Position Zero, also known as a Featured Snippet, is a coveted organic achievement that many marketers attempt to target.

If you are looking for how to gain Position Zero but are struggling to understand the nuances of Google’s ranking factors, you need to read this article.

Once upon a time, Position Zero was a section above the organic results that Google felt was the best answer for the searcher’s query. Now, there are multiple ways to gain a Position Zero, from videos and images to knowledge cards and commonly asked questions.

Answer a question users are searching for

First of all, Position Zero should always have one goal – answer the question.

The best answer to the question is the most likely to gain the position. This goes for more than just text like blog posts or articles. The best answer could be a video, an image, a recipe, or a visual element such as a graph or infographic.

It’s not about length or size here – it’s about answering the question.

Create your content

There are a number of ways you can target a Position Zero snippet;

  • Articles
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Graphics
  • Knowledge Cards
  • Lists

Some types of content will suit some answers better. For example, if the user searches for ‘how to make a red velvet cake’, then a recipe or video is likely to do better than a long-form article or a step by step picture gallery.

Optimise for keywords

As well as creating the content itself, you need to think about optimising it in other ways. This includes ensuring the keyword/s you are targeting are also featured within the metadata, alt image tags, headings, citation links.

Quality linking

Another aspect of gaining Position Zero which many people forget about is including citation links. These are links to other resources that back up your content.

Google will scan these links as well as your content and judge how relevant they are to the target keywords. Poor quality links that aren’t really relevant to the subject matter will have little impact, but if you can get links that are both relevant and have good domain authority, that will improve your chances of gaining Position Zero.

For example, in our cake example, a link to an article about the best cooking tools to use from Which? would have a much better place in your article than a link to a picture of a cake on a small, low-authority blog.

Create for humans, not Google

Although Google ultimately decides which pieces of content rank for Position Zero, you should always be writing with people in mind. They will be the ones searching for answers and they are the ones you need to impress.

When you’re looking at how to gain Position Zero, another aspect Google will focus on is Bounce Rate. If an article that is attempting to answer the question gets a high bounce rate – as in people will click and then leave very quickly – then Google will assume the content did not answer the visitor’s question.

If the bounce rate is low, and people are spending more time on the link once they’ve clicked, then Google can assume that the content is relevant and matches the searcher’s question.

While you should ensure your content is optimised, it should also be easy to read, encouraging the visitor to spend more time on the page. It should answer their question fully.

Don’t start at the bottom

It is tough to know how to gain Position Zero for any keyword or phrase that you don’t currently rank for, so don’t set your sights too high.

Target keywords that you already rank fairly well for, and then use the right tools to find out if it is worth pursuing Position Zero for.

Answer the Public is one of these great tools as it shows you the type of questions that people are asking Search Engines. For example, if you are targeting ‘eco friendly packaging’ on your website and already rank well for this keyword, check it out via Answer the Public and see what results you get.

We targeted this keyword for one of our clients as they already had good traction organically, and, following the steps above, achieved a Position Zero status for them, which we still hold now.

How to gain Position Zero and stay there

If you follow all of the steps above, your chances of nailing that coveted Position Zero spot increases a great deal. But you should also remember that keeping your content updated regularly is another important step.

Don’t let your content sit and stagnate. Once you gain Position Zero, check back regularly to make sure your answer is still the best one available to searchers.

If you would like more detailed advice about content updates and wider SEO techniques, like Position Zero, that could grow your business online, get in touch with us today.