Zero-Click Searches: What Do They Mean for My Business?
It is no secret that improving your search rankings drives more traffic to your website. Businesses are constantly working to improve their SEO so that they appear at the top of search results, which makes it all the more frustrating when nearly 65% of Google searches end with the user not clicking to any property. These “zero-click” searches may sound like the enemy, but understanding how they work can help you make the most of these searches, improving your online presence so that your page will be a user’s first click when they are ready to visit a site.
What are Zero-Click Searches?
A zero-click search is when the answer to a user’s query is displayed at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), requiring no further clicks from the user to complete their search. These are also known as featured snippets. Zero-click searches save time for users while benefiting Google by providing optimized user experience without sending users away from Google to a third-party site. An example of a zero-click search may look like this:
Trends in Zero-Click Search Volume
Between January and December of 2020, almost 65% of Google searches were zero-click, ending without a click to another web property. This number is up from June 2019, when zero-click searches were 50% of total Google searches. Zero-click searches are also far more prevalent on mobile devices than desktop, making up 77.2% and 46.5% of all searches, respectively.
Many wonder what has caused the recent increase in zero-click searches. Last year saw an increase in overall search volume, possibly due to shifting behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. The surge in the number of individuals working from home early in the pandemic led to an increase in desktop searches. Still, a more recent downward trend in COVID cases may lead to more mobile searches, and therefore, more zero-click searches.
What Do Zero-Click Searches Mean for Businesses?
For businesses that compete with Google, like review platforms or online travel agencies, zero-click searches can lead to a drop in traffic volume on a site. However, for other businesses that are not in direct competition with Google, the trend of increasing search volume can mean more opportunities when it comes to making the best of zero-click searches.
Now, optimizing webpages for rich snippets and featured snippets is more important than ever, given the rise in zero-click searches. Snippets can help your business stand out from other search results, providing users with the answer to their search query before they even click on your page. Snippets can also improve your page ranking in the long run by allowing for your property to take up more real estate on the SERP, which can lead to more users clicking through to your site.