June 17, 2020
How To Succeed in Zero-Click Search SEO
First of all, what exactly do we mean by Zero-click searches? Zero-clicks means that when people do a Google Search for information, they get the information right on the search results page. They never have to click on any of the organic or paid search results, which means less direct web traffic for your site. As you can imagine, Google realizes that keeping visitors on their SEO results page is of great value (versus having visitors click out to 3rd party web sites), so they are doing everything they can to provide the information people are looking for right there within the search results page. A prime example of this is the expansion of their Google My Business listings over the past couple of years. Visitors searching for your business first see your Google My Business listing which includes your business description, hours of operation, location, phone #, products and services, pricing, and more. For many businesses, such as hotels and attractions, you can also book their offerings right from the Google Search Results page. You get the idea, right? Google is going to keep adding more and more features that keep searchers on their search engine results page. This may eventually make your organic search listing irrelevant.
Last year, about 50% of organic Google searches generated zero clicks. Zero-click searches are on the rise and are causing businesses to receive less impressions, CTRs, and organic web traffic.
According to Spark Toro:
- 34.4% of desktop searches in 2018 resulted in no clicks
- 62.5% of mobile searches produced no clicks in 2018
To stay competitive on the coveted first page, Hawaii businesses must adapt their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) marketing to include optimizing their websites for the Zero-Click Google Rich Features, which are effective for spreading brand awareness and positioning your site as a hub of information. In this article, we will share tips on how you can optimize your website to be featured in Rich Features and take back your top SERP glory!
What are Zero-Click Search Rich Features?
Rich Features are blocks of information that help Google users find the answers they are searching for effortlessly. Zero-click search Rich Features provide the answers to a search query, so users don’t have to click through a bunch of websites to find the desired information—hence the name zero click search.
You may have noticed these Rich Features pop up on the SERP in various formats for key phrases, like “Aloha meaning” (see example below). Voice searches using Siri, Alexa, or the Google Assistant read off of these Rich Features when you ask for specific inquiries, like recipes or trivia questions.
Does That Mean That Zero-Click Rich Features Are Bad For Businesses?
No, zero-click Rich Features can be instrumental in spreading brand awareness and sharing useful information. Rand Fishkin, the founder of SparkToro, said in a Search Engine Land interview that zero-click Rich Features are similar to billboards. Both types of media are hard to collect measurable data but are very useful in building brand familiarity and sharing information.
When Do Zero-Click Searches Or Rich Features Appear On The SERP?
Zero-click searches usually occur for the following types of searches:
- Database Searches
- Dictionary or Encyclopedia Searches
- Map Directions
- Longer tail keyword searches
- Searching for notable people, companies, places, news articles, and more.
- Recipes or “How To” searches
- Asking an FAQ
However, it’s hard to determine which search phrases trigger a Rich Feature to show up. It depends on the search query, the algorithm, and if the other websites on the SERP have optimized their pages for Rich Features. Ahrefs’s report found that only 12.3% of searches produce a Rich Feature. To see the full list of Google Rich Feature formats and where they might appear, click on our previous blog post here.
How Do You Optimize for Zero-Click Rich Features?
First things first….
- Research and list the keywords that show zero-click Rich Features that you currently use in your SEO strategy.
- Ahrefs has provided a useful graph of common keywords that are more likely to meet a Rich Feature, see below.
- Identify and optimize the web pages that would work best as a zero-click Rich Feature. You can start by asking yourself:
- Can my content define any keywords?
- Do we have a top ten list that’s relevant to a keyword search?
- Do we have any material discussing an in-depth comparison?
- Do we have a step-by-step video tutorial?
- Target question-based keywords. Zero-click searches usually appear on question queries. Revise your content so that keyword terms are incorporated in the sub headlines and the precise answer is listed right below it.
- You can find inspiration and examples on how to word your questions from existing Rich Features, “People Also Asked” boxes and related searches located at the bottom of the SERP.
- Create quality content. Of course, the quality and relevancy of your content will help determine if it will be featured as a Rich Feature.
- Make your content more attractive for Rich Features with schema markups.
- Schema markups are microdata that create enhanced descriptions of your content. It helps Google understand your content.
- However, using structured data does not guarantee that your content will show up on the SERP.
Now, let’s proceed to our top recommendations for zero-click Rich Features:
How To Optimize For Definitions Rich Features
- Start your first sentence by defining the keyword using verbiage like “[keyword] is a….” or “[keyword] means to….”
- For keywords definitions that require further explanation, organize your content using the inverted triangle method: share the most important and concise information first, important details second, and general information last.
How To Optimize for “People Also Asked” Rich Features
- Sometimes, Google will show alternative questions other users have searched for and provide the answers for them in a dropdown toggle box.
- Write complete questions and answers.
- Use clear, plain language. Google likes to share clear and to-the-point answers.
- Avoid sales language. Remember, people want to find answers to their questions on search, not see promotions.
- Add Q&A schema to your webpages.
How To Optimize For List Rich Features
- Lists work best for searches that are asking for step-by-step tutorials. For example: “Why is SEO marketing important” or “How to win at zero-click searches.”
- Lists can be unordered (bullet points) or ordered (numbered).
- How you structure your lists is very important. Start a list with a title incorporating the keyword in a question format and make the title H2, H3, etc.
- List major points that relate to the search query and make sure the text is readable and clear.
- It can also work for FAQs and “Top Best” lists
How To Optimize For Comparison Rich Features
- It’s recommended to use tables to map out comparisons. This is because it’s easier for Google to read and searchers to study the pros and cons, or similarities and differences on a topic.
- Similar to how to optimize for a list rich feature, Comparison rich features should have a title incorporating the keyword in a question format above the table and make the title H2, H3, etc.
How To Optimize For Image Rich Features
- Google pulls images from different websites to accompany Definition and Text Rich Features.
- To make your images zero-click SEO ready, add alt text that’s a variation of the headline used for the Rich Feature.
- Also, place the image directly under your Rich Feature optimized text or within content, full of relevant keywords.
How to Optimize Google Business Listing Rich Feature
- This Rich Feature usually appears on a branded search on the right side of the SERP. It displays your business’s contact information, operation hours, location, reviews, photos, and more.
- This Rich Feature is a great way to be displayed on the SERP for branded searches.
- To use this Rich Feature, you must claim your business’s listing or create one of your own. Then, optimize it by filling in all the required fields about your business with the most recent information:
- Business name
- Hours of operation
- Contact information
- Photos of your brick-and-mortar store, logo, products
- Additional optimization tips:
- Frequently create posts about your products, business, tips, offers, etc.
- Collect Google Reviews
- Answer questions and reply to Google reviews.
With the rise in Zero-Click searches, securing a position on the top of the Google SERP for your Hawaii website has become even more challenging. Although your company will see lower CTRs and organic web traffic, using Google’s Rich Features for Zero-Click Searches can be a valuable organic SEO strategy and it can help generate awareness for your brand and position your website as a credible source of information.
If your Hawaii business needs digital marketing help, please reach out to Team Vision Marketing, Hawaii’s leading advertising and digital marketing agency for over 20 years. We’d love to help!
This is the blog of Team Vision Marketing, a full-service Hawaii advertising agency located in Honolulu, Hawaii and serving clients on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii.
Phone: (808) 536-0416
Dolly Moreno, former Director of Sales & Marketing at Honua Kai Resort & Spa on Maui, talks about her experience working with Team Vision Marketing on all of her advertising, graphic design and digital marketing needs.
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