What’s beyond SERP Rank 1?

Today, there is a constant buzz about SERP Position Zero. I mean, haven’t we all tried to create a content strategy, a SEO strategy which ranks us on the Google Search Engine? Aiming for that Rank 1?

Rank 1 in the SERP may not seem to be a distant dream for some, as people are trying to master the art of keyword research, creating customer personas, and defining a content strategy based on those keywords.

But we know that search engines are constantly refining the way in which they rank webpages in their results.

See. Google’s ultimate goal is to provide helpful content to its users in the SERP’s. After all, that is what it is meant for, right?

Wait. What do we mean by SERP’s?

SERP’s or Search Engine Result Pages are the results you get in response to the queries you ask.

Coming back, so to complete that ultimate goal, Google is constantly refining itself to give the most relevant information to users and giving them both – convenience and time.

So now what is Position Zero – or Featured Snippet as it is also called?

I, being totally unproductive, thought of giving Google a task to suggest me ways to be more productive.

And look what I found.

No. Don’t see the content.

Instead, have a look at the result which I got before the number 1 ranked search result. That is what we call SERP Position Zero.

To dig deep into it, the Featured Snippet usually appears when we ask Google to perform a query-related search. Go ahead and type “How to” on Google and you’ll get a list of options. Click on any one of them and get to know what a Featured Snippet is.

Google first introduced the Featured Snippet in 2014 to directly deliver answers to user questions, without the need for the user to actually click on the website and search the answer. It is called Position Zero as it appears at the top of the SERP’s – just below the ads, followed by a series of questions which we do not have any control over. Sadly.

With this, the search engine tried to land itself in a win-win situation for every query asked: the users get the convenience of having their answers in the search results page itself, and Google getting all the credit for providing it.

It basically consists of a summary of the answer extracted from a webpage (mostly, the webpage is one among the ranked pages), the page link, page title, and the URL.

Reading this, you may think this actually decreases traffic and the CTR (Click Through Rate)? Well. Not necessarily.

Before going ahead, a quick look into what is a CTR.

In the context of search engines, CTR is the rate which shows how much have people actually clicked on our link out of the total times our link has been ranked on the search engine.

Coming back, when I talk about traffic and CTR’s, having your link in the Featured Snippet actually increases site traffic, as shown by HubSpot – who even after being ranked number 1, showed an increase by over 114% in the CTR to their website. This was proven by a sample of under 5000 queries.

Another interesting finding by HubSpot showed:

CTR of 17.39% when they were not in position zero.

CTR of 37.30% when they were in position zero.

So, it’s true that position zero snatches the clicks which other websites would originally be getting had the snippet not existed.

Wondering how you can get your site/link listed on the Featured Snippet?

Don’t worry. We have it covered. Start with identifying the buyer persona (a semi-fictional representation). See the picture below.

Identify the keywords (you may already be doing it), identify and optimise the content which already ranks for those keywords.

Get to know what your audience is asking, and try to answer that query in detail. Consider including a video (a vertical one – more on this in the article on ‘Vertical Video’). If the audience is asking you steps, include a list. Define a question – makes the task easier for Google.

And most importantly – keep users engaged on your page.

This isn’t to say you’ll wake up the next morning and have your site listed at Position Zero. But, it’s always better to have a start.

“Sometimes later becomes never. Do it now.”

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