We’re pretty lucky at Gravitate, we meet great people and talk to new, potential clients on a daily basis—all since 1999. One thing that’s remained consistent through all of the changes in design trends, platforms, flash animations, and conversion techniques: clients always want to get their site in front of more people.
What’s the phrase we hear most often? “I want to be number 1 on Google!” We get it—and it’s a little more complicated than that…but we get it. You want your site to be the first thing people see for every potential search term related to what you do. Over the years that “number 1 position” has changed quite a bit, so let’s take a look at what the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is looking like in 2020 and why being #1 might not be good enough anymore.

SEO is Changing

Why? Because SEO will always be changing! As the internet evolves, Google will continue to evolve its search engine to bring more relevant results to users in the easiest way possible.

Between voice search and new search results features, SEO has certainly changed quite dramatically over the past 2-3 years.

A common thread between most search results these days? Featured snippets, also known as:

Position Zero

What is position zero?

Position zero is a term that many strategists are using to describe the position above any traditional organic listing. This is a result that offers users an answer to their query directly on the search results page without actually having to click into any website.

Why is position zero important?

Because the attention of the end-user is important. Whether or not the user clicks into your position zero content, the featured snippet takes up a significant amount of screen real estate in the SERP and is an exceptional tool for brand exposure. In addition, many voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Voice use featured snippets from Google to pull relevant results.

How do you rank in position zero?

In our experience, a site won’t rank for position zero unless it ranks on the first page of results to begin with. That means that your site must have a good baseline for SEO before you can even begin thinking about position zero. There is no position zero without position 9.

In addition, every featured snippet has different characteristics. We recommend looking at what the current snippet is offering and replicating those efforts in your own content. Examples may include bulleted lists, short paragraph answers, structured data, etc.

What if you can’t rank for your target term?

Runs ads. If the competition is too high for a position zero term and you are having trouble ranking at all, we recommend running search ads against these terms while you continue to bolster your SEO efforts. This is very common among competitive terms and broad queries with higher volume.