In life, to not be afraid of something, you first need to understand what that something is. Bang. Philosphy lesson. But this is an SEO article, so we need relevence. This article is about undertstanding zero-click search, and why it it’s not the worst thing. So, introduction paragraph over, now for a definition:

What is zero-click search?

Zero-click is where a user has their question answered directly within the search engine results page, thanks to the featured snippet. It could be a contact number, a how-to, or merely an answer to a basic question. There’s no click through to a website.

The implications of zero-click

There are pretty obvious, and valid points raised when discussing zero-click. Google is using all your content to populate its site. You do the heavy lifting; Google does the cherry-picking. True? Probably, yep. You’re also losing potential traffic to your website. There’ll be fewer clicks, fewer eyes in your ecosystem. Your conversion funnel may have to change. 

That’s the perceived bad news. But when you consider it, the issues aren’t really issues at all. We’ll evaluate both branded and non-branded searches in the next couple of paragraphs. 

Branded searches

You’ve got an audience that knows your name. They use it to find information about you, with clear intent. They’re going to be looking for your opening hours, or your contact number, or a product you sell. They know the content they want. Don’t disappoint them, or make them work hard to find it. And the fact is, only one of those examples actually requires users to hit your site. 

The experience of the customer is integral. It should be a big focus for every company. So why would you add unnecessary steps to the information-finding journey? If the user is looking for one thing, provide it at the first point of contact, even if it’s on Google branding. You’re still providing an excellent customer experience. You want to be seen as accessible. As easy to deal with.   

Non-branded searches

This one is a bit trickier. Featured snippets being displayed in non-branded searches means you’re losing traffic to the site that might actually be a new customer or a potential conversion. But this is something that needs to be accepted and embraced rather than ignored. The reason being is it’s here to stay, and you’ll lose out to your competitors if you turn your nose up at the opportunity. Google is all about providing a service to the user. And quick answers help do that. 

How do you embrace it? By providing a great answer. One that explains clearly to the customer the solution to their problem. One that makes them want to click through to learn more. And one that leaves a positive impression on them, imprinting your brand onto their thought process.

By appearing as a source of information, the user may come back to you with more questions on the subject, or the next time they see your brand, they could be more inclined to click through. It’s a long journey, but it’s all part of building up your brand.

So, a zero-click search can be good

To summarise, there is no point ignoring the hints Google provides. Target the brand-building opportunities presented to you, and always consider zero-click search as part of your strategy. Don’t be blinkered by vaniy metrics of clicks-to-site that aren’t actually adding any value, especially when the objective can be completed in one less click straight through Google.

Remember, Google is the traffic driver. The go-to source. And is, in a way, free-to-play. It’s pretty much a given you get more of an audience from organic search than you do organic social. Provide that audience with the best service possible, not the service that generates the most clicks for the monthly report.