Clickless searches occur when your search query is answered in SERPs only without having to click over any particular result. Search engines are aimed at providing the best user experience and quickest answers which is why answers are shown directly. Not all the search queries get answered though. For example, if you type “Best SEO companies in India” over Google, you will mostly get links pointing to various company websites whereas if you enter “World Cup Schedule”, you will get a direct answer. To a great extent, direct answers are destroying your click through rate as when people see what they were looking for in the Google listing itself, why would they click and go to any web page. “If you’re in a field Google has decided to enter, like travel, hotels, flights, lyrics, etc., the search giant is almost certainly cannibalizing your market and removing a ton of opportunity,” said Rand Fishkin.
Effects of no-click searches on CTR and SEO
When it comes to SEO, CTR i.e. Click Through Rate is one of the important metrics we consider. It is the percentage of people who visit your website to the people who just see your listing. High CTR is considered good because it means that your listing is generating traffic to your website. Now, if people get answers without visiting any link then there would a low CTR suffered by businesses.
It might or might not affect your revenue. Suppose there is a person looking for your contact number and if Google shows it directly, it’s a supportive thing for you so that the user can quickly contact you. Considering other scenario, let’s say a person is looking for “Recipe for Pasta” and you have optimized your website for this phrase. Even if your website is on top, the user will simply return back from SERPs because he has gotten the answer as direct answer.
Clickless searches impact those websites the most which are completely dependent upon ad revenues. Traffic is the most important thing for such websites. If you provide services or products then the direct answers are not going to impact your business that much.
What to do?
1. Provide detailed information! If you own a blogging website and your snippet is shown as direct answer then you should try writing about the same in very much detail so that the user would want to click on your link and visit your website.
2. Generate brand recognition! You should create your brand awareness so that the users do not rely on certain keywords but directly type in the branded keywords and visit your website. Social media optimization is a great way to create brand awareness. Most of the businesses are already using the same to make people know about their brand, products and services. Not only branding, these platforms are also used to generate sales for your business.
3. Pique interest in the minds of target audience through the snippet so that they do not have any option rather than visiting your website.
4. Use the high CTR keywords. As we have already mentioned that CTR is one of the important metrics when it comes to SEO.
5. It is less likely that Google gives you direct answers when you type long tail keywords so concentrate on such keywords.
Are most of the Google searches clickless?
Rand Fishkin, SparkToro founder said “I think marketers are probably in a mixed position today vs. three years ago, depending on their sector.” This statement is an outcome of a recent analysis done by the company on Google. The results say that zero click searches have experienced a great rise in the past three years.
Jumpshot estimated that there were around 61.5 billion browser organic search clicks on Google in the first quarter of 2019 which shows a decline of around 20% from what it was in the first quarter of 2016 i.e. 75.6 billion. We should care about the percentage as nearly half of the searches are going no further than Google listings. Fishkin added, “Smaller brands can certainly play in featured snippets and other types of rich results, but overall your analysis is likely correct. More and more of Google’s search traffic is going to a few big winners. To be fair, though, that’s also the trend of dollars in the overall US economy. Wealth concentration and search traffic concentration are correlated, and though neither are healthy, American voters are likely more to blame than Google.”
There can be many types of no click searches such as database style searches which include data, time zones, names, age etc. Other types include dictionary searches, map directions, how-to and more.
Now you know that it is important for you to optimize your website for zero click searches, it is high time to implement things. The figure has already reached 49% and might go above with high chances because Google is continuously improving its algorithm which is strictly aimed at providing the best user experience. By upgrading your keywords list, content creation process, featured snippets etc. you can achieve the target.