Every marketing campaign strives to achieve organic visibility on search engine results pages (SERP). Google realizes this and continues to change the algorithm that determines placement accordingly. The previous holy grail of position one has been superseded by position zero.
What is position zero?
Position zero, sometimes called a “featured snippet”, is the information that a search engine displays above the first search result on a SERP. This doesn’t include paid advertising.
This featured snippet can be in the form of a list, a few bulleted sentences, a paragraph, an image, or video. The intent of position zero is to address the user’s query quickly and accurately so that users can enjoy no click search results.
Why every marketer should want position zero
Position zero results are certainly helpful for the searcher.
Position zero results are equally as helpful for marketers since they can often provide consumers with information to move along the discovery and purchase process much faster than deciding among various search results.
Position zero, when achieved, not only increases the chances for organic visibility, but provide credibility with the search engine, which can further drive visibility within other search results.
But what about that phrase no click search results?
When a consumer doesn’t click through, it is likely because they learned exactly what they set out to learn. Through such a touchpoint, recognition and trust build between your brand and the consumer.
How to get to position zero
The good news is that your content doesn’t necessarily have to be ranked position one. Google awards the position zero spot based on content that expedites the search experience with useful and relevant information and makes the information finding experience easier for users.
The bad news is that position zero criteria seems to be especially volatile. What ranks one day may not rank the next day. What ranks on one device, might not rank on another.
To maximize your brand’s chances for achieving position zero, consider these tips to help you remain focused on the end user like every good marketing strategy should.
1. Focus on the consumer’s need
Focus web content and blog copy on what your consumers want to know.
What are their pain points?
What questions are they asking as they seek out solutions and products?
Answer questions like these with content that remains evergreen.
Organize content with strong subheadings.
Ensure content is simple and direct in explaining the answer in a paragraph of fewer than 50 words.
Make content more digestible using bullets, lists, images, infographics, and videos when possible.
Look for long-tail variations of high-volume keywords that you know consumers use but don’t currently have a position zero result. Tailor content accordingly.
2. Seek to educate not sell
Search engines have enough artificial intelligence to recognize that when a user searches for an answer to a question they genuinely want an answer to the question, not a sales pitch.
Google is more likely to rank content that educates in position zero.
When considering keywords, also consider what the consumer really wants from the query.
If they are searching for the “best” product or service, create unbiased content.
If they are searching for “how-to” information, customize and brand your content accordingly. Maybe even consider including a video to enable customers to self-service a solution.
3. Redesign written content with visual images
Videos and images that are optimized for keywords increase the potential for position zero ranking. Easy to scan lists or infographics are popular.
Consider repurposing written content that allows consumers to quickly scan and skim information.
Do you have a manual in PDF form that has great information but has never seen the light of day?
Convert the PDF into web-based articles with bulleted information that addresses commonly sought consumer queries. Go one step further and enrich the article with infographics, images, and short video clips.
When including video, be sure to briefly summarize the content of the video so readers know what information is within the video. This helps search engines decipher the video’s topic. When including images, be sure to add alt text so the search engine, again, can decipher the topic.
Search engine optimization is a tough nut to crack. No one strategy will be a magic bullet. However, organizations that stay the course and remain committed to optimizing content in order to deliver what consumers are seeking will find more success than those who give up.