How to Capture the Coveted Position Zero in Search Results in 2022
Every business aims to rank at the top of Google SERPs, so the number one position has become the holy grail of SEO. However, it takes a lot of effort, time, and resources to run count for specific keywords, especially in a highly competitive niche.
However, in the real world, to gain visibility, attract traffic and leads, the number one position on search engines is not always the be-all and end-all for the marketers. You have the opportunity to rank in position 0, where Google highlights your content with a featured snippet.
Search engines are constantly evolving. The prime objective of Google is to satisfy the search intent of users, and introducing featured snippets is Google’s massive step in that direction. The user can instantly find the information he is looking for and on the first result page, enhancing the overall user experience.
Featured Snippet is a gift for marketers and businesses because featuring in position 0 doesn’t depend on your website’s link metrics or domain authority but more on the content quality on your web page. So, if you still have miles to go to cultivate genuine backlinks and improve user experience on your site, you can instantly leverage featured snippets.
But, it’s easier said than done since the search engines are constantly evolving, with businesses jumping into the fray to reap the low-hanging fruits of featured snippets and position 0. It’s primarily because, apart from desktops and smartphones, we use voice assistants such as Google Home, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Alexa.
But, before we delve into how to rank in position 0 on the SERPs, let’s discuss Position Zero on Google and why is it so crucial for your SEO strategy?
What is Position Zero (P0)?
Position Zero (P0) is the crucial first position on the first page of Google search results visible because of the helpful snippet that Google features with it.
It appears above organic results and instantly attracts users’ attention because of the snippet that Google adds below it, enhancing its visibility even on mobile devices.
It enhances user experience as they can immediately find answers to their queries without having to click on the search results links.
How Can I Get Google Position 0 in 2022?
To rank in position zero, you should make sure that:
- Your content provides a detailed and satisfactory answer to the user’s query
- Write content that promptly answers the FAQs and other common questions about your business. It should include answers to 5 Ws, i.e., Who, What, When, Where, & Why
- Offer instructions and how-to articles, where you can use lists, text, images, and even videos to instruct your audience
- Include definitions of intricate terms
- Offer comparisons
- Include the cost and features of your products and services compared to your competitors
- Add listicles that include “bests,” “top,” “less than $X” lists
Things to Remember
If you’re wondering how to get a featured snippet, read on.
You cannot force Google to incorporate your content in featured snippets or Google position 0. Google itself picks it up based on its relevance and other search query optimization techniques.
All you can do is write insightful content and properly format it so that it has an increased likelihood of being featured as a snippet in SEO position 0.
What are Featured Snippets?
Let’s have a look at what a P0 result looks like. If I search, “What is a featured snippet?,” the Position Zero result looks like this:
So, here we see that the user doesn’t have to click the link in the search results to see the tips to make a cranky baby smile. The Google Position Zero result provides users with a direct answer to their query, with several tips on making a baby smile.
Here is another example, where Google directly answers a user’s query, “how to calculate ROI for marketing,” through a featured snippet.
Google introduced Featured Snippets to provide searchers a better user experience as they can directly pull information from the website copy. The results are chosen based on their relevance to the search query.
But how would Google determine where to pull the information from for this coveted position?
The methodology is simple. Google bots scan billions of web pages to answer search queries, and the most relevant results are displayed as Featured Snippets or Position 0 results.
So, apart from the direct answer of the query in bullet points or a paragraph, you will also find the page title of the specific web page where the complete information is published, making the P0 result so important.
According to Julia McCoy, strategist and author at The Content HackerTM, Google’s featured snippets are the territories all marketers can use, regardless of their size, budget, tenor in the market, and SEO expertise. However, you might have to work hard to attain it.
How to Create Featured Snippets and Win Position Zero in Search Results?
How should you create your content to earn the top spot as Featured Snippets?
There are plenty of featured snippet opportunities out there. Here are some tactics I’ve used to create content that ranks in the snippets.
This post explains exactly how you can create content and optimize it for featured snippets & other Google SERP features to easily earn SEO Position Zero.
1. Create Content to Answer Customer Queries
To land as a featured snippet, your content should be highly informative. According to Neil Patel, your content should provide detailed answers to the customer’s questions. If it doesn’t, it won’t earn the top spot.
Google loves in-depth answers. When Google bots find the matching information and in-depth answers to popular questions from countless pages, the algorithms place it on top as a featured snippet. This way, users can quickly locate the desired information.
Before you develop the content, it is crucial to research the questions your audience is asking to frame your content around those questions.
Most of the search queries that begin with the following terms usually are responded to by Google through a featured snippet.
- What is
- How to
- How do
- How does
So, instead of targeting broad keywords like depression, you can frame a question a searcher can use, such as “how to deal with depression.” Such long-tail keywords will convert your otherwise plain content into SEO-optimized content that the readers would also love. Such types of terms mimic the queries people use on search engines.
You can also find search keywords through Google suggested keywords when you type the main keyword into the search field. For example, let’s have a look at the following screenshot, where Google offers many related popular search terms you can use in your content to satisfy search intent and boost your website traffic.
