Tips to Optimize Your Site for Zero-Click Searches
SEO can be tricky at the best of times, but it can be particularly difficult when dealing with Google’s changing search algorithms. One function that Google is always working on expanding is zero-click searches, because of the convenience it offers web surfers. Here’s the scoop on zero-click searches, what they are, and how to optimize for them.
A zero-click search is a Google search that displays the answer in a window at the top of the page. It gives you the answer to your search without having to click on any results—that’s why they’re called zero-click searches. While it can be great for consumers looking for quick answers, it can cause big problems for businesses. Thanks to zero-click searches, website click through rates—also known as CTRs—are declining: 34.4% of all desktop searches and 62.5% of mobile searches don’t result in a click. Even if you’re the featured result, although you receive exposure for being at the top of the search engine results, your webpage may not receive clicks. And if you’re further down the list, you are almost guaranteed not to receive any traffic. The solution? Optimize your website, because whether you love them or hate them, zero-click searches are here to stay.
There are several ways to optimize your website for zero-click searches: some that lean into those searches and some that lean away. If you are trying to avoid zero-click searches, two strategies are to switch up your content and keep an eye on your keywords.
- Switch Up Your Content. If you don’t want your business to get stuck in the lower listings of zero-click SERPs, try switching up what you write about. Zero-click searches traditionally answer straightforward questions about definitions, frequencies or amounts, and recommendations. By focusing on deeper and more complex topics, it’s very unlikely that searches on that subject could be answered with a one-sentence result. Adjusting to more complicated content and changing your SEO to match will make it less likely that you’ll end up in SERPs that include zero-click results.
- Keep an Eye on your Keywords. Many SEO tools will measure the click through rates of your suggested keywords. When planning the words to base your SEO around, check the CTR before you decide. Words and phrases that have a high click-through rate are unlikely to result in a zero-click search. By only choosing keywords with a high CTR, you can optimize your SEO to avoid zero-click searches and instead focus on traditional organic web traffic.
Both of these strategies can help you avoid being in zero-click SERPs. However, if you are ready to compete for that top spot, you can also optimize your website to appear in zero-clicks instead of avoiding them! Here are several strategies to help you rank higher and try to nab that number one position.
- Keep an Eye on Your Keywords (Again). Back to those click through rates provided by SEO tools—you can also use them to embrace zero-click searches! When you’re planning your keywords, you can actually look to choose options with low These keywords likely lead to zero-click results, which is why the click through rate is so low. Look for words with a low click through rate, a high number of searches, and a low amount of competition. Keywords that frequently lead to zero-click results and aren’t very competitive are your best bet to get that number one spot!
- Optimize for Easy Q+As. Zero-click searches are usually created for straightforward questions with short answers. When optimizing for these searches, create content that answers simple questions in a succinct way. Zero-click searches will frequently only return a sentence or two, so make sure that your content is well written, answers the question quickly, and invites consumers to read more.
- With a List, Step, and a Jump. Alternatively, instead of condensing your answer down to a short sentence, expand it to several steps. Instead of a simple answer, the zero-click result will display the different bullets in your list or steps without displaying all the content underneath. Using lists and steps is a great tactic for zero-click searches, because your website can be displayed at the top of the SERP without giving all its best content away. It gives consumers a quick overview of your article but encourages them to actually click through to read the whole thing, driving traffic to your blog.
Whether you love them or hate them, zero-click searches are here to stay. With every update to Google algorithms, they become more and more prevalent online. To get your web traffic back up, you can either optimize for or against zero-click searches—or even do both for different parts of your website. Whichever approach you take, remember these SEO tips to make the most of your website.
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