SEO 2018: Winning Position ZERO

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For many website owners, ranking in position 1 is the target for SEO.

However achieving that enviable first position in the Google SERPs (search engine results pages) may require considerable budget and time.

Although this can be a ideal investment, it’s important to not overlook the opportunity to rank in position 0 with a featured snippet.

The coveted position zero

Google’s featured snippet is also known as position zero.

Features snippets appear in Google’s answer box. However, the answer box does not always pull its data from featured snippets.

Simple questions like - what is the population of the UK? Can be answered by Google’s own data files. So, it’s only Google who gets the reference.

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However, more specific questions such as ‘GDPR 2018 summary’ require Google to look elsewhere - Hello content marketing opportunity.

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What is the value of position zero?

These “featured rankings” not only drive traffic to a website, but also increase the click-through rate (CTR) on a featured page. This can lead to more revenue from organic traffic.

 

Benefits with the rise of voice search

Voice search now accounts for 20 per cent of Google search queries. This will only grow according to the predictions of industry leaders.

Google Home and Google Assistant currently read snippets from sites that are ranked in “position zero” and have been granted a featured snippet.

So this is why featured snippets have become more of a in vogue marketing topic!

Content marketers are not winning this coveted position by chance, but through strategic tactics!

 

What triggers featured snippets?

Most featured snippets appear for non-question queries and many informational long-tail queries. The more words a searcher types, the more likely they are to see a featured snippet.

Although many queries, aren’t necessarily a question, they often imply a question. For example, people searching for ‘Beyonce’s income’ are really interested in the question ‘What is Beyonce’s income?’.

It’s important to research your customer’s problems, so you can anticipate what there search queries may be and also use trusty keyword research for further insights.

 

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How can we identify queries that trigger featured snippets?

Outside of keyword research, you can find queries that trigger featured results through using tools such as Serpstat which allows you to focus on keywords typed into a search box that result in featured results.

 

Should I optimise content for queries that already show featured snippets?

Focusing on existing featured snippets is limiting because Google will add more or remove existing featured snippets depending on user behaviour. Google changes its algorithms and feature elements daily and has the potential to add more featured snippets to queries that don’t currently receive them.

Going beyond more obvious opportunities can give you a competitive advantage. It’s likely that competitors are already aware of existing popular search queries from using keyword research tools.

Keep track of useful data outside of typical research tools to broaden your keyword lists.

  • What questions do customers ask in virtual chat boxes or to your customer services and sales team?
  • Monitor important words on social media for further ideas.

It’s important to create good quality content, providing value and use appropriate  formatting.

 

Strategic Formatting - which format to use?

There are 3 different formats which are commonly used.

  • Paragraph Formatting

You can write your content in a question-answer style, so that the text directly states and then immediately answers the question. Keep your answer clear and short, as the length of a paragraph snippet is about 45 words.

  • List Formatting

Bullet-point or numbered lists. Moz analysis shows that phrases containing prepositions (for, what, like, to, with, without) earned the list more commonly than others. Your list should contain over 4 items, each with no fewer than 10 words.

  • Table Formatting

Tables aren’t as widely used as the other formats, so they can provide an opportunity to stand out from the competition!

Comparisons do well in a table snippet and your table should contain over 3 rows and 2-3 columns.

Watch out for more marketing tips coming soon.

 

Alexandra DuntonComment