If you talk to experts at a web development company from Los Angeles or any other professional web design experts across the country, you’ll find out that more than 50% of all Google searches don’t end up with a click, no matter if you get paid advertising or focus your efforts on organic search.
The so-called zero-click searches provide users with the information they requested right within the search engine itself. In other words, the user doesn’t have to click on a link and go to a website to read more about their inquiry.
So, how does that affect businesses looking to drive more traffic to their websites? In this article, we will explain how zero-click searches work and how they impact your SEO strategies.
Zero-Click Searches in Depth
As we mentioned above, zero-click searches are Google searches that appear at the top of the results page. They provide the answer to the search query without the user having to click on a link. There are a few different types of zero-click searches. They can be direct answers, snippets of content taken directly from webpages, or even in-depth information.
Zero click searches are gaining popularity every year. The percentage of these searches has reached 50.3 percent of all searches in 2021. In 2016, the number was at 43.1%. It’s clear that zero-click searches are quickly becoming the most popular type of searches, and their number will keep growing in the future due to an increased number of mobile users.
We’ll take a closer look at the six different types of zero-click searches below, but if you want to seek advice from experts instead of going at it alone, consider reaching out to a web development company from Los Angeles called Design Rush, for more expert tips on zero-click search ranking and SEO.
Six Types of Zero Click Search Results
1. Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are one of the most popular types of zero-click search results. These results are displayed at the zero position of SERP, which is considered the best-ranking spot possible. These snippets answer question-based searches, divided into the following subcategories:
- Paragraph snippets
- List type snippets
- Table snippets
- Video snippets
All of these provide a quick answer to a question without the user having to open a website page. According to Sparktoro, over 62% of all searches made on mobile devices were zero-click searches, from 2016-2019.
2. Instant Answers
Instant answers are usually short answers to simple questions. That includes questions like:
- “How many ounces are in a gallon?”
- ”What is the capital of India?”
- “What’s the name of Japan’s current president?”
Whenever you search queries that involve some kind of definition, including usage, spelling, or meaning, the answer is called definition zero-click search result. You can tell this type apart from the other types because the provided information looks like something you would usually find in a dictionary.
4. Map Results
If you’re looking for specific locations, Google will display map results on top of the page. That way, you will get all the information you need to find a restaurant, business, school, hospital, or any other registered address directly in Google Maps.
You can also get zero-click results if you’re looking for an answer to a mathematical question. Google can quickly give you results of the most basic and complex mathematical operations directly on the search results page. Google will typically grant you access to a functional calculator as well.
6. Knowledge Panel
If you’re looking for more information about something, a knowledge panel is somewhat of an expanded snippet that provides additional information such as photos, map results, and other relevant content. Knowledge panels are divided into brand knowledge panels and local knowledge panels.
The first type provides in-depth information about products and services that may not be near you, while the other helps you locate the closest places where you can purchase goods, products, and services.
How Zero Click Searches Affect Website Traffic
Since zero-click searches don’t require the user to open a website, you probably think that you’re losing a ton of traffic. However, even though a zero-click search doesn’t generate any clicks, people looking for information might still want to read more about their queries.
Zero click searches slip through the system without generating any traffic. In other words, traditional SEO techniques that focus on generating site traffic won’t do anything for your digital marketing campaign. That’s why you have to tweak your SEO and data analytics, according to the latest user trends. What you need is a combination of traditional SEO and some kind of zero-click optimization as well.
5 Steps to Take to Create a Strong Zero Click Search Strategy
Getting your content displayed in the zero-click search results means that Google thinks the information you provided is better than what thousands of other websites offer. That will tell your audience that your content is relevant, and your brand will get a massive credibility boost.
However, even though you’ll gain trust from your audience, all of your traditional SEO efforts will go to waste if your SEO strategy isn’t updated to minimize the losses your site has due to a diminishing number of clicks. Here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of every zero-click strategy.
1. Bring Your Keyword Research to Another Level
The first step in your zero-click SEO efforts should be to find the exact keywords Google uses to identify information and rank it as zero. Once you extract all keywords used for zero rankings, you can build a strong content strategy using those words.
You should also include targeting questions based on the same keywords and create content that answers those questions. With a little bit of hard work, you can also get the desired snippet search ranking.
2. Optimize Existing Pages with SERP Features
After you find all keywords used for zero-click ranking, you should see if you’re already using some of them in your existing pages. Add more content with those keywords to all of your pages and optimize the content accordingly.
Make sure that you optimize all traditional SEO features such as page loading speeds, better content, and so on. Use the same techniques you normally would but add the zero-click keywords as your main ranking features.
3. Improve Navigation
In case your visitors want to know more about the information they saw in the zero-click search results, you want to make your webpage easy to navigate. You want to add internal links that will help them get around all of your pages with ease.
Even though you might get less traffic due to having your information appear as the zero-click result, with a SEO strategy in place, those who do click on your page will generate more referral traffic. That’s why you need a strong backlinking strategy if you want to minimize traffic loss.
4. Add Metadata to Every Web Page
Adding metadata to your web pages will make it easier for Google to identify what your website is about. Metadata includes images, graphs, titles, and descriptions only Google can see.
Once you allow Google to find the information it needs, your ranking will go up, and Google will be able to take snippets of your content more accurately. The meta descriptions you use can also be presented in the snippets.
5. Register with Google Business
Google Business can help make your business visible in local searches. Having a Google My Business account will allow you to get closer to your audience and ensure that all of the information they get about your business is 100% accurate.
That includes details on your working hours, contact info, latest offers, products, services, and so on. Apart from helping you increase the quality of information that appears in the search, you’ll also boost your chances of appearing in the zero-click results.
The Importance of SEO and SERP Ranking
Zero click searches are redefining the way websites rank their content. Since about 50% of all searches are zero-click searches, some people think that all of their SEO efforts are in vain. However, website experts will tell you that that’s not the case.
According to AHREFs, 9 out of 10 snippets are pulled from pages displayed on the first search engine results page. It takes a lot of work to get your website onto the first page of Google. If it’s there already, that means that Google sees your content and information provided as relevant and top-quality. In other words, without a traditional SEO strategy in place, you would never get a chance to appear in the zero-click results.
Moreover, even if you get the zero-click search snippet, some users will visit your site because they want to know more about their query. You want your website to be the one people click on to find answers, which is again impossible without an excellent SEO strategy.
Zero-click searches are redefining the way SEO works, but that doesn’t need to be a bad thing. It’s simply the next step in your SEO efforts, and if you manage to optimize your content for it to appear there, you’re doing one heck of a job!
All in all, if you do get the zero-click snippet spot, you will boost your brand visibility, gain credibility, and improve your website’s referral traffic.