Google recently demonstrated some new ways sites can have their content highlighted in search results as a “featured snippet.”
A featured snippet is a block of content taken from a web page and displayed at the top of a list of search results, alongside a link to that page. Its placement is sometimes called “position zero” because it supersedes the page that is otherwise ranked first. How-To schemas, therefore, represent an opportunity to one-up your competition, and should be targeted on your site where practical.
One of the new types of featured snippets is a how-to. This means that content Google recognizes as a procedure may be highlighted for queries pertaining to it.
Create how-to content particular to your expertise, rather than more common content such as “how to choose a lawyer.” You might explain wow to file for a patent, how to litigate probate, or the chapter 11 bankruptcy process.
The more closely your content matches a given Google query, the more likely it is to become a featured snippet for that query. Try to imagine the way a layman interested in hiring a lawyer might phrase the query. Then tailor the content to directly answer that query and title it using that same phrase.
Creating content that Google can recognize as a how-to requires adding certain code to your pages’ HTML. If you are used to working with your site’s code, you can learn about creating a how-to at: https://schema.org/HowTo. Otherwise, talk to your SEO expert about creating content aimed at the various types of featured snippets and capture that coveted “position zero.”