While most businesses online are aiming for position number one or the first spot in the Google SERPs, have you ever thought about position zero? Surprisingly, a significant number of people forget that this is an actual, rank-able position. Well, getting into position zero doesn’t mean your results cannot be found anywhere in the SERPs. Also known as rich answers, your results will appear in the answer boxes instead. Let’s find out if position zero might just be better than position numero uno.
What are Google Answer Boxes?
Remember how you used Google to convert one currency to another, and the answer appears in the big box above all the search results? That’s an answer box. Answer boxes are a type of SERP features. They usually appear as light-gray boxes and are positioned above the organic results. So why do such answer boxes exist?
Well, Google continually strives to provide answers to any questions a user may be searching for. These boxes are designed to directly answer a question (after someone enters a search query that contains a question). Most answers are presented in the form of text. In addition, they are relatively short answers and may only provide limited information about the source of the answer.
Position Zero is Still in its Infant Stages
If you haven’t heard of position number zero before, this is something that’s pretty new. Hence, you should expect things to change slightly over time. However, quick answer boxes are here to stay. That’s why it’s important that you start or continue optimizing for just about everything in order to gain a competitive edge over your SEO competition.
Getting to position zero does add to your organic hits. So if you plan to try this out and you don’t enjoy high click-through rates at the start, don’t let that discourage you from continuing your SEO efforts. Keep in mind that a small amount of those searches that actually click through can lead to an organic jump. You should leverage on human curiosity; people who perform question style searches are more likely to click through to learn more about the topic at hand.
Guidelines for Appearing in Google Answer Boxes
By now, you might already feel that every time you turn around, the Search Engine Optimization landscape is changing. However, there are some basic rules you can follow if you want to rank in Google’s Answer Boxes.
- Write your headers in question form
- Provide concise answers to questions you want to rank for
- Utilize <table> or <ol> tags (most featured answer sites often use this format)
- Ensure your answers are better than your competitors
- Make it easy for Google’s bot to know which of your keywords to pull by using formatting elements such as italics, strong, and bold
The saying ‘content is king’ still reigns supreme here. While your answers do not need to be 500 words long, make sure they are well written summaries. Always remember: keep it clear and concise! All in all, ranking at position zero does prove to have its advantages. This is an area that many SEO’s may overlook, so it’s best to strike while the iron is still hot!