Over the past few years, there has been a shift towards instantaneous gratification when consuming content. The average person decides in 15 seconds what they’re going to click on in any given search. And that’s if they even click on anything at all.
There is growing evidence that people are engaging in zero click searches more and more. Research by SparkToro has found:
- In 2019, less than half of searches ended in a click
- In 2020, over 64% of searches on Google (desktop and mobile combined) ended in the search results without the user clicking to another web property
Naturally, algorithms have shifted to reflect and encourage this trend, leading them to favor zero-click content and linkless social media. Both concepts encourage information to be given quickly, freely, and easily.
Zero click content is not a new phenomenon, but as it continues to become the standard it has significant implications for small business owners who rely on organic traffic and conversions from their websites and social media profiles. It’s vital for them to be aware of this shift so they can optimize their marketing efforts and continue to compete with larger companies.
We want to provide you with some tips and best practices on how to optimize your existing materials and create zero-click content to help you stay competitive and stand out.
Zero Click Marketing Best Practices For Small Businesses
Provide At-a-Glance Local Search Results
Small businesses with physical locations should consider local search as one of their most important marketing efforts. Your Google My Business account can offer prospects an overview of your business the second you pop up in a search.
It can help you showcase:
- Photos of your store
- Your business information
- Reviews from your clientele
- Services and product listings
- Frequently asked questions and answers
- Location, phone number, address, and driving directions
This is a crucial resource people rely on when deciding whether or not to engage with a business. By filling out each section on your profile, you can ensure you’re easily displayed among your competitors when prospects are searching for your products or services.
Optimizing Your Content for SERPs
SEO isn’t just about ranking in the traditional way at the top of a page anymore. SERPs are a crucial aspect of how SEO is evolving. Knowing how different ones work and optimizing your content for them can help you get more visibility and engagement.
Consider what types of SERPs appear for businesses like yours. For example, if you have a physical store, you will likely appear in Local Pack. This is a list of local results with a map, pins, and star ratings. By having your address readily accessible to clients, you could be more likely to get prospects driving to your store since it’s easy to navigate to.
Create Meta Descriptions for Each Page of Your Website
Google will sometimes display a page’s meta description if they think it can answer a search query. By adding this information to each page, you can make it more likely that your content will show up in search results.
When it comes to writing meta descriptions, Yoast is an excellent plugin. It can help you customize your summary all while staying within the recommended character count.
For example, this blog from Vinings Massage & Wellness ranks on the first page of search results for phrases like “how long will I feel sick after my massage” and “flu like symptoms after massage”. Google’s algorithm likely favors this page because its short, concise meta description offers users the answer they’re looking for without them having to click through to the page.
Drop the Links & Measure Non-traditional Metrics
Zero click marketing isn’t just about optimizing your content for search results. As we mentioned earlier, linkless social media posts get more screen time than posts that include links. It could be a good idea for you to test this internally with your own social strategy by sharing linkless social media posts to see if it improves engagement.
Social media conglomerates benefit from this zero click trend as well since their traffic increases each time a person stays in app. Since this is the case, it’s likely that this trend won’t go away anytime soon. This shift also means that we need to start thinking differently about how we measure our marketing.
“[There is a] shift away from attributable marketing and back to a 20th-century style of measurement and correlation” – Rand Fishkin
The success of a piece of content may be better determined by impressions and SEO ranking instead of clicks or time on page. By tracking metrics like this, you can get a better idea of how well a piece is performing even if visitors aren’t necessarily increasing your site traffic.
Reveal the ‘Secret Sauce’
As a small business owner, you may be tempted to hide your best content behind a paywall, a newsletter sign-up, or a lead magnet. However, if the majority of people aren’t clicking when they search it’s better practice to provide prospects and customers with information as quickly and easily as possible. If you make it hard to access your content, your audience may simply move on to another source that offers resources for free and without hassle.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should give away everything for free. You can still use a call-to-action to invite your audience to visit your website, follow you on social media, or contact you for more information. But make sure that these are relevant, clear, and compelling directions. Don’t make them feel like they are being forced or tricked into doing something they don’t want to do; authenticity is key.
- Zero click searches are becoming more common as people want quick and easy access to information.
- Small businesses need to optimize their online presence for zero click searches to stay competitive and visible.
- Some of the best practices for zero click marketing include providing local search results, optimizing content for SERPs, and creating meta descriptions for each page of your website.
By keeping up with the latest trends, we are able to provide our clients with strategies that will help them grow their businesses, stay relevant, and remain in front of their audience. Find out how Sweet Rose Studios’ solutions could benefit your small business by contacting us today.