More than 50% of users on mobile and desktop do not click on organic or paid search results. Zero-click searches are on the rise, and lawyers who don’t keep up with the trend will fall behind.
SEO is a dog-eat-dog world. But you don’t have to be afraid of the zero-click trend. It’s actually a great opportunity to finesse your content, adapt your keyword strategy, help Google deliver better results for users, and improve the quality of your leads.
Here’s what lawyers need to know about zero-click searches, why Google loves zero-click searches, and how to make sure your site is optimized.
What is a zero click search?
A zero-click search is a search engine query where the user gets the information they seek directly on the search engine results page (SERP) without needing to click on any of the search results.
This usually happens when the search engine provides a featured snippet, knowledge panel, or quick answer box at the top of the results, delivering a concise and immediate response to the user’s query.
A user might be wondering about the statute of limitations for car accidents in New Jersey. A quick Google search turns up the answer (2 years) in a featured snippet currently owned by the NJ law firm Hasson Law Offices.
Zero-click searches are typical for queries that have instant answers (“Who is the president of South Korea”), trigger a bunch of paid ads (“organic macadamia nuts”), or are dominated by one website (“State Bar of Texas resources”).
Google loves zero-click searches because users love them
Zero-click searches are designed to quickly provide relevant information, eliminating the need for users to click to an external website to get an answer.
Google is not trying to make your life difficult—it’s trying to make users’ lives easier.
Google embraces zero-click searches because they align with its goal of providing users with quick and accurate answers to their queries directly on the search results page. By saving the user time, Google sets itself up to be an efficient and user-friendly search engine—attracting more users so it can sell more ads and generate more revenue.
Don’t fear the zero-click search!
Common concerns about zero-click searches (and what to do about them):
FEAR: Doesn’t this mean less website traffic for me?
EXPLANATION: Yes, zero-click searches can lead to a decrease in website traffic since users obtain information directly on the search results page. But you still have opportunities to connect. Featured snippets, for example, are often pulled for voice search results as well.
SOLUTION → Lawyers should focus on the quality of leads, not the quantity. Create good content to attract users at different stages of the decision-making process, including those seeking in-depth legal guidance. Complex how-to guides and other in-depth information content will always be valuable.
FEAR: If Google decides which information to feature, couldn’t it be incorrect?
EXPLANATION: Lawyers have minimal control over what Google chooses to feature, so anything taken out of context could potentially misrepresent your practice or expertise.
SOLUTION → All your site’s content should be factual, non-hyperbolic, and monitored regularly for inaccuracies.
FEAR: Do I have to go back and optimize all my content to compete?
EXPLANATION: In a zero-click environment, it’s essential to optimize content for featured snippets and quick answers, creating additional competition among law firms for top positions
SOLUTION → You don’t need to delete all your old content, but you do need a content strategy that identifies opportunities for featured snippets in your niche. Create high-quality, informative content that directly addresses common legal questions to increase your chances of being featured. Research keywords with high potential for clicks.
FEAR: If no one clicks, how will they contact me? Will this impact client acquisition?
EXPLANATION: Zero-click searches are often for long-tail keywords, which do not yield immediate leads anyways. Plus, you can build trust and brand awareness in a zero-click interaction. Establishing yourself as an authority through a blog post someone visits or a featured snippet where the firm is cited can still bring you clients. When that person realizes they need an attorney, they will know who to call. Certain types of queries and user intent (like transactional, local, and how-to queries) are more likely to lead to clicks, too.
SOLUTION → Provide value and establish trust with every piece of content. Hire a writer who knows how to write for Google while helping users. Guide users toward conversion with a CTA or mention of other in-depth resources on your site.
Lawyers can focus on optimizing their online content to target featured snippets and knowledge panels. The goal is to become the trusted source for legal information, maintaining a strong online presence to supplement zero-click searches.
Review and next steps
Ranking near the top of the SERP may not be enough to send traffic to your site. It’s a changing world, and you need to adapt to the algorithms to stay relevant online. Google’s new Search Generative Experience will come with some of the same concerns as zero-click searches about less site traffic (but that’s a topic we’ll dig into more in a future post).
Get a comprehensive content strategy and expert SEO assistance from the growth marketers and designers at Omnizant, starting with a consultation.