Understanding Zero Click Searches
“Position zero” is the place or position where query results appear in extended featured snippets above all other search results. “Zero clicks” refer to a search engine result that answers the query right at the top in a simple snippet, so the user doesn’t need further clicks to complete the search. These zero-click results are often called Quick Answers, Knowledge Boxes, Featured Snippets, or Top Stories.
Zero-click searches are common on mobile devices and voice searches because users usually look for practical and short answers to specific questions on such devices. Also, Zero clicks to improve the user experience by saving them time and keeping them on Google’s page instead of sending them to a third-party website.
Examples of zero-click searches include:
- Database searches: Search queries around dates, time and time zones, currency conversions, age and names of people and products, etc.
- Encyclopaedia-style and Dictionary searches: Search queries around “what is”, “definition of”, etc.
- Map direction or location-style searches: Local search queries like “near me”, “coffee cafe”, etc.
Almost 50% of searches end without a click on an organic search result because the zero-click search instantly satisfies the search intent.
Why did Google Introduced Zero click?
“Eight seconds” is the average attention span of a consumer. More than 8 seconds might lead consumers to change their minds and switch to another website for their query satisfaction. Google Introduced zero clicks to save users’ time from unnecessary searches, enhance user experience and streamline the search process by providing answers to their questions immediately. Most users find this zero-click feature easy to find the relevant information and save them from other confusing details.
Featured snippets, however, provide detailed information in various ways, such as definitions, maps, video snippets, lists, images, calculators etc.
For example, searching for “what is the age of the UK president” or “UK president age” will display an answer that doesn’t require another click or an additional site visit.
Benefits of Utilising Zero Click Searches
With the rise in zero-click searches, digital marketers now need to adapt how they optimise for keywords and markup their content. Providing the information a consumer needs in a rich snippet often prevents them from looking further.
The user might not always click and visit sites, yet they are regularly exposed to brands if their search query with purchase intent shows in a zero-click search. As they are part of the future wave, zero-clicks help converts online searches into offline sales.
Other than strategic marketing, there are a lot of hidden branding opportunities in a zero-click. A featured snippet with strategic content and catchy images can maximise a brand’s visibility and improve credibility, leading to organic traffic.
- Consumer Brand: consumers can get introduced to your brand directly on the SERP without clicking on your site. It is the first step of the buyer journey and can create stronger purchase intent with your paid/organic results.
- Brand Credibility: providing relevant and updated information in knowledge boxes and featured snippets helps build trust between consumers and the brand.
Foot Traffic: zero-click can generate foot traffic. For example: searching “coffee shop” and visiting one of the featured coffee shops populated in the knowledge box.
Getting Featured In Zero-Click Searches
Luckily, your webpage doesn’t need to be in the top-ranked pages to be featured in a zero-click search. But there is no guarantee of your pages getting featured each time a user searches. It usually depends on the audience’s search intent and the nature of the search queries. However, utilising the different strategies can increase your chance of getting featured in a zero-click search. You’re more likely to be chosen for a featured snippet if you make it easy for Google algorithms to understand that you are answering a query in a simple yet comprehensive manner.
For instance, if you are targeting audiences looking for professional HR services, you would want to show Google algorithms that you are providing relevant and accurate answers to user queries through a specific heading. With a clear title, “How to hire employees effectively?” and answering concisely and clearly with a step-by-step guide, you can easily improve your chances of being featured in Zero Click searches.
Schema markup is code, also known as the semantic vocabulary of microdata, that you can add to the HTML for your website. This microdata makes search engines better understand your content to create more detailed and informative results for searchers.
If you want to make your featured snippets rich with quality content, you can use Schema MarkUp. With the help of schema, you can add supplementary information such as price, the cooking time of your recipe, etc., according to the query. If the user is interested in further details, they can click through to the site. Furthermore, you can prevent wasted clicks.
To utilise schema in content, your web pages should be relevant. Otherwise, Google can consider it schema spam, which might generate the opposite results from what you desired.
Is it Important to Implement Schema in Your Content?
Search results with relevant schema inform the user faster. This information will rank your website better for content types, get found, and get more clicks. The user can see details of your page at first glance, which helps them decide in an instant whether to click through or switch to a more relevant website.
Which Keywords Are More Likely to Appear in Featured Snippets?
According to Ahrefs, After Analysing 2 million search queries, it suggests that most of the featured snippets contain long-tail keywords, and they are more likely to appear in featured snippets. It is also for the reason that a long-tail keyword satisfies more queries instead of short-tail keywords.
Sites Most Impacted by zero-click Searches.
While there are many advantages of zero clicks for brands like generating sales, on the other hand, various sites are adversely hit by zero clicks. The organic traffic of Ecommerce sites and sites that help with basic everyday tasks such as calculators, weather information, currency conversions, etc., are impacted by the increase of zero-clicks.
