Navigating the AI-Driven Future of Google Search, a marketers perspective

by | Dec 19, 2023 | Digital Marketing

Marketing Strategies for Success in a World with Search Generative Experience

In May this year (2023), Google announced a series of ground-breaking changes to Google’s search engine that was a clear road map of things to come. The Search Generative Experience, or SGE as Google describes it, is the integration of AI and complex machine learning into Search which is dramatically affecting User Experience. Google describes SGE as the ability to “unlock entirely new types of questions you never thought Search could answer, and transform the way information is organised, to help you sort through and make sense of what’s out there.”

We’ve seen several AI-driven tools over the last 12 months all displaying time-saving and process-shortening capabilities designed to streamline our online processes and save time. However, the question that SGE poses for marketing experts is, ‘Will AI’s full integration into Google Search impact the way you market your business?’, ‘What will SEO optimisation look like in the world of SGE?’ and ‘How will your business compete for organic web traffic from SGE searches?’. It’s still early days in answering these questions however, there are breadcrumbs in the information being released and demonstrate that it is worth consideration as we enter a new age of online search.

What does SGE mean for your business?

The use of AI tools can bring a full 360 approach to your business’s SEO optimisation. It’s simply not enough to ensure your web pages have strong keywords, although this is a part of the solution, understanding how SGE works and the way you can handle it to your advantage is essential. A combination of keywords, granular deep content including video, link building, and a strong digital ads presence will all contribute towards getting ahead of your competitors. If your business doesn’t have expertise in this area, the redPepper team is here to help. Book a meeting

What has changed?

When a term is searched for, as usual, Google will offer the best and most trusted content. However, previously, the user may have broken their question down into smaller ones, sorted through the vast information available, and started to piece things together themselves. With generative AI, Search can do some of that heavy lifting for users. Not only is content delivered to the immediate question, but now with SGE follow-up questions are proposed and answered within the Search results. Context is carried over from question to question to help the user more naturally continue their exploration. BUT, this means a user gains all this WITHOUT leaving the Search results page. Ultimately your website may receive less organic traffic! SGE will learn answers from your website, but AI will use this to generate answers for the user without directing them to your website. SGE encourages users to remain within the Google search results arena for longer and, as Google says, eventually users will “find helpful jumping-off points to web content and a range of perspectives that you can dig into.”

Before you hit the ‘panic’ button. Here’s our take on how to get ahead in the new era of SGE and build a strong brand. Your marketing strategy needs to be constantly building strongly branded content and, most importantly, trust in the marketplace. Digital collateral, both written and visual, reviews, keywords, and digital ads will ensure you fortify your online position with regularity. 

Practical steps

If we think of AI as a precision filter and selection tool, the best way to gain from its oncoming inclusion in search is to ensure the best and most unique elements of your business are well shown. 

  • Book an SEO audit with redPepper. Keywords are king when it comes to appearing on search organically and even though the transition to AI tools may change the ways these are used, having keywords specific and accurate to your business will only serve to add more quality to your online presence. Keywords also need to form part of your video content. Long-form videos with chapters keyworded to the SGE follow-up questions could prove to be a saving grace. 
  • Deep quality content. As Google wants to hold a user’s attention for longer, deep content on the website needs to be structured as a ‘helpful jumping-off point’, as described by Google, and provide unique perspectives. Yes, USPs and, particularly USP opinions will be essential for a strong brand. Vanilla content that replicates the views of your competitors will be worthless.
  • Reviews! Business reviews have always been a ‘go-to’ and their power to not only provide outside opinions on your business but also drive your ranking is not going away. Using automated email sequences asking about a customer/client’s experience, or you can simply set up Google reviews to ensure your business gains vital digital PR. 
  • Build solid links to your product/service pages to further build the vital digital presence and network to boost your business online. Link building, which is the process of increasing links back to your content from quality third-party websites remains an essential marketing strategy. It is a clear way to build digital prominence that’s incredibly attractive to SEO. 
  • Socialise! Building brand fame outside of the world of Google is, and will continue to be, essential. Digitally, social media continues to play an important role in engaging with the market. In an ever-growing visual marketing world, using branded video content well and regularly to market your products and build your online brand will only serve to help in the desire to grow your Google status. It’s also a key component to Google’s rankings!

Overwhelmed? Don’t be, the team at redPepper specialise in taking this worry off your shoulders. We work with a variety of businesses to ensure yours reaches its full digital potential to succeed. Why not contact us for an SEO audit or for a tailored marketing plan that can help you gain the digital exposure your business needs?

Video content is highly consumable across many different platforms, it’s highly sharable and as such creates more traffic to your website, so it’s more important than ever to implement a strong video strategy in your marketing. More shares and engagement are an easy way of creating backlinks and in turn, leading to a higher ranking on Google. Take a look at what some of redPepper clients have said and see what we could do for your business

The key to understanding how AI will determine what makes a strong or not-so-strong website to feature will come from its own machine learning not human impact. It means the rules of this process may be to some degree unpredictable or in constant need of monitoring to ensure your business is at peak performance. For some, this may fall to your in-house marketing team or to a good marketing agency (we heard redPepper is a good agency to ask).

redPepper’s conclusions

Ensuring your business is set up for SEO through keywords and optimisation is not enough with the long-term changes brought by AI. Ensuring consistent growth and prominence will require a more consistent and in-depth approach to building the digital collateral that will build your business’s prominence. Building stronger backlinks, optimising content and regular keyword maintenance and exploration of video content can only serve to strengthen your business’s online positioning. Whilst a lot is still to be finessed around the way AI will be used, Google is clear in its intention for AI-based machine learning to take centre stage. As we begin to turn this corner of AI-driven tools, investing in your digital presence is now vital for a business in any sphere to grow, especially those in e-commerce. As more details come to light the scope for growth will only expand, the question is are you in or are you out? 

If you need help with your SGE and ensuring your digital presence is at the forefront of these changes, book a meeting today with our digital marketing team.

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