What is position zero and why is it important to SEO?

  • Article by

    Amie Whale

What is position zero and why is it important to SEO? - eighty3creative

If you want to know how to improve your SEO, then you need to know about Google’s ‘position zero’.

Earning the top-ranked search result has been a priority for millions of UK businesses for the past couple of years now.

In fact, according to HubSpot, 61% of marketers say improving search engine optimisation (SEO) and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.

Which is hardly surprising when 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and 81% of people perform some sort of online research before making a large purchase.

However, in true typical Google style, they’ve recently moved the goalposts with SEO. Position zero is the newest update they’ve introduced to help users find the content they need more easily.

So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve and keep capitalising on the power of SEO, you need to know everything there is about position zero.

What is position zero?

Position zero is the information Google provides at the top of the search result. It’s used to directly answer a search query so users don’t have to spend hours trawling through irrelevant content to find the answer.

Position zero is also referred to as the ‘featured snippet’ and is designed to streamline the user experience by placing the relevant piece of content above the top-ranking search result.

You’ll notice that position zero (or a featured snippet) looks different from other results. According to Google, “What’s different with a featured snippet is that it is enhanced to draw user attention on the results page.”

Position zero can appear in various forms, such as a paragraph of content explaining the search query, a bullet list of steps (like a recipe) or a table of data.

What is position zero and why is it important to SEO? - eighty3creative

Why is position zero important?

Mastering SEO is hard enough, so why should you bother addressing position zero? Well, it’s a simple case of whether you want to boost your chances of being seen or not.

Despite initial scepticism, page click-through rates (CTR) has jumped from 2% to 8% since position zero was introduced.

And for those lucky enough to acquire position zero for a popular search query have seen a 516% increase in sessions.

There’s no arguing with the stats. When you’re trying to boost your SEO to improve organic traffic and sales, position zero should be your number one priority.

It’s worth noting that position zero results are used in voice search. So, when someone is pestering Alexa or Siri, your content could be used as a source of information. Pretty cool, eh?

How do I achieve position zero?

Now to the nitty-gritty – how to get a featured snippet/position zero.

Identify a gap

Not all search results have a position zero. So you must find keyword phrases that have a featured snippet or will be deemed useful to certain ones.

It’s also worth starting with keywords you already rank highly for too, as most featured snippets come from high ranking businesses.

Focus on detailed, quality content

Like all SEO best practices, good content always wins. As a rule of thumb, you need to write content with at least 2,000 words and ensure the subject is evergreen. So, writing about who’s in this year’s series of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here may gain instant traction, but it probably won’t get the same search volume a few months later.

Your content needs to cover all angles of the topic too. Use commonly searched questions as headers to create an in-depth analysis of the subject matter.

Remember, Google uses latent semantic indexing (LSI), meaning it assesses how words relate. Don’t fall into the trap of littering your copy with keywords for the sake of it. Sentences need to flow and show an understanding of the subject.

Finally, your content needs to look and sound like a featured snippet. While conversational content is great, cut the fluff and address the question immediately after the header. In terms of layout, think of how position zero works – paragraph, list, table.

Get the SEO basics right

You can write the ideal position zero content, but if the rest of your page isn’t optimised, you haven’t got a chance of ranking as number one.

Include SEO-friendly page titles, meta descriptions, alt tags, H1-H5 tags and internal links.

SEO backlinks

The final element to remember when writing position zero content is to push off-site SEO. Google loves content that’s shared and referred to across the internet.

Encourage your professional contacts and social media following to link to your content. If you write interesting and valuable copy, you’ll give them a reason to want to share, talk and link to it.

Want to boost your SEO ranking and achieve position zero? Then get in touch with us today and we can show you how.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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