Zero Click Searches: How Google is changing the face of SEO in 2020

Written by Karl Chevalier: Senior digital executive.
· 4 minute read

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is constantly changing and you’d be soon falling behind if you didn’t believe it was. The SEO landscape is very dynamic and it’s important to make sure your strategy is constantly evolving over time inline with new algorithm updates and known best-practices. On top of this, we also find ourselves struggling against search engines and other platforms as they try ever more to become the end destination of their user’s journey. Searches such as these are called ‘Zero Click Searches’.

Zero Click Searches

Zero click searches are essential searches whereby you find the answer directly on the search engine, as opposed to using the search engine to navigate a website. For example, if you are searching for an answer to a particular question you may often find the answer in the search engine itself; this is called a ‘featured snippet’. There are a number of benefits to featured snippets, with one of them being that your result will always come above the first ‘normal’ result.

a featured snippet describing how liquidation affects shareholders

 

 

 

 

 

How do you optimise for Featured/Rich Snippets

Now zero-click searches are becoming even more prevalent, it’s important to make sure the information shown in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is as good as it possibly can be.  Two ways to stand out are Featured Snippets and Rich Snippets, both of which appear in the SERP’s and are intended to answer a user’s particular question without them having to click on a website or do any further research.

Featured Snippets – As highlighted above, featured snippets are an entire block of information that are shown at the very top of a search engine. The content for these blocks is brought in directly from the website cited below the text and often have much higher CTR (Click through rates) than standard search results.

Like all of the content you write on your site, it’s important to make sure it’s informative and aims to answers your users queries. This has always been the case, with solid content being one of the most important things to a strong SEO strategy, however now we are essentially just getting more guidance on how content should be written.

Do Your Keyword Research

This is first and foremost in any content strategy and should simply not be overlooked. If you are already writing content for your own site, you are most probably already doing this, but if you aren’t, Google’s Keyword Planner is the place to start. It’s simple to use and will also give you plenty of recommendations for various keyword clusters you may not have already considered.

Research Your Own Questions

Once you have done your keyword research and are planning on writing a piece of content on a particular subject, it’s important to always research what kind of results will show for your focus keyword, how much competition there is and whether or not the current results reflect what you were expecting to see. For example, if you sell a commercial product, the keyword you are using may also show results for a domestic product. If for example it only shows domestic products, it’s likely you’ll be best placed changing the keyword to be more specific to your target market by including keywords that you know won’t be used by domestic consumers.

Make use of Googles Other Features

With the move to zero-click searches, Google has also introduced the ‘People also ask’ feature of the search results. This is intended to give you more detail on what people are also searching for that relates to your initial question. It’s great for helping with keyword ideas and may also help you write your content by advising you on extra bits of information you can add to your article.