What is Zero-Click Search?
In the past, SEO meant counting on every click through you received to improve the chances of a conversion as you moved higher up in organic search rankings. Today, convenience is key and users typically conclude their search as soon as they get the information they need. In many cases, one query using the right keywords will provide the searcher with everything they need on the search results page, often through a section of highlighted data known as a rich snippet or a Knowledge Panel. This behavior is referred to as a zero-click search, as the user does not need to leave the results page by clicking through to the website that is actually providing the information. As long as you are cognizant of what signals Google looks for when generating this type of content, you can optimize your content for zero-click SEO and lessen its impact on your website.
Zero-Click Searches are On the Up
The number of zero-click searches has increased dramatically over the last few years and now 34.4% of all desktop searches result in no click. On mobile, because people are on the go, 62.5% of users never click on search result links. For a while, zero-click SEO was considered to be lacking in benefits, but now, if you have the right marketing team at your disposal you can harness this evolving trend and turn it into additional leads.
No matter how you feel about Google, you need to fulfill what they consider to be, “great page experiences [that] enable people to get more done and engage more deeply.” Why? A study estimates that a whopping 94% of all U.S. searches occur on a Google property (including Images, YouTube and Maps). So, optimizing website content to display featured snippets should be kept top of mind.
Click-Through Performance Still Matters
A click-through on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) like Google is usually the result of a searcher seeking more information than they can get from the search page alone. The provided result offers just enough information to get their attention but not fully answer their question. This is where creating in-depth, authoritative content and attracting visitors to your site matters most. When people are intrigued by and become engaged with your content, a website’s click-through metrics begin to increase, which can have a positive influence on search rankings.
With the rise in zero-click searches, marketers need to adapt how they optimize for keywords and markup their content. Providing the information that a consumer needs in a rich snippet often prevents them from looking any further, and it can seem counterintuitive to be one of the sites that helps answer zero-click queries. However, even though your click-through metrics may not improve, there are other opportunities to engage users.
How to Make Zero-Click Searches Work for You
Taking advantage of tools like Google My Business as well as implementing Schema structured data markup is a great place to start when trying to showcase your website or business in search results. Becoming a site that Google trusts and references as an authoritative source of information on a particular topic can help boost your business.
The name recognition, thought leadership, and brand awareness generated by ranking on the first SERP can provide many benefits, even if the result is a zero-click search, as these searches are the wave of the future when it comes to converting online searches into offline sales. While users may not always click and visit your site, they are regularly exposed to your brand.