As digital marketing professionals, we’re always looking for ways to get our content in front of our audiences. One of these ways is through exceptional site rankings. We pump out content based on research with the best keywords and descriptions but sometimes, we still fall short of that number one rank.

What if I told you that ranking number 3, number 4, etc, could be more beneficial than ranking number one? 

Google introduced Featured Snippets in 2014 and they’re still one of the most prominent SERP changes in the past 10 years. Featured Snippets are a short text that appears at the top of the search page below the sponsored content and above the number one spot, technically making it the number zero spot.

First of all, you can’t buy the Featured Snippet spot. So how do you get your content to rank number zero? Let’s talk strategies:

Break into the top 10 rankings on Google

This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. As stated above, your content doesn’t have to be number one to be the Featured Snippet, but you can’t be number 100 either. 

There are many different ways to make your content worthy of ranking on Google’s first page, but a new way that many sites haven’t done or even heard of yet is optimizing your site’s Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals is the newest update from Google all about optimizing user experience which affects website ranking. As an integrated marketing communications agency, we know all about Core Web Vitals.

If your LCP, CLS and FID scores are poor, then you can kiss that Featured Snippet position goodbye. However, there’s no time like the present to fix your scores

Answer questions… and make sure they’re the best

Featured Snippets are meant for searchers to get their questions answered quickly without having to leave Google’s search page. That doesn’t sound beneficial to the website at all… but it is! According to HubSpot, they could have had a 114% increase in click-through-rate (CTR) if they would have snagged the Featured Snippet position even though they were ranked number one in that search. 

With that being said, answer questions you know your audience is asking, not what you think they’re asking. Helpful websites that feature the top questions asked by users in real time are AnswerThePublic and Quora but try to find specific questions that fit your niche. Finding the questions that need answers is the hard part, but these services are content goldmines.

Now that you have a good question, you need a good answer to go along with it. Try to provide as much detail as possible when writing your answer. You’re not the only one answering these questions, so you want to be the best at it. 

Use the right formatting

Featured Snippets are usually lists, tables or short paragraphs, so your long, un-sectioned blog post probably isn’t going to gain the Featured Snippet position. Keeping it short, sweet and to the point will better your chances.

For example, a current trend on Tik Tok right now is poking fun at recipe websites and the long backstories the authors’ provide before the recipe itself. Some people may find it helpful but it’s safe to say the majority of your audience will click right out of the site, decreasing your session time and increasing your bounce rate.

With all this being said, earning a Featured Snippet position isn’t easy but not impossible. With enough time and work, you’ll be able to gain the number zero position.