Search Engine Optimization is often thought of as a long-term game that businesses need to play in order to survive this digital era. There are many scoreboards when it comes to measuring the success of an SEO campaign, from keyword rankings to conversions.
A big one though is clicks.
Showing up on the first page of Google for your top keywords is great, but it means nothing if users aren’t clicking to visit your site. For the past few years, zero-click searches have been on the rise. Now, new data shows that the majority of Google searches are ending without a click on any organic or paid search results.
During the first quarter of 2019, zero-click searches accounted for 49% of Google inquiries. This was up from 43.9% from the first quarter of 2016. During the second quarter of 2019, zero-click searches were up to 49.76% on Google.
In June of this year, that number finally surpassed 50%. This means that the majority of Google searches end on the search engine results page (SERP).
While this is certainly important news, it shouldn’t be cause for panic. Zero-click searches don’t necessarily mean there are zero opportunities for businesses. Showing up for keywords still puts your business in front of users eyes. Appears in a SERP can be compared to paying for a billboard. It’s harder to measure, especially if it ends in no clicks, but it still is valuable at providing visibility and authority.
The rise in zero-click searches is not surprising. Google has been using Featured Snippets and Ask Box more regularly for search results. This provides users with the answer they’re looking for without having to click through. Voice search is also on the rise, although there isn’t any info on whether voice searches were counted in the new study. This provides an opportunity for businesses. Tailoring content to appear in these sections or on voice search might not result in clicks, but it could still provide value to both the business and customer.
Moving forward, SEO agencies and businesses will have to adapt. Search behavior is an ever-changing thing. That’s why it’s important for businesses to invest in long-term SEO campaigns that include monitoring situations such as this.