Ranking number one on Google is no longer enough, you need to aim for the zero position.
These days, when you search for questions on Google, you’re presented with the answers directly in the search results.
These are referred to as “Featured Snippets“. They are positioned below ad listings and on top of organic results. For this reason, they receive more visibility than even the content in the first position of organic results.
The screenshot below shows an example featured snippet that was shown for our query “how to do content marketing“.
Just like keywords, there are things you can do to rank in featured snippets. We’ve put together a few of these tips to help you do just that.
Here’s How you can Rank for Featured Snippets:
1. Perform Keyword Research
The first step is to find keywords that you can easily rank for. Checking what featured snippets other content producers are ranking for is always a good starting point.
Serpstat is an awesome tool for this purpose. With this tool, not only will it give you the usual keyword research information like difficulty and traffic volume, it’ll also show you the keyword’s ranking on featured snippets.
You can also check the keywords your competitors are ranking for on featured snippets with this tool.
Another way to identify keyword opportunities is to look at the “people also ask for” section just below featured snippets on Google.
2. Create Content That Answers Popular Questions
We’re sure by now you’ve noticed most of the content that show up as featured snippets mainly answer often-asked questions.
Posts with titles that begin with what, where, why, when, who, have, and how tend to make up the majority of featured snippets results.
When creating content that answers questions, it’s important to present your content in a way that it answers as many similar questions as possible.
This way you’re able to rank for other queries that are broadly related to your content.
3. Keep Your Content Well Organized
Sometimes, Google will reformat your content before it shows it in the search results. This means the featured snippet will appear to be different than your main article. More often than not, the snippet will be a summary of the main points of your article.
For this reason, it’s important to organize your content in a way that makes it easier for Google robots to present it as a featured snippet.
This means breaking your content into parts, adding relevant headings and being factual.
4. Keep Your Paragraphs Concise
If there’s a portion of your content that explicitly answers a particular question, there’s a possibility that Google can display only that paragraph as a featured snippet.
According to SEMrush, the average length of featured snippets is 40-50 words. It’s important to keep your paragraphs to this length so they appear well in search results if they get featured.
5. Add Eye-catching Images and Videos
We can’t overemphasize the importance of high-quality images and videos in your content. Images and videos make overall content very easy to digest compared to only text.
Also, Google will sometimes add an image along with your text in featured snippets just as we can see in the screenshot in our previous point.
Although it’s not possible to explicitly point Google to which image to use, having beautiful images and videos all throughout your content will guarantee a good pick no matter which one it is.