What are zero-click searches?
Zero-click searches refer to when people don't click on a link because they've already been answered on Google's site. For example, if you search for "when to change to summer tyres", you get the answer directly on Google's page, without having to click through to a website.
However, there are several reasons why many people do not click through:
- People rephrase their questions
- People looking for quick facts
- People get the information they need about the company
- People navigate directly to apps
People rephrase their questions
When people search on Google, they don't always quite know how to type it. Often people start with a broad search, such as "trousers", and after seeing the search results they find that it was "black trousers" they were looking for instead. Since the first search thus yielded no clicks, this is referred to as a zero-click search.
People looking for quick facts
Many people are often looking for quick facts, such as the weather forecast, time zones, when we change to summer time, etc. With these searches, you can see the answer directly on Google's page, so people don't have to click any further.
People get the information they need about the company
For example, when people search for the opening hours of a specific store or the store's address, they can find the answer directly on Google's site and don't need to click further.
People navigate directly to apps
For some searches, people are navigated directly to apps instead of websites. For example, if people search for a TV series, links to streaming services such as Netflix will appear - if they have this app on their phone, clicking on the link will take them straight to the app. Therefore, this click does not count, as it is not a click to a website.
What to do?
While some may think that it is not worth focusing on SEO if many people do not click through anyway - it is important to remember that those who do not click through are simply looking for a very specific answer, and therefore would not convert into customers anyway.
But what exactly do you need to do? One of the most important things is to become even better at doing more thorough research on which keywords are relevant. For example, if you are visible on many search phrases that don't end up in clicks, but your target audience is also searching on other phrases where it is relevant for them to click through, then it is important that you adapt your SEO towards this. In this way, you can hopefully drive higher traffic. It is therefore important to find out what exactly your target audience is searching for, what questions they have, what it is your business offers, and thus match this up against each other to make sure you offer what customers are asking for.
3 ways you can increase your visibility in the open web
If you still want to increase your visibility in the open web, i.e. on Google's site, you can do one of the following (or all three, if you go all-in):
1. Strive to appear in 'featured snippet'
The 'featured snippet' is the top (unless there are paid ads) you sometimes see in Google search results, which gives a brief explanation of your question.
You can't do anything specific to make sure you appear in the featured snippet. However, it is important that you optimize your content on your page for the 'featured snippet'. SEO as well as providing answers to what people typically ask/search for. This way, you are more likely to appear in the featured snippet.
2. Strive to appear in 'Frequently Asked Questions'
'Frequently Asked Questions' is an FAQ box that sometimes appears about halfway up Google's search results.
The principle here is the same as with the featured snippet; make sure you optimise your content to answer what people are asking, i.e. what's in the Frequently Asked Questions. This way, you are more likely to appear in 'Frequently Asked Questions'.
3. Use paid ads
In cases where it is important to be shown to the few who are actually interested in clicking through, it may make sense to use paid ads. This is because paid ads are displayed above the featured snippet and therefore have higher visibility.