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Zero Click Searches – Are They Good for SEO?

Featured snippets, knowledge panels, "People also ask" section and Google's SGE are some of the types of Zero Click searches. So, are they bad for SEO? Let's find out!
Zero Click Searches - Are They Good for SEO?

Zero-click searches are searches that end without the user clicking on any of the results on the search engine results page (SERP). They are becoming more and more common in today’s searches as Google provides more direct answers and information within the SERP itself. 

The answers and information are displayed in various SERP features, such as featured snippets, quick answers, “people also ask” boxes, knowledge panels, and local packs.

Zero-click searches have sparked mixed opinions within the SEO community. 

Some see them as a threat to organic traffic and conversions, as users may not need to visit external websites to get what they are looking for. 

Others see them as an opportunity to increase visibility and credibility, as being featured in these SERP features can boost brand awareness and trust.

In this blog post, we will explore the concept of zero-click searches, their statistics, their implications for SEO, and how to adapt to them. 

We will also share some tips and best practices that we use at Content Whale, a leading SEO content writing company in India, to optimize content for zero-click searches and provide value to your audience beyond the immediate answers provided by Google.

Zero-Click Search Statistics

How prevalent are zero-click searches in today’s search landscape?

How prevalent are zero-click searches in today’s search landscape? According to a study by Semrush, a leading SEO tool provider, 25.6% of desktop and 17.3% of mobile Google searches are zero-click in 2023. This means that more than one in four desktop searches and almost one in five mobile searches end without a click to an external website.

Another study by SparkToro, a market research firm, found that 64.8% of Google searches in 2020 were zero-click, up from 50.3% in 2019. However, this study included both organic and paid clicks and also counted multiple searches from the same user as separate searches. 

Therefore, the results may not be directly comparable to the Semrush study, which only focused on organic clicks and unique searches.

Nevertheless, both studies indicate a significant volume of searches that end without a click to external websites, suggesting a shift in user behavior and search engine functionality. 

Zero-click searches are not a new phenomenon, but they are becoming more and more common as Google strives to provide the best user experience and answer users’ queries as quickly and accurately as possible.

Understanding Zero-Click Searches

What are the different types of zero-click SERP features, and why do they cause searches to end without a click?

What are the different types of zero-click SERP features, and why do they cause searches to end without a click? 

Zero-click SERP features are elements on the SERP that provide direct answers or information to users’ queries without requiring them to click on any of the results. Some of the most common types of zero-click SERP features are:

1. Featured snippets

These are boxes that appear at the top of the SERP, containing a summary of the answer to the query extracted from a relevant website. They also include a link to the source website, the page title, and the URL. Here’s an example.

2. Quick answers

These are boxes that appear below the featured snippet, containing a short answer to the query, such as a definition, a fact, a calculation, a conversion, or a translation. They may also include a link to the source website or a “more” button for additional information. Here’s an example.

3. People also ask

These are boxes that appear below the quick answers, containing a list of related questions that users may have, along with their answers and links to the source websites. Users can expand or collapse each question to see the answer. Here’s an example.

4. Knowledge panels

These are boxes that appear on the right side of the SERP, containing structured information about entities, such as people, places, organizations, events, products, etc. They may also include images, videos, ratings, reviews, social media links, and other relevant information. Here’s an example.

5. Local packs

These are boxes that appear below the knowledge panel, containing a map and a list of local businesses or places that match the query. They may also include ratings, reviews, contact details, directions, and other relevant information. Here’s an example. 

6. Google SGE

Google SGE, or the Search Generative Experience, is a new way to interact with Google Search, powered by generative AI (Artificial Intelligence). SGE leverages large language models to offer users a more interactive and informative search experience. You can learn more about Google SGE and how to use it from this article.

The main reason why a search might end without a click is that the user gets the answer or information they need from these SERP features, without having to visit any external website.  Here’s an example.

For example, if a user searches for “how old is taylor swift”, they may see a featured snippet with the answer, a quick answer with his date of birth, a knowledge panel with his biography, and a “people also ask” box with related questions. 

The user may not need to click on any of the results, as they get all the information they need from the SERP itself.

Another reason why a search might end without a click is that the user refines their query without engaging with any of the results. 

For example, if a user searches for “best laptop”, they may see a local pack with nearby stores, a knowledge panel with laptop categories, and a “people also ask” box with related questions. 

The user may not find any of the results relevant or satisfactory, and may modify their query to be more specific, such as “best laptop for gaming” or “best laptop under 50000”

The user may repeat this process until they find the results they are looking for, or give up on the search altogether.

Implications for SEO

What are the implications of zero-click searches for SEO strategies?

What are the implications of zero-click searches for SEO strategies? On one hand, zero-click searches pose a challenge for digital marketers, as they reduce the opportunities for organic traffic and conversions. 

