Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably noticed a change to the way that Google conducts your searches. The new search format, called “Google Instant” starts returning results for your queries even before you finish your search phrase. According to Google, these changes save the user time and help them deliver quality results faster. But what does this mean for your online marketing business? Here’s a quick guide to what you need to know about Google Instant so you can make the most of it in your business.
First, what is Google Instant? In addition to returning search results while the user is typing, Google Instant also makes instant suggestions for the user. For example, when begin typing “internet marketing tips” it will suggest “internet marketing jobs” and “internet marketing strategy” among other terms.
What this means for the general user is that they may find what they are looking for with the autosuggest tool before they complete their search. For internet marketers, this means that it might become more difficult for marketers to get clicks on certain keywords. However, this assumes that people will use the autosuggest features of Google Instant rather than completing their search entirely. If people complete their searches, then click on links, things should operate as normal. But time will tell if Google Instant changes the way that people search.
Another consideration is that as the user is typing, the Google Instant autosuggest will pop down underneath the search box. Next will be the sponsored ads and then finally the first two search results. As the user interacts with Google Instant, the amount of search results that are “above the fold” are limited to two natural results. This means that it’s more important than ever to be in the first two search results.
As a marketer, here’s what you can do to overcome the limitations of Google Instant:
1. Consider using pay per click marketing. If your current internet marketing campaign doesn’t use PPC, you should seriously consider using it now. In Google Instant results, pay per click results dominate the above the fold section. For certain terms, it may be better to focus on getting good pay per click results than relying on ranking well with SEO.
2. Strengthen your SEO results for your terms. The best way to get into those top two search results is to strengthen your backlinks and optimize your pages for your keyword terms. Do a SEO audit of your website to determine what keywords you are currently ranking for, and what you should be ranking for. Take steps to edit your pages, distribute articles and use other backlink techniques to boost your rankings.
3. Branch out into social media. Search engine results don’t have to be your only source of traffic to your website. If you haven’t made use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites already, now is the time to do so. By expanding your social network in your niche, you can drive a lot of traffic without having to worry about Google Instant at all.
Only time will tell what impact Google Instant will have for sure on the search engine results. For now, the best we internet marketers can do is make sure that PPC and SEO are in order and make use of social media.