Similarly, you can also use a site, Answer The Public, to find such questions. Here are the 60 popular questions the site returns for the search term “content marketing.” So, if your niche is content marketing or you want to create content around this topic, you can use the suggested questions by the tool.
2. Create High Quality, Comprehensive and User-Focused Content
Google’s algorithm is complex, and it will not pick your content just because it is snappable, written around a specific topic, and keyword-optimized. To rank high in search results, you need to provide informative, user-focused, entertaining, and comprehensive content. So, your content should always be relevant and of high quality.
How to Create User-Focused Content?
To create such content, you should know who your content is talking to. It is better to reach 500 of the right people than reach out to thousands of uninterested people.
How Should you Find your Target Audience?
The harsh reality is a big chunk of people aren’t interested in your content. People want engaging content that addresses their needs across different industries. They are likely to reject poorly executed content that is irrelevant and insincerely written.
They do not want aggressive sales pitches or verbose. They want content that helps and provides insights and information they can successfully apply to solve their issues.
While creating customer-focused content, you shouldn’t commit the following mistakes:
- Bragging about your brand, size of the company, and plans
- Creating sales-focused content
- Using exaggeration and marketing buzzwords
- Dense information presented in a complex manner using industry jargon
- No clear value proposition or benefits
- Absence of a coherent content policy across different customer touchpoints
To avoid such mistakes, you should keep customers at the center stage before initiating any content conversation. Instead of thinking about products, marketing, and sales, you should think about the customer.
For example, Clara, a millennial career changer and fond of technology and gadgets, needs help solving an issue during her transition period. So, before you start creating content, research the who, what, and when drivers.
To get a clear picture of your audience, build their buyer personas. The following steps will help you in building buyer personas.
- Define their demographics and personality types
- Know their goals
- Find out the problems they are facing
- Find out the information they are looking for
- Discover the triggers that drive their needs and actions
- Know their mindset, beliefs, interests, passion, preferences, and viewpoints
What Are the Tools You Can Use to Create Better Content?
You can use the following tools to create better and user-focused content:
- Awario (a social listening tool)
- ContentIdeator headline generator
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
- Portent’s Content Idea Generator
- Answer the Public
- Google Keyword Planner
What Type of Content Do Customers Need?
You can tap the following methods to gather valuable insights and customer data on the content type they are looking for.
- Analyze social media site behaviors, interactions (shares, likes, etc.), and social conversations
- Conduct research, surveys, and polls
- Assess content performance
- Conduct website analytics
- Monitor chat sessions and customer service logs
- Go through questions, discussions, and threads on forums like Quora, Reddit, and support sites
- Watch out for reviews, comments, and testimonials
- Use keyword research tools
- Perform secondary research
The users’ search data gathered through the above methods helps identify what type of content people need. It also reveals the demand for that content.
How to Write Customer-Focused Content That Converts?
Here are some of the tips you should follow to deliver user-focused content:-
A. Be consistent in your approach, creation, and publishing content
B. Choose the language according to the audience and keep it a bit informal
C. Personalize communications using data and past transactions and interactions
D. Tap into users’ emotions and shared experience using storytelling
E. Be helpful in an exciting manner
F. Be genuine and honest about your brand and align the voice and tone of your content with your brand
While delivering content, remember, it should be authentic and convincing, so it helps build confidence and convert people.
4. Strive Hard to Provide the Best Answer
Your content’s chances of landing the featured top spot depend on your ability to provide the best answers.
To provide the most helpful answers, you should know your customers’ psychology and how they think inside out. Provide detailed information and valuable content that helps them achieve their objectives and use relevant keywords and phrases.
With shallow content, you cannot earn the featured snippet spot.
Here are three tips for writing the best answers:-
- Dive deep into the topic and provide in-depth answers — Include most of the questions related to the topic.
- Split your answers into logical steps and bullet points.
- Use visual content such as screenshots, tables, infographics, and videos to illustrate and explain.
- Personalize your content to help even the absolute beginners.
Once one of your articles starts ranking in the Featured Snippets, visitors will identify your website as an authentic source for content and will likely revisit, increasing the overall brand authority and traffic on your website.
However, you need these three things to see success with snippets: Time, investment in resources, and patience.
If you work hard and strategically employ your resources, you’ll likely land your article in the coveted Position Zero within a few weeks. You may require a few more months to rank on Google. Once you attain a top spot on Google, your post will likely remain there for years without spending a single penny on advertisements. It will also keep your conversion machine moving.
With greater emphasis on user intent and user experience, Google is working hard to provide direct answers on the SERPs themselves. So, Featured Snippets will remain in fashion and acquire even more importance in the future. If your content is relevant, in-depth, well-researched, and helpful, it can easily capture the coveted Position Zero in search results.
It will boost your online engagement, improve your brand authority and make it easier for searchers to find your content and interact with your site. So, try the above tips and win the top spot as Position Zero on Google and reap its many rewards.