Google’s new search algorithm offers a smarter way to search.

In 2018, Google updated its search algorithm to take customers on a journey rather than to a static search-engine-results-page (SERP). When previously the same search query would bring up the same repeated results, the new system allows Google to guide customers on a journey from discovery, to purchase.

The new algorithm has altered the way in which Google approaches search altogether, understanding that although a customer may type the same search term into an engine repeatedly over a certain length of time, they may not necessarily want the same results.

So what does this mean, and how does it work?

Using an example, let’s say you’re looking to buy a car, you type into Google ‘car dealerships near me’ and sift through several results.

Some results aren’t really what you’re looking for, so you only spend a minute or so on their landing pages before clicking back. However, others seem more promising and you have a look through multiple pages, clicking on cars that match your requirements, and even reviews from satisfied customers.

After your discovery mission, you take a couple of weeks to think about it. Purchasing a new car is a big expense after all! Once you’re done thinking it over, you type ‘car dealerships near me’ into the Google search bar once again.

However, rather than giving you the same results as previously, Google remembers that you’ve typed in this search term before. It noted how you interacted with each of the links on the results pages, so now it offers you the options you spent most of your time clicking through – the ones that met your new car requirements and had the best reviews.

Now, you might be wondering how this affects SEO.

With Google focussing on customers’ search journeys, you should be thinking about these search journeys too.

Keywords are important, and will always be important, what you’ll need to think about is how they relate to the customer journey. Someone searching for ‘car dealerships near me’ is visibly at the beginning of their journey, however someone searching ‘book a test drive at The Grange dealership Southampton’ is further along in their journey, and looking for something more specific.

Think about where your keywords land in the customer journey, ask yourself questions about whether a certain term is relevant for someone discovering your business, or someone with an intent to buy.

Marketing is about taking a customer on a journey, from initial discovery of a product or service, to repeat customer. This new way in which Google approaches search is a fantastic opportunity to think like the customer and be strategic about your SEO usage, targeting the right people at the right time, with the right information.

We can work together to ensure you’re making the most out of your SEO and digital strategy, contact us today to find out how!

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