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4 Reasons to Embrace Zero-Click Search Results

Don’t fight it! Embrace zero-click search.

As user behaviors change, so does Google’s approach to presenting information. Most recently, that change has presented itself in the form of the “zero-click search.”

A zero-click search occurs when a user gets all the information they’re after on the search engine result page (SERP) without ever having to click through to another site. These most frequently occur for queries such as business locations, currency conversions, time zones, and definitions, displaying answers directly on the SERP. For a more in-depth view of the phenomenon, check out our zero-click search guide.


While plenty of folks love to bemoan the resulting loss of some site traffic, zero-click searches can actually do your marketing team a whole lot of good. After all, the primary purpose of SEO is to appear in Google SERPs as often as possible (in all the right places) so that your brand is top-of-mind when it comes time to make a purchase decision. Doesn’t a panel like the one above look like a great way to do just that? There are a whole lot of reasons to love zero-click search results!

4 Reasons to Love Zero-Click Search

Reason #1: They Give People Easier Access to Information

As of September 2018, zero-click searches accounted for 34.4% of desktop searches and 61.5% of mobile ones. Google adopted position-zero content for certain queries in response to this drastic change in user search patterns. These new results provide nearly instantaneous access to the (hopefully) exact information a user is looking for.

Instant access is good for two reasons:

  1. It makes life easier for customers! At GPO, we’re big fans of features that give people (especially potential customers) access to information.
  2. Can you say “new leads”? If you can be the first voice in a searcher’s “moment of need,” you can be the first company they consider.

Reason #2: You Can Target Them

Zero-click search results are not randomly generated. Google pulls content for snippets from web pages which best answer user queries. Many traditional SEO measures still matter when optimizing for zero-click searches, but there’s more you can do to optimize for particular searches.

  • For definitions: start your explanation with “X is…”
  • For tables: mirror the comparison structure and use schema
  • For images: use alt tags and place the image clearly below relevant content
  • For lists: structure your list with bullets or numbers and give it a clear headline
  • For other search types: see how top-performing posts are targeting queries and learn from them!

Reason #3: You Can Gain Visibility Long Before the Purchase Decision

Today’s customers value easy access to information and the companies that provide it. Showing up in zero-click search results will help you gain visibility and trust, long before it’s transaction time. Not only will this content highlight your business as an expert and a friendly resource, but it can also improve overall brand recognition. As LinkedIn notes, increased brand recognition can decrease customer acquisition costs, increase customer loyalty, and reconnect you with lost leads.

Reason #4: They Add Value to Top-of-Funnel Content

The marketing funnel is a common framework for describing the customer journey, starting at awareness and moving down to the purchase decision and hopefully retention. While bottom-of-funnel action typically sees the greatest ROI, given the group’s smaller size and demonstrated interest, it’s important not to understate the value of producing quality top-of-funnel content.

As we’ve mentioned in SEO Strategies to Focus on in 2019, engaging blog content provides many benefits, from improved customer loyalty to increased social shares. As a necessary foil to sales-driven landing pages and core website content, blogs allow you to engage with your audience in a way they enjoy. Blogs are an ideal way to pull new leads into the top of your marketing funnel. Once you’ve built a good library, customers will know to return to your site—not Google—when they want a question answered. When it comes time to make a purchase decision, you’ll already be top of mind. All it takes to get there is one good zero-click search result to put your brand name in front of them.

As marketers, it’s important to recognize changes in customer behavior and evolve with them. Although zero-click searches require a different way of thinking, they can provide major benefits by facilitating a more personal and useful way of engaging with customers. Ready to take the plunge and start creating content optimized for zero-click search optimization? Chat with one of our experts today.

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