How to Rank “0” Zero (a.k.a Answer Box) for your Website?
by Farhan Majid
Today I’m talking about rank number zero in Google. Yes you read it right! By ranking 0 I actually mean the featured snippet in Google that ranks above the number one listing.
So Why Would You Want to Rank Number 0?
One, it brings a ton of credibility to your website. It shows you’re an authority and also that these featured snippets have really high click-through rates.
Second thing which is really cool about the featured snippets is that if you’re using the personal assistant on the your android phone, the information that Google pulls and reads to the actual person is through these snippets.
Google featured snippets come in different kinds and formats but what’s interesting is that these are triggered through an algorithm. Google looks at the information on your website related to the search query and displays it as a featured snippet. Ranking zero can increase your click-through rates up to over a hundred percent, something your business could definitely benefit from.
How to Rank ‘0’ Zero a.k.a Featured Snippets?
There’s a little misconception right now that schema.org or structured data (which is a markup that you place in the code of your website to tell Google and other search engines what’s your site is about) creates these featured snippets. But this is not true and according to a recent study it’s seen that there really isn’t any correlation there.
Now keep in mind, schema.org will help a lot for personal assistance and overall indexing of your website in the future so you should be doing it but it is not necessarily going to relate to you having a featured snippet. There are other things you can do and I’m going to jump right into it now.
Here are some strategies for you to rank 0 and to create a featured snippet.
Answer the question at the top of the page.
The first thing that you’re going to want to consider is having a direct answer to a question at the top of the page with a little bit of text making it easier for Google to understand. It’s noticed that the algorithm comes in, looks for that Q&A format on your webpage, pulls the information out into a featured snippet and allows it to rank number 0. So generally it’s the content at the top which gives it a really good chance to be pulled in and feature on Google search. However, there are many cases where the snippet shows up with the content placed lower on the web page. Such content is normally in FAQ type format and it relates specifically to a query. What this means is you need to be really deliberate in the way you structure content and if it looks like to the algorithm that it’s answering a question, the chances of it getting pulled increase drastically.
Now when you’re structuring the top portion of the page you want to have that portion to be kind of a summary of everything else that’s on the page. Google really likes that pyramid type content formatting and it’s going to be really helpful for you to break the number zero and create the featured snippet.
Have a Long Form Content
Another thing that really helps breaks number zero spot is to have long form content. Studies have shown that pages with over a couple thousand words are more likely to have a featured snippet and rank 0 in Google. In general, this is a good thing to do as it really helps with your ranking as well. If it looks like an authoritative page that answers a lot of questions and is doing it in a succinct way e.g like bullets or Q&A, you’re going to have a better chance to have that information pulled by Google.
Also, please note for this keyword research is super important. You want to make sure you know the exact type of queries you’re targeting. You can use Ahrefs, Moz, Google keyword planner or any of your favorite tools for keyword research. My personal favorite is keywordtool.io. Make sure you target your top keywords in the top summary which relate to all potential questions that people could ask about the page.
Use Ordered Lists in the Content
It’s seen that ordered lists have over a forty percent chance of being pulled out as featured snippet so make sure you’re using those on your landing pages. Think like Google! Analyse the possibilities every time you see a snippet in search results. Using ordered lists is a great way to structure your web page and provide a succinct answer to queries.
There are various types of featured snippets and the one that we see very often is the cost answer e.g how much does an XYZ product costs or what is the price of XYZ product as shown.
There’s a really good chance that Google is going to show your webpage if you have properly structured pricing information. You could easily apply this to your existing pricing page and increase the chances of google showing that information as a snippet. It is important you directly address cost on your landing page either in an ordered list or any other easily digestible format.
One interesting thing about featured snippets and ranking 0 is that they really need to be highly credible pages. It’s seen that pages that are generally already ranking on the first page are getting the featured snippets.
With Google’s new artificial intelligence and Rank Brain algorithm, great amount of time is being spent focusing on how to improve the overall search engine experience. With all these great strides being made it’s really important to have a high engagement rate on your landing pages. Keep in mind that answering questions have a summary at the top of the page have high engagement rate. Make sure you’re doing all the other optimizations for SEO with long form content and also that you’re structuring things in a succinct way that the algorithm can understand and wants to display through their personal assistants and also at the top.
In a nutshell focus on the following things to create the featured snippets and ranking 0 in Google.
- Make your page authoritative and high quality.
- Use long form content.
- Structure your content in a succinct manner.
- Have high engagement on your page.
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