Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has changed a lot over the years.
From the days of keyword stuffing to the recent innovations in voice search, users are accessing more dynamic content from search than ever.
One way that Google is trying to improve their platform’s user experience is to create enhanced search results that a user doesn’t need to click on to get the answer they need, which leads to a zero-click search result.
Enhanced search results are now part of the SEO game and understanding how to win despite people not clicking on a link to your website is a critical component of your SEO strategy.
We’ll show you how to deal with no click searches and still give users the valuable information they need about your business.
What are No Click Searches?
No click, or zero-click, searches are a search engine result page (SERP) that displays the answer to a user’s query at the top of a Google search result. This kind of search result satisfies the user’s intent without having to actually click on any search result links.
For many content producers, this can be extremely frustrating, but Google is designing enhanced search results with users’ best interests at heart (which is also keeping users using their platform).
According to Search Engine Journal, 34.4% of all desktop searches result in no click while 62.5% of users never click search result links on mobile.
Types of Enhanced Search Results
Enhanced search results can take many forms including:
- Instant Answers
- Knowledge panel
- Featured snippets
Here are some examples of what these could look like:
How to Get Featured Snippets
Many SEO experts call featured snippets or other enhanced search results “position 0” because these snippets are above all the other possible organic search results.
There are many different types of featured snippets, but the main factor to consider when creating content that could be a snippet is what the user’s intent is behind the query. People asking “how to” questions will want a list of steps to take, while a person asking “what is” will be looking for a definition or a table.
More often than not, featured snippets are displayed for long tail keyword phrases (more than four words) that are usually answering a specific question a user will have.
While it is almost impossible to know for sure how Google’s algorithm works, one thing you can bet on is they want to serve up the best possible results for their users.
This means you will want to keep your rich snippet bid as simple as possible and make Google’s job easy.
To be in contention for a featured snippet, add questions or keyword terms as a subheader (usually an H2 header) to your content. Usually, you will want to directly match the question you are trying to answer.
Immediately beneath the header, create a precise answer around 45-60 words. If the answer is for a “how to” question, you will probably want to use a list instead.
The key to getting the featured snippet is to make your answer as factual as possible while being as clear as possible. For example, if the keyword is a definition, we would recommend starting with “X is…” so that you are directly addressing a user’s question.
In general, you will also want to add schema markup for lists and tables. You can find information about schema markup here.
How Do I Find Good Keywords?
You will want to try to optimize keywords:
- That you rank in the top 10 for already
- That currently display featured snippets
- That answer questions
From there, you will want to try and identify different ways that people are asking similar questions and repeat the process.
You will want to focus on targeting keywords that key a lot of clicks from search results, so pay attention to SEO tools that can help you keep track of clicks for specific keyword terms. You want as close to a one-to-one ratio as possible to ensure you are getting the most bang for your optimization efforts.
Keep Optimizing for Zero Click Searches
So the bad news is organic clicks are on the decline.
The good news is by implementing the above strategies, you will be able to continue to optimize your search results for 2019 and beyond.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t win a snippet right away. Enhanced search results are much harder to win than getting something to rank on the first page. Keep at it and continue to look for new ways to simplify your pages to clearly address the felt needs of users.
One thing is for certain: Google will continue making changes to improve the user experience for SERPs, especially with mobile and voice search overtaking desktop results. In order to stay in the digital marketing game, you will need to continue to stay up to date with the latest changes.
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist