How Zero-Click Searches Impact SEO
Is there such a thing as CTR SEO (click-through-rate SEO)?
Is that why you are asking “What are zero-click searches, and how do they impact my SEO?”
Imagine the thrill of typing a question into Google and discovering that your website snippet is the first result. Wow! Launch the fireworks, have a parade, you’ve made it, you’ve won! But… what if no one is clicking on it?
If it’s at the top and no one is clicking on it…that makes it a “zero-click search.”
The purpose of search engines like Google is to provide the best possible answer to a user’s question. And, SEO is all about optimizing your website content to rank higher in the search results.
We hear you – you’ve done all that already. So why is no one clicking on your link if your website is ranking at the top on Google?
Zero-click searches seem to be a new and increasing phenomenon.
In this post, we’re going to tell you all about them and discuss CTR SEO so that your SEO strategy includes how to deal with zero-click searches.
What Is Zero-Click Search?
The definition of zero-click search is sort of in the name. A zero-click search happens when a search results page displays the answer to a query at the top of the page. The caveat is that it answers the question so completely that users don’t even need to click on it.
There you go, you can stop reading now… just kidding.
You’re here because you want more than a definition, and we want to help you understand zero-click search and how it impacts your SEO and why you need to think about CTR SEO.
Zero-Click Search Is on the Rise
Zero-click is nothing new, but it is on the rise with 34.4% of all desktop searches resulting in no click. That number is even higher on mobile at 62.5% (SEJ). Zero-click searches happen thanks to the featured snippet.
For quick questions and definitions, users don’t need to click through to the website result to get their answer.
You can avoid these types of searches with a little CTR SEO but gere are some common examples of zero-click searches:
- Database-style searches
Dates, time and time zones, currency conversions, age and height of celebrities, etc.
- Dictionary and encyclopedia-style searches
Queries that start with “what is,” “definition of,” etc.
- Map direction-style searches
Local searches like “near me,” “nail salon,” etc.
New Challenges for Online Marketers
The landscape of zero-click searches has introduced some new challenges to digital marketers and businesses. After all, having a top ranking isn’t a surefire way to score traffic. Not when Google shows a user an answer that doesn’t require the searcher to leave the search results.
A lot of zero-click searches can be blamed on new SERP features like paid ads, media elements, and featured snippets. These seem to have taken over the top spots on Google of recent.
However, user behavior has its own part to play in all of this. After all, people are in a rush. If they get the answer to their question right away, why would they click elsewhere or spend any more time searching for it?
Zero-click search is super convenient for users, of course. But what does it mean for your business and SEO strategy?
How Zero-Click Searches Impact SEO
As seen with the examples provided, zero-click searches are more common for certain types of queries than others. Simple questions get simple answers. But what about those more complicated queries?
Can you use CTR SEO to entice the searcher to click on your listing?
Zero-click searches are answered in a couple of sentences on a featured snippet. Featured snippets pull short answers from website content and display them directly in the SERPs. Again, this is great for user experience on search engines but can hurt businesses that rely on organic traffic.
So how do zero-click searches impact your SEO?
Well, if your rich snippet is the one featured at the top of Google, that means you’re doing a really great job. It’s not that zero-click searches are the devil incarnate. If you want a healthy balance of ranking AND traffic, you just have to keep zero-click in mind when designing your CTR SEO strategy.
How To Do CTR SEO For Zero-Click Searches
If you want high rankings and a healthy stream of organic traffic, you have to be deliberate when choosing which keywords to target. In addition to your other filters, make sure you’re looking at the click-through rate (CTR) and clicks per search (CPS) of specific keywords. This will increase your chances of ranking highly while still generating organic traffic.
Featured Snippets & Schema Markup
Optimize your web pages with featured snippets and schema markup to stand out among other search listings. Show them you have more to offer on the topic and hope they take the bait. Results that answer a query and leave them wanting more have a better chance of being clicked on. See Google’s page on Structured Data for Schema.
Once you succeed at CTR SEO and scoring those sweet clicks, make sure you don’t disappoint! Providing informative, high-quality content is the single best strategy for effective SEO. Good content keeps visitors on your site, establishes your authority on a topic, and shows Google that you know your stuff.
Great User Experience (UX)
If you are getting visitors, don’t drive them away with terrible page design and clunky functionality. Ensure your website is optimized to provide the best possible user experience. That means a clean, easy-to-navigate design, fast page load times, and a mobile-optimized interface.
This point ties into user experience but deserves its own seat at the table. That’s because most zero-click searches happen on mobile devices. Ensure your website is fast, responsive, and attractive on mobile to encourage users to visit your site and keep them there. See our page on mobile optimization.
Do Zero-Click Searches Have You Sweating?
Are you wanting to know more about CTR SEO.
Don’t worry, our team of SEO experts at 1st On the List are here to help.