engine optimization is an essential aspect of creating an online presence for your business, project, or hobby. Being optimized for search simply means that you can be found by the people who are looking for you online. Easy enough, but it quickly gets much more complicated. Rather than just a simple list of titles, descriptions, and links, Google search results (and results from other search engines) seem to be more complicated every day. Now, you have paid adds, followed by the map, followed by related searches, and over on the right side you have a Wikipedia entry. Then, you have images, videos, news, and shopping top searches. It can seem overwhelming to even look at a list of search results – that’s all without even thinking about how your website should be fitting into them. The latest search “add on” that people are talking about is the featured snippet, which you may hear referred to as position zero. These are those result boxes that seem to be giving you the best answer to your search question, but what are they and how can your business website be featured here? To answer that question, let’s take a closer look at position zero and the types of content that are most often featured.
What is Position Zero?
If you have an online presence for your business, you’ve heard the phrase search engine optimization (SEO). You may also hear people talking about things like getting positioned in the “map pack,” the top listings displayed in search results below the Google Map. In recent years, Google has added another goal for SEO strivers – reaching position zero or becoming a featured snippet. This search result comes after paid advertisements but before the organic search listings are displayed. Do you remember in the early days of search when you could choose “I feel lucky” and get taken directly to the most relevant website for your search? Think of position zero as the “I feel lucky” of modern search. This search result will appear in a box separated from other results.
In order to be included at position zero, you need content that answers the search inquiry clearly and concisely. Even if the searcher doesn’t click on the link, they should get the information they need in your featured snippet. This raised concerns from many about negatively impacting click-through-rate (CTR), which is a number that combines aspects of user behaviors including the number of clicks and the time spent on each page. Because people would get the information they needed without visiting the site, they may spend less time on the site or not click the link at all. However, research over the last several years has shown the opposite result. When your website appears as a featured snippet – in position zero on search – time on site increases and appearances at top of search for other organic results improves. So – how do you get to be the featured snippet?
How can Your Site Be a Featured Snippet?
Because featured snippet is relatively new, it’s easier to delve a little deeper and understand the process Google has used to provide featured snippets. This means, we can make more informed guesses as to how to get your site featured at position zero on Google search. Here are some of the easiest ways to achieve featured snippet status:
- Answer a question – Google uses featured snippets as response to voice inquiries (i.e. Alexa, what’s a featured snippet on Google?). When content on your page directly answers a question that could be searched, it is more likely to be featured.
- Give instructions – another product of the increase in voice inquiry searches, how-tos and instructional content make up the majority of featured snippet content. If you can explain how to do something on your site (even better if you have a video of how to do something), you are much more likely to reach position zero.
- Demystify jargon – another simple way to get to position zero is providing quick, concise definitions for complex terms. If your business is filled with jargon, make sure to “define as you go” with relevant definitions within your page content, and you can even consider creating a glossary page that defines these terms. You’ll give your users a beneficial reference tool, and you might just find yourself winning the featured snippet game.
- Compare this VS that – another often-featured definition style is the comparison. Are there two products or services you provide that are similar? Write a page or blog post concisely explaining the differences.
- Include tables and charts – nothing’s better in the featured snippet than a chart or table. If someone searches for “price of your product,” you may have pricing throughout your site might get you found in the organic search results, but including a table that breaks down pricing in one place may get you featured at position zero.
- Publish a list (or several) – when someone searches for the “best” of something, the top search results (including the features snippets) will likely be lists. If you keep a blog, regularly publishing content with lists or that include numbering in the title (i.e. “Top 5 Products”) is an easy way to find your site featured.
What Could a Position Zero Rank do For Your Business?
Position zero ranking, like being featured in the “map pack” or as a response to “People also ask,” means more eyes on your site. That’s the most straightforward way to look at it. Just to get to the other search results, someone would have to scroll past the featured snippet that is not only at the top of the search results it’s also much larger than the regular results. Some of the benefits of achieving position zero include:
- More likely to be found by those using voice search
- Improve organic search for the rest of your site
- More likely to be included in the “map pack” and “people also ask” sections
- Featured snippet is still growing, so getting in now means you can be ahead of the curve
Work with the iKonix Studios Team for Your SEO Needs
The iKonix Studios team has one goal for our clients – create websites that tell your story and keep users engaged and onsite to conversion (sale, sign up, or another end goal). None of that is possible if no one can find your site. We partner with experts in “findability” aka SEO to ensure your site is found by the right people. If you’re interested in learning more about web design and search optimization, contact us today.