zero click search

The search engine results pages (SERPs) are competitive! Brands are all fighting for that top spot because 33% of all organic traffic comes from ranking 1st in the SERPs. However, 1st position is often dominated by the same market leaders. That’s where zero click search can help. Ranking in position zero can help increase the visibility of your brand in the SERPs to help compete against leading competitors.

What is position zero?

Position zero is the first search result that appears above the organic listings. This means that even if you are ranking 1st organically, there may be other results displayed above you. If challenger brands actively look to rank in position zero then they could be the first thing users see in the search results, before leading competitors:

What is zero click search? 

Position zero displays the answer to the user’s query. This can be in the form of a quote pulled from a website known as a ‘featured snippet’, or a result displayed in the ‘people always ask’ section. Therefore, users can get the answer they are looking for without having to click through to the website, hence the name ‘zero click search’.

However, this does not mean you can’t drive traffic to site via position zero. Users only get a snippet of your content, and if written well enough, they could be enticed to click the link and read more. 

The other two main advantages of position zero is that you can increase your brand visibility and credibility. As the first thing users see, you are not only increasing impressions, but increasing overall brand awareness. Answering user questions also makes you look knowledgeable on a subject matter which improves your credibility and authority which is a Google ranking factor.

How can challenger brands use zero click search to compete? 

There are some leading competitors that always seem to rank in 1st position. One example is Wikipedia. Because they are a high authority, legacy site, with a large volume of onsite content, Wikipedia tends to always rank 1st in the SERPs. This makes it hard for competitors to over take them. So why not change your strategy?

Position zero helps you to appear above these market leaders. You can do this without having to drastically increase your volume of content or improve your domain authority. Instead, you can be more tactical. Go after the user searches you know you can rank in position zero for and take market share and traffic from them that way. 

How do you rank in position zero? 

Just like you can optimise your site to rank well in the organic listings, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of ranking in position zero:

  • Create ‘helpful content’ to rank in feature snippets – You should always create quality content, especially inline with Google’s new helpful content update, but this is especially important if you want to rank in the featured snippets. Google quickly crawls content and pulls a quote they think best answers the user’s search query. If your content is clear, helpful and concise it increases the chances of your brand being displayed in this section.
  • Answer the queries in the ‘people always ask’ section – To rank in this section you need to make it clear you are answering these questions. You can do this via blogs, news articles or FAQs. It helps to have the question embedded in your content, with the answer underneath, to make it obvious to Google.
  • Use a clear page structure  – Headings and subheadings not only make your content easier to read for users, but for the search engines. Using header tags to outline the title, subheadings, bullet points and paragraphs, makes it easier for Google to understand what’s on the page. 
  • Add relevant images and videos – Other forms of content like images and videos can also help you rank in position zero. For example, ‘how to’ searches can benefit from both a blog or a video answering the question. Just make sure your assets are clearly titled and have alt tags (text describing the image) so that Google knows what the images and videos are showing.
  • Maintain your organic ranking positions – Although you are focused on ranking in position zero, you can’t let your organic rankings slip. In fact, the higher your organic ranking position, the more likely you are to rank in the featured snippets. Therefore, you need to keep up with your optimisations in the background to not lose any of your top 1 – 10 positions, whilst working on your zero click strategy.

Next steps 

Now you know the value of position zero and how it can help you compete with leading brands, it’s time to change your SEO strategy. Switching your focus to creating helpful, informative content that answers common questions, can help boost your visibility in the SERPs, and get you at the top of the page. This can have a number of benefits from more traffic, impressions and brand awareness to help you go from a challenger brand to a leading competitor.

For more information on how zero click search can revolutionise your SEO strategy contact a member of our expert team today.

Sophie Lurcuck - Content Writer

Author: Sophie Lurcuck - Content Writer

Sophie works in the organic team. Outside of her daily content writing duties you can find her watching her favourite reality show or trying out a new restaurant.