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Optimizing Your Financial Advisor Website for Google's Position Zero

When it comes to Google, there’s no question that getting to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is the goal for any financial advisor or RIA with an online presence. In line with Google’s mission of delivering the most timely and relevant content to any search query, they have established a premium position on their Search Engine Results Page that is also known as Position Zero. 

Landing this coveted position can have a huge impact on the traffic to financial advisor websites. Read on for a summary description of Google’s Position Zero, and how digital marketing for financial advisors can help with getting to this high-visibility position.

 

What is Position Zero?

To better understand Position Zero, it’s important to first understand SEO for financial advisor websites and the basics of how Google’s organic search function and algorithms work. While also relying on SEO, achieving Google’s Position Zero doesn’t just mean showing up at the top of the organic results on SERPs. 

This position is awarded to what Google determines is the best result for a given search query, depending on their algorithms, SEO, and other factors that Google doesn’t officially disclose. What we do know is that this position can’t be bought through Google Ads or through any other means. 

And while it may seem logical to assume that Position Zero is automatically awarded to the number one search result, that’s not necessarily the case. Of course, ranking high on a SERP will likely result in a better chance of Gaining Position Zero, Google’s algorithms aren’t looking for precisely the same thing when it comes to Position Zero and the top organic search result. This is because of the way Position Zero appears on a page and the elements involved.

 

Elements of Position Zero

Featured Snippet 

When users search, they often ask questions. Position Zero is intended to answer a user’s question as quickly as possible, hence the use of featured snippets

This content will appear above any organic search results and often provides enough information so that the user doesn’t have to click anything at all to get exactly what they are looking for. This content is being pulled verbatim from an online source, so creating content that easily (and succinctly) answers a commonly asked question for financial advisors is key. It’s recommended that financial advisors focus their efforts on this element of Position Zero, rather than the others. 

Answer Box & Knowledge Graph

These elements of Google’s Position Zero are extremely helpful for the user but are doing such a good job answering a search query that Google rarely gives attribution to the source of that information (i.e., financial advisor websites) and they also rarely get actual clicks to the originating website. Because of this, the zero-click issue has evolved which will be discussed below in greater detail.

 

How Can a Financial Advisor Website Get to Position Zero?

As with many aspects of financial advisor digital marketing and SEO, it mostly comes down to content. Google hasn’t become the global search engine giant it is by delivering subpar content and features to users. There’s a reason Google is used both as a verb and a noun. This is why “Googling” something is part of many people’s everyday vernacular. 

That is to say that Google pays attention to the content it delivers, and financial advisors should, too. As mentioned above, for financial advisors who want to appear in the featured snippet portion of Position Zero, the right combination of content and keywords is critical. Most of the results in featured snippets answer one of the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions

For this reason, content and keywords used on financial advisor websites should mirror those questions. Reminder: Position Zero content is pulled directly from an online resource, and Google doesn’t want (or have) to work harder than necessary to find exactly what that search query is asking for. It’s in the best interest of financial advisors to deliver exactly the information that Google can’t pass up for its top position.

 

The Elephant in the Room: The Zero Click Issue

As mentioned above, content on Google’s Position Zero, paired with how Google displays it on the page, is great for users and not so great for websites. This has created a big issue known as zero-click searches. It’s even been coined by some as the “Zero Click Crisis” but that doesn’t have to be the case. 

There are ways for financial advisors to craft their website content that encourages clicks for more information, while also providing enough information to meet Google’s Position Zero requirements. 

One of these measures is to provide quality content that answers the user’s initial query and then to go a step further and add a “hook” of some sort or promise of more information if the user clicks through to the actual website. 

Of course, the website has to deliver on this promise with deeper levels of content, but that is only going to help increase a site’s overall chances of getting to Position Zero in the first place – so in many ways, the extra effort to produce richer content is a win-win. 

 

Position Zero is Constantly Changing

Because it is Google after all, and nothing is static, Position Zero is constantly changing. For financial advisors who want to work on their organic search rankings to make their way to the top locations considered for Position Zero, this is good news. 

While it may take some time and definitely some effort, there’s always a chance to make SEO and content improvements with a Position Zero focus in mind. Of course, it can’t be overstated how much it pays to pay close attention to the latest thought leadership and best practices for financial advisor SEO. 

This is because not only does the site currently in Position Zero change constantly, so will Google’s requirements for getting there. It pays to have an ear to the ground listening for the latest changes. This may come in the form of diligence on the part of the financial advisor, or a partnership with a digital marketing agency that is informed and prepared on all things Google.

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