10th March 2020
by Charlotte Wilson
Communications, Search Engines, thoughts
If you’re reading this blog then you’re probably already somewhat aware of search engine optimisation (SEO) and how it works to boost your rankings in search results. But what is position zero? Well silly, it’s only the most coveted position on Google of course, meaning the first search result that appears before organic SEO listings. And not only that, P0 also aims to directly answer searchers questions without the need to click on the search result link, aka a ‘featured snippet.’
So, just to be clear, or not very clear at all, Position Zero masquerades under several different names, the key ones being:
So, if we interchange those terms throughout this piece, please rest assured that they all mean the same thing – I’m just trying to sound super smart.
First thing’s first, what does a featured snippet actually look like to users? Well, the P0 is the result immediately after the paid-for-ads and looks like this:
Usually this presents users with a direct answer to their query, a step by step list or breakdown and a link to learn more. Or in my case for the above, a weekly shopping list.
Now, the introduction of Position Zero in Google rankings is a relatively new development over the past few years and has come as a direct result of the search engine’s desire to attempt to provide users with quick, valuable answers to their search queries. But the key question for marketers is this – how does Google determine where to pull the information for P0 results from, and how can brands earn a spot?
As we already know, Google’s algorithms work damn hard. Now harbouring trillions of pages in its index, the search engine uses these pages to generate answers in real-time, evaluating for relevance from website copy. Meaning that if you don’t already have an SEO strategy in place, or any optimised copy on your website or woven into your communications, then you really should have. Why? Because when you land at the top of a results page for keywords related to your business and service offering, you earn more clicks, leads and ultimately, more revenue for your business.
But what makes P0 so much more powerful in the SEO race? Well, as it contains more information than traditional search results, a featured snippet takes up more space on the results page, pushing those pesky competitors further down the page (mwhahaha). It is also a truth universally acknowledge that first place rankings earn more clicks and a P0 spot allows you to leapfrog first position and thus gain even more clicks and traffic to your website – I mean if you’re not already sat on a leather bound chair, smiling knowingly and stroking a Persian cat after obtaining this knowledge, then you really should be. Earning a first place spot also allows your business to gain valuable exposure in the SERPs and helps users to learn more about your business and services, just by being consistently visible on the SEO battlefield.
As P0 results continue to gain more dominance in the current digital landscape this means that it is more important than ever to optimise your content for a featured snippet, because if you don’t, it’s only a matter of time before your competitors do it instead.
So, here’s a few top tips in how to rank in Position Zero:
– Relevant Formats
Featured snippers usually take on the following formats to easily disseminate essential information:
o Bulleted / numbered lists
o Charts / graphs
o Videos / images
– Who, what, when, where, why
P0 results exist purely to answer the 5W questions, so if your content accurately answers those questions then you’ll be more likely to appear in the top-spot.
How-to searchers are also key for triggering Position Zero results. Many of these results come with step-by-step instructions to take users through the process. This is also where graphics or visual guides work well in demonstrating to searchers exactly how to do something that they’ve searched for information about.
People looking for definitions want a quick answer, and that’s exactly what a featured snippet provides – a snapshot of the search terms meaning.
– Price / cost info
Searches related to price after yield P0 results as they give searchers a helpful breakdown of how much they should expect to pay for a service.
– Top/best of lists
A list of the best products or brands for a particular service, product or activity tend to do really well for successful P0 results.
The above is just a top-level insight into what Position Zero, as told via the narrative of wine, and how useful, relevant content it can help your business gain exposure, traffic and relevance online.
To learn more about how your business can better flourish online why not get in touch today to discuss your next project, we’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!