As an SEO professional or content specialist, you are always in the race to improve your SERP rankings and Click-Through Rates (CTRs). In fact, Google’s frequent algorithm changes add to the dynamic, competitive environment, and keep you on your toes at all times. However, what happens once you achieve page #1 rank success? Does retaining the position yield the desired results, or do you continue to wage a daily battle for improving impressions and CTRs by obtaining featured snippets, and increasing traffic to your website?
The truth is, although rank position is important, the very definition of rank is changing. Position #1 is making way for #0, and there are a number of reasons for that:
- Ever-increasing use of mobile devices – Smaller display screen size calling for simple and short answers to the user’s search.
- Greater adoption of digital assistants and voice-activated commands – Need for concise content that voice assistants can read aloud.
- Introduction of several new page #1 elements, such as paid advertisements, top stories, image and video results, knowledge cards and featured snippets – Emergence of zero-click SERP.
Among the new elements, featured snippets are fueling a never-before kind of economic growth by enabling businesses and professionals to successfully reach prospective clients and customers.
Read on to learn more about position zero, and why it must be integral to your SEO strategy.
Featured Snippets are the Future of SEO: Work Your Way Up from Position #1 to Position #0
What is a Featured Snippet?
Also known as an “Answer Box”, a featured snippet is a short, content-rich result panel, generated in response to a searcher’s query. Google’s algorithm will:
- Extract a brief answer from the top-ranked pages available for that search result
- Display the result panel at the top of page #1, also known as ‘position zero’
- Include the page’s title and URL – directing huge traffic to the website that earns the snippet
What are the Different Types of Featured Snippets?
A featured snippet usually appears at position zero of your search result in three different forms:
- Featured Snippet Paragraph: particularly when you search for a definition
- Featured Snippet List: typical result while looking for a process that has a sequential explanation
- Featured Snippet Table: for multi-dimensional responses that are represented in a tabular form
How do you earn a Featured Snippet?
You cannot buy or create featured snippets; they must be earned. The basic conditions of landing position zero are:
- Ensure your content is search engine optimized.
- Maintain your page #1 rank status. (99.58% of featured snippets are extracted from content that ranks in the top 10 positions in the SERPs.)
Proven ways to maximize your chances of earning featured snippets:
- Conduct extensive keyword research for identifying high-potential opportunities
- Enhance content by adding structured data through schema markup
- Rework existing content in definition, explanation, tabular or list form and incorporate images with relevant alt tags, wherever possible.
Why Do You Need Featured Snippets?
- Higher Visibility and Improved CTR: Google displays featured snippets for 29% of the total search queries. Since featured snippets are styled differently and appear at position zero, they not only occupy precious digital real estate, but also catch the eye of the user. Improve your CTR, search appearance, credibility and brand awareness by earning this top spot on the search page.
- Minimal Effort, Maximum Output: Increase organic traffic to your website, without investing excessive time, effort or resources in creating new content or backlinks. Only 9% of featured snippets come from the content at the #1 spot. If you are currently ranked between spot #2 to #5, you still have a good chance of earning position zero, while you continue to trudge your way up to the top spot for a specific keyword search. This is particularly relevant for small businesses competing for rank position with larger, cash-rich corporations.
- Capitalize on Voice Search: If SEO experts have got their predictions right, nearly 50% of all searches will be voice-based by 2020. Since voice assistants rely on featured snippets for precise, easy-to-read aloud answers, winning position zero will give you a competitive edge in the voice search race.
Dominate Page #1 Real Estate: Incorporate Featured Snippets in Your SEO Strategy
In the fierce competition to capture page #1 real estate and obtain position zero, only the fittest will survive. Whether you wish to earn new featured snippets, or steal a spot for a keyword that your competitor owns, the world’s leading digital marketers and consultants are here to help.