23 October 2018

What Is Rank 0? – Our Guide to Ranking for Google’s Featured Snippets

By Aaron Price

Rank 0 Featured Snippets

Rank 0 is the highest ranking result on the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). It is found above the fold or above all organic search results but is just below any paid adverts for that query. It is an expanded text or video result that generally answers a query or question.

These are also known as “featured snippets”, as they include a snippet of information from the post that could be useful to the user. If you are unfamiliar with what featured snippets are or look like, you can see an example of one below in a list style.

They provide information on the query and generally answer the question directly on the results page. But you might be wondering why you would want to give this information away before people click on your page and what the benefits of features snippets are.

Why Should I Be Ranking in Position 0?

Although giving the answer to a query directly on the results page might seem counter-productive to your previous SEO efforts, getting featured snippets for your content can increase organic traffic to your website. Although for some queries, users might not click through to your content once they have the answer, for more detailed answers the user is much more likely to click through. Your result will take up a large amount of space on the results page and is hard to miss. In a recent study by HubSpot, they saw a 114% increase in CTR for featured snippet results in position 0, check it out below;

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-featured-snippet-box

What Types of Featured Snippet Are There?

Although featured snippets generally answer queries, that’s not all they do, and you will see a range of different results in rank 0. There are four main types of featured snippet results, but there are also different versions within these. The four main types include Paragraph, List, Table and YouTube Snippets. By far the most common is the Paragraph Snippet, shown in this study below:

Paragraph Snippets

81.95%

List Snippets

10.77%

Table Snippets

7.28%

YouTube Snippets

>1%

Although paragraph snippets are the most common, using a list within your content is a great way to help you gain Rank 0. Having mixed content will also give you a better chance of ranking as Google might choose either a paragraph or the list to rank, or even both. There is no limit to how many snippets one piece of content can trigger. 

What Queries Trigger Featured Snippets?

It is a common idea that Rank 0 is reserved for popular search terms and keywords with a large amount of search volume, but in fact, it’s quite the opposite. In this useful research from Ahrefs, we can see that it’s actually not questions or propositions that trigger featured snippets the most. It’s other kinds of searches that achieve rank 0 most often, such as their following examples of:

  • Primary taste sensations
  • Verizon LG g2 update
  • Windows 10 compatibility
  • Cocktail Weiner recipe
  • Gmat scores range

Another useful piece of information from their research highlights that more than 50% of all featured snippets have fewer than 50 monthly searches. This would suggest that Google often gives Rank 0 to long-tail keywords and more detailed searches. If you are unsure what paragraph or table snippets might look like, we have included examples below:

How Can I Get A Rank 0 Result for My Website?

Much like your traditional approach to SEO and Organic Search Results, you will need to do plenty of research to gain a Rank 0 result. You will need to create new content if you don’t already have an article or blog that answers your search term and make sure it is optimised using the following steps.

Step 1: Do some keyword research using AdWords Keyword Planner tool to come up with long-tail keywords and phrases that are relevant to the services you provide.

Step 2: Search these queries in Google to find out if there is already a page ranking for this query to get an idea of the keywords you should be targeting.

Step 3: Assess why this page is ranking, does it use a list? Is it ranking for a paragraph? And adjust your content to match or choose a style of featured snippet to optimise for if there isn’t one.

Step 4: Make sure that your answers are concise and try and keep your paragraphs to less than 50 words. Answer questions with short sentences.

*if there is already a keyword ranking, you can search using the following phrase to assess competitiveness: “search query” –“URL of featured snippet”

These are the basic steps for optimising your content to rank for featured snippets, but there are some other top tips you should be aware of. Using the right HTML code on your website to signal paragraphs and lists is important for ranking. Try to use images within your post at a 4:3 ratio, such as 600w x 425h pixels, as this can also help to rank.

Start Optimising Your Content!

That’s all there is to getting your content optimised for featured snippets. In many ways, you should consider featured snippets as an addition to your current SEO process, rather than being the main feature. There is no guarantee that optimising your content will result in a featured snippet, but it should boost your organic ranking if it doesn’t. It can also be difficult to get your content featured but don’t worry, it’s not always the Rank 1 result that features. Any position from 1 – 10 can gain a featured snippet and Rank 2 snippets are almost as common. If you have any questions about featured snippets or your organic rankings, make sure you get in touch with our SEO team.

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