What Are Zero Click Searches?
Zero click searches refer to search results that appear at ‘position zero’. This is the featured snippet of information at the top of the search results – allowing users to find the information they need on Google’s SERP without making any further clicks.
Zero click searches do not send you to a third party website from your search engine results page (SERP) through search engines such as Google or Bing.
Why Are Zero Click Searches Important?
Zero-click Google searches rose to almost 65% in 2020 (source). This is a significant threat to websites seeking traffic through traditional methods. Google introduced this experiment on March 13, 2020, intending to satisfy user intent faster and reduce multiple results that searchers don’t need.
In other words, users would often get results that didn’t answer their questions which led them to make more clicks to find what they were looking for – with zero-clicks searches, this has changed.
For every 100 mobile searches on Google, there are:
- 38.5 clicks on an organic result
- 3.4 clicks on a paid result
- 61.5 zero-click searches
For every 100 desktop searches on Google, there are:
- 65.6 clicks on an organic result
- 3.7 clicks on a paid result
- 34.3 zero-click searches. (source: Spyserp)
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How to Rank For Zero-Click Results
1. Create Featured Snippets
These are the brief sections of text from which the answer to a user’s question is pulled. It’s called ‘Position Zero’ because this is placed above the number one organic ranking spot in search engine pages. Featured snippets are typically short explanations that are less than 75 characters.
If your content is ranking for a featured snippet this can improve your brand awareness, visibility and authority on the topic at hand.
How To Optimise Your Content for Snippets
- If you can make it easy for Google’s algorithms to see that you are clearly answering a specific query, you are more likely to be chosen.
- By using a headline question and a paragraph with a clear, relevant definition, you will improve your chances of being featured in a zero-click result.
- Where possible, include simples lists. Such as numbered lists, or steps and add more in-depth information for each point.
- Target question-type searches using your keyword research to place keywords and phrases organically in your copy, and then provide answers to those questions.
- Ensure the page has an optimised image that will be visible in a snippet.
- Consider adding an FAQ section to your website, which can be a source for multiple snippets from just one page.
2. Knowledge Panels
First, you must create or have a ‘Google My Business’ listing. This is a free tool from Google to improve your businesses visibility. Google My Business (GMB) displays on the right-side panel when a user searches for your business and provides the following information:
- Business description
- Phone number
- Location on the map
- Google reviews
Sourcing leads from GMB is much easier than getting them from a website listing within the SERPs because more convenient information is readily available for the user. The more local data provided, the more returns for relevant queries that can be can be covered.
Additionally, optimising your Google business listing will improve your local listing. For example, suppose you have ‘Consultancy services in Dublin’ in your GMB description, as well as on your website, you will be more likely to show up in local results when a user searches ‘Consultancy services in Dublin’.
3. Google Answer Block
Make your content clear and readable – the readability index value for the text should be above 50%. The ideal line length for your reader is considered to be 40-60 characters.
On average, 44 words and 297 characters are displayed. Use bullet points, numbered lists, tables, or graphs (a total of 95% of answer blocks contain lists).
Use the subtitles formatting of H2 to H6 and add a relevant, optimised image along with the snippet query you’re answering. This should not exceed 800 pixels in width and should always include an alt attribute.
Google is consistently working to improve its user experience, to increase speed, convenience and reduce clicks. A significant decrease in traffic is anticipated as we shift towards answering user queries through zero-click searches instead of website listings.
Organisations should begin to prepare for this by improving featured snippet optimisation, updating your Google business account, and incorporating your SEO strategy with PPC and social media.
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