When people refer to securing the top spot in Google searches, they are usually referring to the coveted first position. however, 5 years ago Google started displaying featured snippets in position zero. Since that day, position zero has been the holy grail of SEO companies.
Featured snippets are concise answers to searchers questions displayed at the very top of the search results, these answers are pulled from third party websites and can include paragraphs, numbered lists, bulleted lists, tables, YouTube videos, images and charts.
As well as providing more traffic and greater visibility for a website, position zero means that Google perceives your website as an authoritative source of information. To stand the best chance of being selected in a featured snippet, you should:
1 Answer questions
Many featured snippets are shown in response to a searcher’s question; who, what, when, where and why. To find out what people are searching for, use Google’s keyword planner, and look at Googles “People also ask” section at the bottom of search results.
2 Create answers to How To questions
An example of this could be how to tie a real bowtie. Or how to make the perfect soft bolied egg. These are really powerful snippets as they often encourage users to visit the website where the answer is coming from. They also contain a lot of different formatting options, including text, lists, images and video.
Defining complex terms such as bounce rate or conversion rate can result in a definition based featured snippet. It is important to include as much information about the term on your page as possible and ensure the correct HTML formatting is used on the headings and definitions.
Tables, lists and text comparisons are great for featured snippets. Think about your industry and maybe do a comparison of the different software tools people might use. Again, the more comprehensive and informational, the better.
A great way to appear here is to complete a cost by feature price breakdown. You could also go one further and compare them to your competitor.
6 Top lists
A lot of searches look for best of lists and top lists, it could be best tools for undertaking keyword research or top music of the 1990’s.
Answering your customers frequently asked questions (not just an FAQ page) is a great way to get a featured snippet. The answers should be full and not just in a list, it is a good idea to keep the answers up to date (let Google know this with a ‘last updated’ tag).
In order to help Google choose your content to display in a featured snippet, it is important to ensure it is properly formatted. Provide simple direct answers to questions, supported with further information using a variety of content types (video, images, text). Make sure your webpage is properly optimised for both desktop and mobile searches and keep your content up to date and correctly formatted.