A Study on the Phenomenon of Zero Clicks in Search - Carney
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A Study on the Phenomenon of Zero Clicks in Search

What good is ranking high on SERPs if people just aren’t clicking through? Search behavior has a huge impact on how marketers operate and optimize their sites. Part of Semrush’s State of Search explains the trends in “zero click” search.

3 Types of Zero Clicks

  1. “Google” clicks: Actions that change the URL, but keep the user in Google, such as switching from the main SERP to Images, News, or Shopping.
  2. Google keyword change: A new Google search with a different keyword or using a keyword suggestion.
  3. Other zero clicks: All other cases of zero clicks during the two-minute mark of a search.

The Stats of the Study:

  • Zero Clicks are Higher on Desktop. People are more involved in and engaged with the experience on mobile than they are on desktop, which points to the rise in zero clicks and the demand for such ease of access.
  • Decision Times are Still Fast. The majority of users make a decision on where to click next within 5 seconds of a search.
  • Images are a Top Search Source. After a main search, Images are the next destination for users. That means your images better be optimized to rank.

Bar graph: Type of Google Search completed after the Main Search

Two Big Takeaways for User Journeys and Behaviors in Search:

  • It’s Gotta Be Fast: Google provides URL-less content with direct answers on the SERP to support ease of access for users. So while zero clicks bum out marketers yearning for traffic, users are simply after immediate, effective results from snippets or Direct Answers.
  • Complex User Journeys: The journey a user takes toward their ultimate destination may be more complex than some think. Because Google offers so many access points and formats in SERPs, user journeys are multiplied with options. Search is constantly adapting to user needs and behaviors.

What do you think of these findings? What’s your stance on zero clicks and how it’s affecting your SEO strategy?


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