Let’s say your quarantine hair is giving off serious caveman vibes, and your hairdresser doesn’t have an opening until next month. Before you start stressing out, you type “How to make a homemade hair treatment” into the Google search bar. And lo and behold—there’s an article on DIY hair hacks right at the top!

This “thank God for Google” moment is all thanks to Google’s zero-click searches. The goal of zero-click searches is to respond to search intent and achieve a positive user experience. 

As much as zero-click searches are important to Google and its users, they should be as important to your business—understanding how you can leverage zero-click searches can level up your online visibility and brand awareness big time. 

Let’s dive into what zero-click search is, how it helps your SEO rankings, and what you can do to win a zero-click search result. 

What Are Zero-Click Searches?

Zero-click searches refer to results that appear right at the top of the search engine result page (SERP). They provide direct answers to the user’s query. 

Because the user immediately gets what they need, they don’t need to click on another link or page to fetch more information (hence the name, zero-click search). Zero-click search results are placed above the organic search results; this position is commonly referred to as position zero. 

3 Common Types of Zero-Click Search Results

There are three main types of zero-click search results business owners like yourself should be aware of. 

1. Featured Snippet

Featured snippets are bits of text from a piece of content. Google pulls this text to answer a user’s query. 

You’ve likely encountered many featured snippets while searching on Google. They look like this: 

Featured snippets can also include videos (particularly for how-to queries): 

2. Knowledge Panel

A knowledge panel is an infographic box that provides an outline on a particular topic. It offers users simple but informative details. Knowledge panels are often found on the right side of the SERPs. 

Knowledge panels can also feature key details on your business, such as address and hours of operation. 

3. Local 3-Pack

A Local 3-Pack is the group of three business listings you see when searching for local products and services. They show up when you use search phrases that entail “near me” or “near [location].” Local 3-Packs are accompanied by a map that illustrates where the businesses are located. 

How Zero-Click Searches Can Help Your SEO Rankings

In 2020, almost 65% of Google searches ended without a click to another webpage. This rose from 50% in 2019.  

As users’ queries are being resolved quickly on the SERPs, it’s imperative for businesses like yours to aim for the three zero-click search results we discussed above. Doing so will help you elevate your brand awareness, online visibility, and organic growth. 

Think about it—when you take up a lot of real estate on page one of Google, it increases your authority, and people will be more willing to trust your business. And when they trust you, they might just feel compelled to check out your products and services. 

Not convinced? Check out these statistics: 

  • The Local 3-Pack receives over 50% of local search clicks.
  • If you rank first for a search term and capture a featured snippet spot, you gain 31% more traffic compared to just having the first position with no featured snippet. 
  • Hubspot found that their high traffic keywords ranking in the featured snippet increased their average click-through rate (CTR) by over 114%—and that’s over ranking in the #1 spot.

What You Can Do

Here are four key tips on how to create zero-click search value for your business.

1. Incorporate the Right Keywords into Your Content

Your keywords should target your audience’s queries. What are they looking up on search engines? What are their pain points and needs? Be sure your keywords satisfy search intent—aligning your content strategy with your user’s needs helps you build relevance and authority.

Keyword optimization requires extensive keyword and competitor research to ensure you’re going in the right direction. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact an SEO team that can tailor your online strategy to your goals. 

Once you have all of your keywords mapped out, update your content with those terms. The more you target those terms and topics, the more likely Google will give you a zero-click search result spot.

2. Optimize Your Content for Featured Snippets

Winning a coveted SERP spot requires aligning your strategies with the actual queries of your target audience. 

To optimize your content for a featured snippet, consider shifting your focus to long-tail keywords. These are longer, more specific, and more conversational phrases that often start with: 

  • What is/are
  • Where is/are
  • Why is/are
  • How does/do
  • How to

Here are a few comparison examples of general keywords and long-tail keywords: 

    • Hikes at ZionWhat are some easy hikes in Zion National Park? 
    • Comfy couchesWhere can I find comfortable couches?
    • Pink flamingos – Why are flamingos pink? 
    • Tying your shoes – How to tie your shoes

Tools like Answer the Public are great resources that can help you find conversational queries. Incorporate these long-tail keywords into your content and answer those questions. Try to use bullet or numbered lists, so search crawlers can easily comprehend your content and, hopefully, feature it on position zero.  

3. Create & Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB) Profile

If you’re a business that offers services in specific geographic areas, building and optimizing your Google My Business profile is pivotal to boosting your local SEO rankings. 

Having a GMB profile can increase your chances of winning a spot on the Local 3-Pack. Not to mention, it can also help you get some of your local information featured on a knowledge panel. 

The key is to always have the right information clearly outlined in your profile. This involves ensuring your: 

  • Business’ name is accurately listed 
  • Website is on your profile (consider listing a specific location page if your site carries unique pages)
  • Category and description are filled in 
  • Photos and videos are taken by customers/users at the exact business location
  • Reviews are promptly being addressed

For more information on creating a GMB profile, be sure to read up on the seven tips for setting up the perfect GMB profile. 

4. Don’t Forget Your Schema Markup

Schema can improve your chances of achieving a featured snippet spot. Schema markups are structured code that tells search engines what your page is about and the information you want users to know. Search engines then show those details on the SERPs.

For example, if your business specializes in career coaching, by adding in an event schema, you can highlight your upcoming webinars on your search result listing. 

Leveraging schema markups can help search engines match your business with the right queries. With the right structured data in place, you have a better chance of winning a featured snippet spot. 

Boost Your Online Visibility—Contact Big Leap

Improving your online visibility isn’t a one-and-done deal. It requires consistent effort and strategy to achieve long-term results. 

If you’d like an SEO team to be your sounding board, reach out to Big Leap. With over a decade of experience helping businesses achieve longevity, we can help you map out your goals and customized strategies to go with them.

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Adam Jackson