Personal Searches ‘For Me’ Are On The Rise — And Here’s What That Means For Marketers
Search today is all about structured answers. That means that brands have to directly answer the questions customers are actually asking.
Mobile searches for “should I” have grown 80 percent over the last two years and searches “for me” have grown 60 percent in the same period, according to research from Think With Google — a shift that underscores the wider trend of consumers’ searches moving away from keywords and towards personal, conversational queries.
Essentially, as people have come to rely on their mobile devices to power an increasing number of aspects of their lives, they’re more likely to use their devices to ask even the small questions; even searches for “micro-decisions” like “best toothpaste” have grown over the past year. Couple this with the rise of voice search — which inherently causes people to make searches in a conversational way — and it’s easy to see how we’ve ended up at a place where consumers are increasingly making text and voice searches for guidance on a personal level.
“Consumers now believe that answers to their most specific questions are out there,” Think With Google’s report states, “and they trust search to deliver the right response at the right time.”
Answering Customers’ Queries — The Right Way
So, what does all of this mean for marketers?
Most already know that consumers turn to their mobile devices for guidance at true moments of intent, and it is critical to be there to advise them — but they may not be aware that this new structure of conversational queries based around “Should I?” or “Do you?” changes SEO.
For example, if it turns out that customers are more likely to ask “should I go blonde?” than to search “hair salon highlights,” it is critical that a hair salons have content on their website — and across their digital properties — that aim to answer the question being asked. This might mean literally having website copy that says something like, “ready to make the switch to blonde? We offer balayage and traditional highlights.”
Essentially, now more than ever, marketers need to make sure they research and observe trends in what their customers are actually searching for; that is the only way to show up at the top of results in an age where search isn’t about getting webpage links — it’s about getting structured answers.
As Hilton’s director of global SEO, Melissa Walner, told GeoMarketing, “what I see as the challenge… is making sure that [marketers] have the content on their website that is answering the questions that customers are actually looking for.” For example, a hotel looking to attract guests with pets “can’t just be a pet-friendly hotel; you have to say it [clearly and] explicitly.”