In Google Searches, Zero is Better Than No. 1

Jul 20, 2017

In Google Searches, Zero is Better Than No. 1

If your small business marketing strategy includes developing web content that strives to rank at the top of search-engine results pages (SERPs), you’re probably working under the idea that reaching the number 1 position means your job is over. However, you need to start thinking about how to rank above number 1. In fact, counter to what most of us have always been taught, in this particular case you want to be number 0.

Reaching that coveted spot will snag you a featured snippet that goes along with your already stellar SERPs ranking. If you’re trying to drive traffic to your company’s website, there’s absolutely no better place to rank.

A Place at the Top

If you want to get a better idea of what ranking in this highly desirable position actually looks like, open another tab on your browser and search for something you may need to know in a few months: “How to roast a turkey.”  That box of text you see that contains the first three steps on how to roast a turkey at the top of the SERPs is number 0.

Unfortunately, searching on a smartphone won’t yield the same results, as the featured snippet has yet to become part of Google’s mobile display. But fear not. Considering Google’s focus on mobile technology, it’s only a matter of time.

Why it’s Good to be Zero

So what’s the benefit of ranking above the SERPs?

First, your website will sit at the very top of a Google search. That’s incredibly powerful and potentially lucrative real estate to possess. Second, your featured snippet stands out from the rest of the organic results featured below. It’s highlighted, which means users will place greater trust in the search result as being the most authoritative available.

Third, your page won’t just appear as a featured snippet but also in the rest of the organic search results. You’ll get twice the promotion for your website.

Finally, studies have shown that featured snippets drive an increased click-through rate of 180 percent, compared to the rest of Google results for the same website.

How Snippets Appear

At first glance, you might think that a featured snippet is just a highlighted section of content taken from a paragraph that appears on the page itself, but that’s not how it works.

If you run a Google search for “Who is Mark Twain,” you’ll see a featured snippet that includes a short paragraph that contains part of the answer. But if you Google “How to roast a turkey,” you’ll see a short list that features the first three steps in the roasting process.

Google’s algorithm understands how to pull the content and display it from the chosen page in a way that actually helps users complete their stated goal or a little bit more about a topic before clicking on the link.

How to Become a Featured Snippet?

It’s possible to get your web page to appear as a Google snippet, it’s just not very easy. Even if your best optimization efforts don’t land you on top, the work you put into trying to achieve that lofty ranking will probably pay dividends with your overall rank.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to rank number 1 in SERPs to land that featured snippet. Some sites still get snippets taken from their pages while ranking two or three in organic search results. Why? Well, from what can be determined, featured snippets appear based on relevance to the search query and not page rank.

If your page ranks number 4 but is more relevant to the search query that numbers 1-3, you receive the snippet. With all that said, it still appears that your site needs to rank on page one to qualify.

Tips for Generating High-Quality Content

Get to the point. Want to let Google know just how relevant your content is? Don’t waste words using long introductions or wander off discussing topics that are not relevant to the title of your content. Staying on track will help enable Google’s algorithm to better determine your content’s relevancy to a user’s search.

Write longer posts. If you want to convince Google that your content is the most highly relevant on the Internet, you need to focus on creating long form content. Aim for at least 1,200 words in every post you add to your website. However, don’t fall into the trap of believing that more is necessarily better. Padding your content with run-on sentences, irrelevant information, or by saying the same thing over and over will only cause the strength of your content to weaken.

Answer a question. People often become very literal when typing in their search queries. Google loves to display answers to questions in their featured-snippet box. To make sure that Google recognizes your post answers a specific question, try including the question in the title of your post, as well as within the body.

Local Fresh Can Help

Creating dynamic content that helps improve your SERPs rankings requires dedication, time, and some level of expertise. Our team at Local Fresh understands what it takes to improve your website’s SERP ranking so you can get on top of the competition. Click here to find out more about how Local Fresh can help you.