Zero clicks on SERP. Is it giving you the fear?

05 July 2022

Sometimes search rankings can be a zero click game, and that’s a scary thought in the SEO world because traffic generally translates to conversions, revenue, new business, success, etc etc. So, what are Zero Click Searches, and what is there to get past the fear…

Zero Click Searches

Zero click searches are where the users’ query is resolved at the top of the Google search page before clicking through to a specific website. Think of it this way, if you were arguing in the pub over a football score or running to the nail salon whilst googling their closing time. You are looking for a quick answer and the results show snippets like the below. The user then gets that quick answer without clicking through to any websites, they close the screen… but what does that mean for businesses and rankings?

Setting the scene: What exactly are we looking at?

Featured snippets are small captions of text, or text and images, which Google feels fulfils the intent of a search. In the majority of cases, these are answers to specific questions, where Google is lifting the answer from a small piece of a webpage’s content.

Google has a few varieties for how these snippets are displayed including:

  • Definition box snippet
  • Table snippet
  • Ordered list snippet
  • Unordered list snippet
  • People also ask dropdown snippet
  • Local packs snippet – this can include a map
  • Top stories snippet
  • Video snippets

Let’s have a look at some in action!

Definition Box Snippet

Table snippet

Ordered List Snippet

Unordered List Snippet

People also ask snippet

Local Packs

Top stories

Video snippets

So, now we know what a snippet is and how they work, let’s talk about how sites clamour to get featured in ‘position #0”, and why it can be both a good and bad thing for your business.

Is this a double-edged sword?

You want to be the TOP DOG in search results, so it seems obvious that you want to show up first with a lovely big box for users to see. If you do get featured, and the answer is clear, but do you expect a user to then go through to your website too?

Consider the below graph and look at the number of people in grey that after getting their answer just close the tab and get on with their life. More recent data has not been made available, but it is expected that since the pandemic, the number of zero-click searches will rise as these zero click searches are mostly made on mobile - and we all know how popular mobile searches are.

Google Organic, Paid & Zero-Click Searches (2018-2020)

[Source:  Spark Toro]

Search Engine Land however reports that the average featured snippet gets around 8% of all clicks. This means that if your content can become a featured snippet it can bring some serious organic click-throughs.

Do featured snippets help increase traffic?

It really depends on what intent you’re fulfilling for a user. Consider our example, for the Definition Box Featured snippet for Derry Girls, it answers the question and the user can click through to watch or even sign up and subscribe, this is a win for Netflix and increases web traffic.

However, if your snippet is just providing the user with information required for a task e.g. ‘how to make a graph in excel’ they might just follow the steps and never click through to Hubspot. In this instance, brand awareness is achieved, and trust developed but there is no increase to traffic.

How to get your content featured as a Google Snippet

Google is frequently updating and reviewing its algorithm to provide the best responses for their users so featuring as a Google Snippet is not guaranteed. However, there are some key steps which can help your website become featured:

  • Ensure your content is high-quality and relevant to the target audience and their queries
  • Conduct in-depth keyword research
  • Execute technical SEO
  • Evaluate competitor snippet results
  • Plan content clusters according to search intent

As Google Premier Partners, our Loud Mouth team have their ear to the ground on all the latest algorithm updates and insights. Get in touch today with our snippet experts that can help your website gain position #0 status above your competitors.