If users can get the answers or information they need from the SERP itself, they may not feel the need to visit external websites, especially if they are looking for quick facts or simple solutions. 

This may affect the performance of websites that rely on clicks for revenue, such as e-commerce, news, or affiliate sites.

On the other hand, zero-click searches also present an opportunity for SEO professionals, as they increase the visibility and credibility of websites that are featured in these SERP features. 

Being featured in snippets and other SERP features can boost brand awareness and trust, as users may perceive these websites as authoritative and relevant sources of information. 

Being featured in these SERP features can also drive more qualified traffic and conversions, as users who click through may be more interested and engaged with the website content.

Therefore, zero-click searches have a dual nature: they are both a challenge and an opportunity for SEO professionals. 

The key is to understand the changing search behavior and adapt SEO practices to remain competitive in the era of immediate information.

Strategies to Adapt to Zero-Click Searches

How can SEO professionals optimize their content for zero-click searches and provide value to their audience beyond the immediate answers provided by Google?

How can SEO professionals optimize their content for zero-click searches and provide value to their audience beyond the immediate answers provided by Google? Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Question-Based Content

Focus on question-based content that can be featured in snippets. One of the most effective ways to get featured in snippets is to create content that answers common or relevant questions that users may have about your topic.

Use tools like AnswerThePublic, Ahrefs or Semrush to find out what questions users are asking, and structure your content using headings, bullet points, lists, tables, and other elements that can be easily extracted by Google.

2. Structured Content

Use structured data to enhance visibility in SERP features. Structured data is a way of adding markup to your website content that helps Google understand and display it better in the SERP. 

By using structured data, you can increase your chances of being featured in knowledge panels, local packs, and other SERP features that can attract users’ attention and clicks. 

Use tools like Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, Schema.org, or you can take our help, at Content Whale to implement and validate your structured data.

3. Comprehensive Content for Multiple User Intents

Create comprehensive content that addresses various user intents. User intent is the goal or purpose behind a user’s search query. It can be classified into four types: informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial. 

To optimize your content for zero-click searches, you need to create content that covers all the possible user intents related to your topic, and provide in-depth, valuable information that goes beyond what can be directly answered in the SERP. 

Use tools like Google Analytics, Semrush, or share your requirements with us at Content Whale to analyze and optimize your content for user intent.

4. Really Good Content

Be creative and enticing with your content. Even if you manage to get featured in snippets and other SERP features, you still need to convince users to click through to your website for more information. 

This requires creativity and persuasion in your content, such as using catchy headlines, compelling meta descriptions, engaging images, videos, or infographics, and clear calls to action.

Use tools like CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, Yoast SEO, or you can contact us at Content Whale to improve your content’s appeal and clickability.

Zero Click Searches - Are They Good for SEO? How Content Whale can help you with Zero Click searches

Zero-click searches are a reality of today’s search landscape, and they have both positive and negative implications for SEO professionals. 

On one hand, they reduce the opportunities for organic traffic and conversions, as users may not need to visit external websites to get the answers or information they need. 

On the other hand, they increase the visibility and credibility of websites that are featured in these SERP features, as users may perceive them as authoritative and relevant sources of information.

To adapt to zero-click searches, SEO professionals need to optimize their content for these SERP features, while also providing value beyond the immediate answers provided by Google. This requires a combination of technical, analytical, and creative skills, as well as a deep understanding of user intent and behavior.

At Content Whale, we have the expertise and experience to help you create engaging and SEO-friendly blog posts that can rank well in zero-click searches. 

We use the latest tools and techniques to research, write, and optimize your content for your target audience and keywords. 

We also ensure that your content is original, informative, and persuasive, so that users will want to click through to your website for more information.

If you want to learn more about how Content Whale can help you with your content writing needs, contact us today for a free consultation and quote. 

We are the leading content writing agency in India, and we have helped hundreds of clients across various industries and niches achieve their content marketing goals. 

We are confident that we can help you with all we have got at highly affordable prices.

Thank you for reading this blog post, and we hope you found it useful and interesting. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.

A. A zero click search is a type of search engine result that provides the answer to the user’s query without them having to click on a link. They’re also commonly referred to as featured snippets, answer boxes, or knowledge panels.

A. According to the above referenced study by SparkToro, in 2020, 64.82% of Google searches ended without a click to another web property. This means that more than half of the searches are zero clicks.

A. The trend in zero click search is increasing over time, as search engines like Google aim to provide more relevant and comprehensive information to users on the search results page itself. This can include displaying data, images, videos, maps, calculators, definitions, and more.

A. To optimize for zero click searches, you need to create high-quality content that answers the user’s intent and provides useful information. You also need to use proper formatting, keywords, headings, and schema markup to increase your chances of ranking in the featured snippets, knowledge panels, or other types of zero click results. Additionally, you should also optimize your content for voice search, as many zero click searches are done through voice assistants like Siri or Alexa.

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