It’s been coming for years, but now it’s a reality: many searchers get their questions answered at Google.com, with no need to click through to a website.
Dictionaries, weather reports, song lyrics, calculators, the dates of observances — all kinds of information is now presented by Google on the search engine results page. People looking for quick answers can find them without needing to click through to the website that provides them.
What about health queries? We know that people looking for health care usually start with informational searches. Google now offers basic health information above the fold, with definitions, lists of symptoms, and simple suggestions for at-home treatments.
What’s good about no-click searches?
Searchers who want the definition of a word or a quick answer to a simple factual question appreciate being able to get that information fast.
Health information may be a special case. Quite a lot of the information available online is inaccurate and/or hard to read. Presenting accurate answers to basic questions could be a good deed.
But what does this mean for marketing?
Search Engine Land’s Jessica Bowman says that Google is less a search engine and more a portal. Rand Fishkin puts it more boldly, saying that Google is becoming a competitor. Some studies claim that zero-click searches now make up more than half of all searches.
If searchers can get their quick answers without visiting your web site, they’re not as available for marketing. Your website’s basic info for back pain brings people to the site, where they can learn more about your practice and consider becoming a patient. Without clicking through, they miss the chance to learn about your services — and you miss the chance to share your message with them.
But Google tells us that the whole path to purchase for people seeking health care includes 10 or 12 searches. If your web address show up on the SERPs page for several of those early searches, you benefit even if the searcher doesn’t click through. You’ve shown up and provided useful information. Later in their path to purchase, the searcher will recognize your URL.
Since these basic answers don’t give detail, you also have the chance to reach people who want more information than just the basics.
Showing up in the quick answer sections is a worthwhile goal. The post below, which we wrote for one of our clients, continues to top the SERPs.
When you’re competing with Google as well as your real-world competitors, you need the best possible quality. Excellent content is a must. At Haden Interactive, web content is our specialty. We’re college-educated full-time writers who understand SEO and can cooperate with Google to give you the best possible exposure. Contact us to begin the discussion of how we can help you make the most of your website.