When search results provide such a spot-on answer to your search query that you need not even click to go to one of the websites in the search results, that’s a “zero-click search.”
According to clickstream data company Jumpshot, June 2019 marked the first time a majority (50.33%) of all browser-based searches on Google.com resulted in zero clicks.
Ask “where is Timbuktu” and get a map. Ask “best restaurant in town” and get a list of potential destinations, along with the option to click to call or click for map directions. Ask “how to fix a leaky faucet” and get a range of walkthrough videos. Those are just a few examples of likely zero-click searches that result in ZERO visitors to your website.
Google has a lot to do with the growth of “zero click search.” They have become the Emperor of Search Engines by constantly tweaking their search algorithm to answer people’s questions better. What’s wrong with providing users a quicker path to answers? By presenting a quickly digestible Page One answer, Google provides a refreshing hypotenuse in a world of information overload, BUT it’s also potentially problematic because it makes “zero clicks” seem like the objective.
Even if people are searching online for your brand by name, they are now ≥50% less likely to visit your website. In fact, the first time your brand appears in search results may be as a Google property – Google Search, Google Images, YouTube, Google Maps – which is troublesome because 94% of all searches happen ON a Google property (Jumpshot). The end result is that your website could start developing a “tree in the woods” complex.
Is there a Google-weighted “zero click” objective? Given their monopoly on search, the optics aren’t great.
Now, we users are part of the challenge, too. We like instant answers, especially when we can get them on the little computer in our hand. More than half of all searches now take place on mobile devices, and almost two-thirds of those searches end without a click (SparkToro).
Alright, alright … enough doom and gloom. Let’s explore a few things you can do about it.
There’s no gaming the system. Just build your website in a way that complies with all modern standards. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly, too.
Set up Google My Business. Make sure your Google Maps listing has the right information. Check your Knowledge Panel. Make some videos and post them on YouTube.
Develop content that demonstrates your field expertise. Create smart page titles. Do the meta data work. Modify content for featured snippets. Provide alt-text on all images. All help provide answers to questions people want to know about a business like yours.
Perhaps someone finds you in search results, but instead of clicking to go to your website they call you, then come by your business to complete a transaction. CRM can help track that cross-platform customer interaction.
Make sure you’re not a zero when it comes to zero-click searches. While search engine algorithms change all the time, know that you still have to build your brand’s website to answer three basic questions:
– Who are you?
– What do you do?
– Where are you
Humblebrag: we’re pretty good at all that. You’ll feel +1 just for reaching out to us.
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