The introduction and expansion of Google Shopping have significantly changed the ecommerce industry. It provides convenience to consumers as it allows them to buy in-platform products. Via Google Account information, customers can check out for products with a shopping cart icon. On the other hand, this is a radical change for the third-party ecommerce sites that have worked hard to achieve organic ranking. However, they need to utilise different ways to compete.
As Google offers a zero-click solution to calculate your currency rate, check the weather, or find directions, Ecommerce businesses must integrate the same offerings to optimise themselves or find another way. Google OneBox offers a separate display box within the SERPs that displays “Google’s universal search” results. OneBox integrates the organic SERPs’ results from Google’s vertical search engines.
Zero Click Opportunities
Although SEO experts are not happy with this featured snippet, many professionals embrace it. While holding a featured snippet spot does mean you might be “giving away” your content without the user demand to visit your website, similarly, it is a great way to gain visibility and brand awareness. Furthermore, many consumers will still click on that result to get more information.
1- Featured Snippets
Paragraphs, videos, lists, and tables; are the primary type of zero-click search results that traffic most to websites. Featured snippets link back to existing web pages such as blog posts or news articles from where they got their answer.
- Paragraph snippet
Paragraph snippets appear on question-based searches such as how-tos, as well as “who,” “why,” and “what” types of questions.
- Video Snippet
These snippets appear in video format along with other types of featured snippets.
- List Snippet
A list appears when Google provides answers in the form of a list. The lists can be made up of either bullet lists within a text or using subheadings of an article. For example, A query “10 ways to optimise your website for local SEO” will answer in the list.
- Table Snippet
Google provides answers in the form of a table containing the different numbers of rows and columns that include values such as prices, rates, years, or other numerical data.
2- Knowledge Panels
Businesses, brands, musicians and artists can create their knowledge panel to submit, acting as an online “business card”. The knowledge panel appears on the right-hand side of the search results and summarises key information on a person, business, film or other entity that Google holds information on. It is also known as Infobox.
- Brand knowledge panel
- The brand knowledge panel shows information about a relevant business website’s subpages such as home, services, products, location, contact info, etc.
- Local knowledge Panel
- It shows relevant information on a location-based search of nearby places.
3- Instant Answers
These are great for users who have reasonably simple questions and need a quick answer. There is no need to go to the website unless you require detailed information.
4- Definitions and Explanations
Definition snippets show results for a word definition, meaning, usage, and spelling queries.
Mathematically related searches will show Google’s calculator app on the results page.
Maps appear due to location-based searches and often include Google Maps integration.
7- Answer Box
Google’s direct Answers Box is different from its featured snippets box. The answers in the Answer Box are facts from Google’s data sources. There are no links to third-party websites in the direct answer box.
8- People Also Ask
The People Also Ask box displays several related questions and answers to the search performed on Google. These can answer directly on-page, a bit like featured snippets.
If you want a featured snippet of your website or want to be on the front page of Google, our marketing experts can help! Reach out to us today by calling or scheduling a consultation today.
Practical Approach to Optimise for Featured Snippets
Firstly, Google is not bound to use only your content as a featured snippet. Depending on the various ranking factors and algorithms, the featured snippets tend to change, disappear and appear again over time dynamically. It’s up to search engines to decide which web pages should be featured in snippets. However, you can use some strategies to increase the chances of your content appearing as a featured snippet.
Identify the Competitor’s Featured image
You can Identify the competitor’s featured image withSEMrush, as it is commonly known for its ability to uncover information about site analytics. Also, you can use it to identify your competitor-owned featured snippets. Through this platform, you can find out which snippets, if any, you already own.
Begin by entering the site URL into the SEMrush homepage; you can check how any site owns many featured snippets. Now, you should:
- Export the list
- Categorise them into different kinds of featured snippets
- Sort them by the higher search volume
- Highlight the low KD score
When you’ve identified which snippets your competitors are ranking for, you can begin to optimise your pages for those same terms.
Identify Keywords in the Content of Featured Snippets
After deciding on the content topic, you need to gather the keywords contained by ranked featured snippets. You can collect these main and related keywords via SEMRush. You can collect all the relevant keywords and use them in your content.
Try to Understand the Searcher’s Intent
Understand the different kinds of informational search intent behind the search query. They are relevant to the type of featured snippets available, which can help you plan and optimise your content. Firstly, you need to understand the searcher’s intent behind each query to optimise your featured snippet.
Different types of people search for your content with unique search intents. Those individuals might be:
- Your Potential Customers
- Influencers who attract your potential customers to buy from you
- your competitors
Each person will have different intents while searching, but it will always be informational and navigational. You need to provide the content for the first two.
As there is only one search intent for a featured snippet, we classify them further into four categories depending on whether they want:
A Particular Answer
Here, a user search query is in a question form that requires a particular answer. This type of Featured Snippet has a lower CTR as people come to get a particular solution and typically do not need or want to read additional content. This type of Featured Snippet can help brand building but is unlikely to drive a lot of traffic.
