Position zero. A potential title for a sci-fi film. Also, an area to target if you want to add value to your search results.

Position Zero roadside advert

What is position zero?

Position zero refers to the featured snippet, the articles, the how-to guides. It’s the area that appears above the search results, ranking before the number one result. The goal for this area is to answer the user’s query there and then.

This user-optimised space allows Google to become the resource rather than the recommender. Rather than merely suggesting search results, Google provides the answer within its ecosystem. Users won’t need to open pages. The answer will be right there, directly in front of them.

The Trainline has a featured snippet when users search for train fare types

Why is that space so valuable?

It’s a chance to rank above competitors. What’s not to love? You’re using your brand’s voice to enhance user experience. It’s another touchpoint to interact with the consumer. And you still get clicks. All position zero content has links through to your site.

How do you achieve position zero?

First up, you need to already rank on the first page for the query you’re targeting. Then, simply answer the user’s need within that page. Doing so succinctly, within 50 words. A simple paragraph or step-by-step guide. It sounds basic. But we all know Google is smart. There’re no tricks here.

There are a few more things you can do on-site to encourage Google to pick your answer over competitors:

  • Place the exact question you want to rank for as a title using <h> tags, whether that’s <h1>, <h2>, <h3>. As long as it’s a subheading, you’re signposting.
  • Answer the need objectively. It shouldn’t be a sales pitch. If you’re ranking for a question, it’ll be related to your brand or product anyway.
  • If it’s a step-by-step process, use a numbered list. Make it clear to Google that you’re outlining a journey.

These are all basics. Follow best practices and you’ll be well on your way.

An annotated featured snippet example