Did you know that around 50 percent of searches through Google doesn’t lead to a single click on either a paid advertisement or an organic search result?
Welcome to zero click searches – when the top search result provides the answer to your query at the top of the page in a simple snippet, so you don’t even have to leave the search engine results to get the answer you need. They save time for users and they benefit Google because they improve the user experience by saving them time and keeping them on Google’s page rather than sending them to a third-party website.
But are zero click searches great for business owners who are trying to drive traffic to their website?
At first glance, this looks like a disaster – after all, why create content if no one will click on it?
Fortunately, it’s not all gloom and doom. We’re going to take a deep dive into what zero click searches are best for, how you can make the most of them, improve your visibility, and even boost your search engine ranking so when a user is ready to click on a link, your website is front and center.
What Is Zero Click Search?
Like we said, a zero click search is an answer to a user’s question right at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) so they don’t need any further information that would be gained by clicking the link. Again, these are ideal for simple questions that need a simple answer. Typically, zero click searches fall into one of six types of results:
There’s no need to go to the website unless you need more in-depth information. These are great for users who have fairly simple questions and need a quick answer (such as settling an argument with a friend or significant other).
If you’ve ever typed in a word solely to get the definition or spelling, you’ll get a return something like this:
Looking for a town or where a country is located? Your first result will probably be a map – particularly a Google Map because if you do need to click something, they want it to stay within Google properties.
If you need some math assistance or you want to get a rough estimate on how much your mortgage payments would be, a simple Google search may pull up a calculator where you can type in your variables.
The Google Knowledge Graph is a database that Google properties use to pool together information into an infobox, called a knowledge panel that goes next to the search results to provide a quick, but detailed look at what you’re searching for. Businesses, brands, and even musicians and artists can create their own knowledge panel to submit, acting as an online “business card” so to speak (more on this below).
These are the brief bits of text from which the answer to a user query is pulled. It’s called “Position Zero” or “Position #0” because it’s placed above the #1 spot in SERPs. Featured snippets will be things like lists, short “how-to” explanations or more descriptive definitions to queries that start with “What is…?” and they generally include:
- A quote, list, or definition from a chosen website (though it may be a video in some cases)
- A link to the page
- Page title
- URL of the page
Needless to say, if your website is chosen as the featured snippet, this can improve your visibility and authority on this topic.
How to Leverage Knowledge Panels in Zero Click Searches
First, you need a Google My Business listing – which is a free tool that improves your visibility. This shows up in the right-side knowledge panel when someone searches for your business and provides the following information:
- Business description
- Phone number
- Map location
- Google reviews
Needless to say, getting leads from a GMB listing is much easier than getting them from a website listing within the SERPs simply because there’s just more convenient information right in front of the user’s eyes.
Additionally, optimizing your Google Business listing will improve your local listing. For example, if you have “Divorce Lawyer in Durham” in your description, along with on your website itself, you’ll be more likely to show up in local results when a user seeks out “divorce lawyer in Durham.”
Tips to Rank in Featured Snippets
The featured snippet, or Position #0 may not seem like it will do you any favors, but it will do two important things:
- Put your business directly in front of people who may need your skills, service, or product;
- Show that you’re an authority in a topic – If Google picks your blog or service page to answer a question, that means you’ve been heavily vetted, and users are more likely to trust you over a competitor.
So, if you want to generate visibility and awareness of your business or improve credibility that will lead to traffic, having the featured snippet will do it. Plus, with strategic content and curiosity-sparking page titles, you can pull them away from the fast answer and have users clicking on your list.
Optimize Your Content for Snippets
If you can make it easy for Google algorithms to see that you are clearly answering a specific query, you’re more likely to be chosen. Let’s use the divorce lawyer example again. By using a headline such as “What is a Simple Divorce?” and in the paragraph having a clear, concise, relevant definition, that will improve your chances of being the featured zero click result. Similarly, you can leverage the search for “How to File for Divorce in North Carolina” by having a blog that includes a simple, numbered list of the steps followed by a more in-depth look at each one below them.
Just like when you’re writing to rank in SERPs, you want to follow these guidelines to get the #0 position:
- Use high-quality, relevant content on your website;
- Target question-type searches using your keywords to place organically in your copy (then, answer those questions);
- Make sure every page has an optimized image that will be visible in a snippet.
Consider adding an FAQs page to your website which can be a source for multiple snippets from one page.
Why SEO and SERP Ranking Still Matters
So, since 50 percent of searches are zero click, do you need to worry about SEO and your search engine ranking?
Absolutely! SEO is a key part of your digital marketing strategy and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
First, according to AHREFs, over 90 percent of snippets and position #0 results are pulled from page one of SERPS. After all, that’s what Google considers to be the most relevant, high-quality information for the query. If you want to show up in a snippet, you need to show up on page 1, and that means a strong SEO strategy is essential.
Next, zero click searches are for simple answers and information. “How old is the President?” or “How to boil an egg,” can be answered in these little blocks at the top of the page and satisfy a user’s query. However, if they need a service or have to troubleshoot something in their home, a snippet isn’t going to cut it, and they’re going to need to visit a website to get the best information and possibly contact a professional. You want it to be your website they come across first.
Need Help Getting Your Website More Visible?
If you want to see your website have featured snippets and be on the front page of Google, our marketing experts can help! Reach out to us today by calling 919-351-8292 or scheduling a consultation today.