This search query comes up with a “table type” of featured snippet. The table content is more significant than what Google Featured Snippets can show. This type of search intent is more likely to boost the CTR.
A Brief Answer
This type of search query helps in both CTR and brand reputation. Here, the user looks for a paragraph or listicle type of featured snippet. If users want to get more information, they click on the results.
When users are looking for “how-to” answers, there is a greater chance of getting the maximum CTR if you attach a video to those answers.
You can run a competitive analysis via the SEMRush “SEO content template tool”. Your top ten rivals for target keywords will let you understand to whom you will compete. Also, via SEMRush, You’ll get the SEO recommendations for your content to optimise content for featured snippets.
Produce your Content
After gathering the significant elements of a featured snippet; content topics, targeted and related keywords, featured snippet type, its search intent, and a pool of SEO recommendations from competitors’ snippets. You can create a content outline that further produces a better version of the featured snippet content. For producing the content:
- The user search query and intent answer all the basic related information.
- Add more value by including statistical data, rich media, examples, pointers, etc.
- Keep the readability high with simple and shorter sentences.
- Keep your content more researched based instead of opinion-based. Citations help Google better understand your content.
Once you are done with the content production, double-check the following things to ensure you’re on the right track to get a featured snippet.
- Target Audience
- Search intent
- Targeted keywords.
- Suggestions listed
Organise your Content with Headings and Images
- Heading Tags
Well-organised and structured content is easy for users and search engines to scan, read, and understand. It will break up the sections of your piece so that Google can easily understand its structure. Organise your content with different headings such as H1, H2, H3 etc. Add a Relevant keyword question with a high search volume to the heading or title of the featured snippet. Also, make sure to choose your schema markup wisely.
One of the easiest ways to rank your content better than your competitor is to add images to it. Most featured snippets have one photo at least. You need to add several images to your webpage for the best results. Try to use original pictures or custom-made graphics rather than stock images to improve the users’ experience. In addition to adding images, you also need to add some alt images text. But It needs to be SEO friendly.
Add SEO-friendly alt image tags, add relevant keywords to them, explain the image accurately within them, and keep it short. It’s recommended that alt text not exceed 125 characters, or consumers may not read it thoroughly. It helps Google understand what the images explain.
Utilise SEO Techniques
Following are some SEO tactics that work for featured snippets:
- Structure of URL: Keep your URLs short, ideally three to four words.
- Meta description tag: Utilise SEOmofo to make the most of the pixels available. Also, write consumer-centric and keyword-specific meta descriptions to drive the highest clicks.
- Image Alt attributes: For all graphics, use descriptive alt text to make Google understand what the image is all about. Mainly, the best-performing content has images with alt attributes.
- Internal links: Internal links help Google identify your site’s most important pages. Also, If you achieved a featured snippet, you can support the rankings of your best pages with it.
- External links: external links will help Google know which external sites you trust and demonstrate credibility with your citations.
- With the Help of Schema MarkUp tags, Google understands your page quickly and recognises elements like tables.
- Link building: Link Building helps Google better understand your website’s Authority.
Optimise Website for Mobile
Google’s Mobile Algorithm is more likely to focus on mobile-friendly websites. If you have a mobile responsive website with an excellent user interface, your chance of getting ranked for featured snippets is high when people search for information using their mobile phones.
You should keep your eyes on Google’s Mobile Algorithm updates because they can significantly enhance your organic traffic results through Google Featured Snippets.
Google’s zero-click searches dominate search results. Quick answers are displayed in paragraphs, lists, tables, and videos to allow users to quickly find what they are looking for without making further clicks.
These trending forms are beneficial for businesses since they can bring higher traffic and, at the same time, generate awareness and boost their credibility. However, featured snippets also have their disadvantages. They can cost website clicks and potential clients, ultimately affecting their sales.
There aren’t any shortcuts that can rank your site on position zero. However, there are some steps that you need to take to optimise for it.
To increase the chances of your keywords appearing on featured snippets and strengthen your marketing opportunities, These factors can help you greatly:
- Focus on question-based keywords
- Create High-Quality Content
- Stay simple and concise
- Use Graphics
- Include relevant Facts & Figures
- Structure your content
- Include FAQ’s
Ecommerce products can also get featured listings on Google SERPs using Google Shopping and Product Listing Ads (PLAs). However, ecommerce sites can still own featured snippets for their guides and blogs.
Your featured snippet might get removed automatically or manually by Google if it comes under:
1. Harmful content.
2. Deceptive practices.
3. Harassing content.
4. Hateful content.
5. Manipulated media.
6. Medical content.
7. Sexually explicit content.
8. Terrorist content.
9. Violence and gore.
10. Vulgar language and profanity.
You may lose the featured snippet if you fall astray from Google’s policies. Also, you might lose it if a competitor does better at answering that query.