Want to target position 0? Here’s what you need to make that happen
Hey Google, how do you become the answer people hear on their voice assistants? Contributor Karen Bone explains how to make that happen by doing your homework on featured snippets.
We’ve been using Siri as an integrated personal assistant since the iPhone 4S launched in October 2011, so voice search isn’t exactly new. But the interest in how it provides answers has become a new hot topic.
We know the assistants are pulling many of those voice-based search responses from featured snippets or “position 0” in the search results.
Both Bing and Google have talked about further developing featured snippets for more comprehensive responses. As a result, we’ll see more testing, volatility and opportunity for these search results in 2018.
This creates an even bigger, two-fold incentive to have our content shown in a featured snippet:
- You’ll end up being the single voice-based search response.
- You’ll rank at the top of the search engine results page on desktop and mobile in the coveted position 0.
As great as all of this may sound, you should do some important research and analysis before looking to capitalize on these opportunities.
For example, when users receive the featured snippet response, how much traffic will actually be driven to your website if the users now have their answer?
And then there’s the question of whether it’s worth bothering with forecasting at all if we know position 0 and voice search are the “next big thing.”
If you need to make adjustments to your site to capture those voice searches — whether it’s new page template updates or entirely new content — you’ll likely need a forecast to justify the expense.
You won’t know the full extent of those potential changes until you’ve gathered the data and analyzed it for the opportunity.
Phase 1: Gather the data from your site
Several years ago, determining if you had a featured snippet was a manual process, or it required some guesswork involving filtering for keywords like “how to” that may have ranked in that position.
Today, there are far more search queries leading to featured snippets then just “how to,” which makes a manual check for a large website very cumbersome. Data collection and tools have evolved, and many now highlight increases to position 0 from questions, prepositions and comparison search queries.
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