Why is SERP Position Zero Important for Marketers and How to Reach It

position zero: it's better than position 1

When you type a search word or words on Google and see the search results pages, which one do you open first? Do you pick the first one, second one, or the third one? Quite obviously, you will choose the first option. However, do you ever notice the option that sits at the top part of the page directly above the suggested topics? That is the most coveted position zero.

What is position zero?

Featured snippets appear at the topmost part of the page

Position zero refers to the featured snippet block that is found at the top of Google’s search results page, which makes it the top organic result. It was first introduced by the search engine giant in 2014 as the ‘Quick Answers’ or ‘answer box’ in an effort to provide direct and quick answers to users right on the search pages.

However, contrary to popular belief, position zero is not pulled from the no. 1-ranked organic result of the first page. It is, in fact, taken from one of the top 10 results, depending on which one answers the query in the best way. Aside from position zero containing an answer to a question, it also has the URL and the title of the site that contains the needed information. This helps the user go directly to the said page to get more answers.

What are the types of featured snippets?

Featured snippets, referring to the different types of content that are displayed in a special section directly above Google’s search results, come in different types or formats.

1. Paragraph snippets

Among all the types, paragraph snippets are the most common, occurring 81.95% of the time. Quite obviously, the snippet appears in the form of a paragraph after Google analyzes the question that a user types in and chooses the answer from the content found in the top 10 results.

2. Table snippets

Table snippets are not very common but still provide users with valuable answers. Google simply considers the user’s question and searches for data that it can use to provide the answer. Then, it creates a table, pie chart, or graph to present the data collected.

3. List snippets

This is also another more common format or type of position zero that accounts for 37% of all featured snippets. Lists come in two types—bulleted and numbered lists. These are mostly steps and process-driven information.

4. Video snippets

Google also presents videos on the page that answers a query in the auditory or visual format.

5. Tool or calculator

Have you ever tried asking Google to convert temperature in Celsius to Fahrenheit or measurements in kilometers to miles? If you make such concrete queries, Google presents a tool to help you find the answer such as conversions, time zones, calculators, and game scores.

Why is position zero important to marketers?

Position zero is important to marketers. In fact, they compete for this spot because it benefits their business. Though some websites complain that featured snippets reduce their click-through-rate (CTR), specifically causing an 18.5% decrease in clicks on the organic results page, the opposite has been proven by many top-ranking websites such as HubSpot. In one of their pages, they saw a whopping 114% CTR increase when it was moved from no. 1 to position zero. And even if there are cases where CTR does decrease slightly, websites are able to increase their high-quality traffic.

How to land at position zero

With all the many websites in the world and the many different queries users make every minute of every day, arriving at position zero is not as easy as 1-2-3. It goes beyond just writing an article and waiting for Google to crawl on it. The following are helpful tips for achieving position zero.

1. Go for the right content

Content is the basis for featured snippets

Not all articles on the web get a chance to become featured snippets. But you can increase your chances by choosing the right content. Create content that gives information on times, finances, and other numerical values. You can also focus on processes, steps, requirements, and health topics. Other types of content include reviews and ‘best of’ stories.

2. Use keywords wisely

Though semantic keyword research is the newest trend in keyword strategy, it is still important to enhance your knowledge in using long-tail and short-tail keywords. Long-tail ones, which are usually composed of up to 6 words, are seen to be more successful. You can write these by featuring a question word like ‘does’ or any other action word.

3. Think about the inverted pyramid

Utilizing this shape, you can put the answer to the query at the top of your page. Then, supplement this with the rest of your content on that page. Provide all the information you have that readers need in order to achieve position zero.

4. Write in the Q&A format

For every question, there is an answer

Remember that position zero aims to answer questions from users. So, provide the question the user is asking, then give the answer to that question. The more detailed your information, the higher the likelihood for Google to acknowledge your page as an authority in the subject matter.

5. Constantly update your content

If you’ve already made it to position zero, the challenge now is how to stay there. You can do this by constantly updating your content so that it remains relevant for the given period of time. Another tip is to check your competitor’s content and keep yours clearer and more brief.

The featured snippet or position zero is coveted. But you can raise your advantage with the tips above.

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