When you want information, what’s the first thing you do? Google it. Search is a powerful tool for information-hungry shoppers when they know what they’re looking for, but increasingly search is becoming a source of inspiration for consumers at the top of the funnel. Google data reveals new trends into the role search is playing in the path-to-purchase which can help inform marketers’ SEO keyword and content strategies.
Here’s an Idea!
Consumers turn to search when they have a problem to solve—for instance, they may be looking for inspiration for planning a baby shower or hair styling options for a special event—and often don’t know where to start. Researchers found that consumers are increasingly typing the word “ideas” in the search bar, for example, searches for “Halloween costume ideas” increased by more than 4,000% YOY and “meal prep ideas” increased by 60%. This type of search behavior indicates that consumers may not have a specific item or brand in mind, rather they want to understand all the options available to them before narrowing down their choices. Brands that develop content offering consumers creative ways to solve their problems, such as “fast weeknight dinner ideas” or “hair color ideas,” have an opportunity to introduce themselves to consumers and become part of their consideration set.
How do I…?
Did you know that “how to make slime” was Google’s top “How To” search of 2017? Consumers turn to search when they know what they want to do, but aren’t sure how to do it. Checklists, step-by-step instructions, or pre-set shopping lists are simple additions to your content strategy that can help consumers quickly find what they’re looking for and demonstrate how your product can solve their need.
Mobile’s always-available nature allows consumers to search for answers the moment an idea or question comes to mind. Developing actionable content that addresses open-ended discovery moments helps to differentiate your brand and leads consumers to your site with learning-oriented content. Understanding how consumers are searching for solutions offers marketers an opportunity to place their brands at the center of this opportunity.
Google Knows Where I Am
When consumers are looking for the best local nail salon or gourmet pet food, they’ve simply added “near me” to their query. However, researchers found that consumers have grown to expect so much from search they’re dropping the phrase “near me,” but still expecting local results. Marketers should ensure their search is optimized for local search and consider strategies to engage consumers at the local level.
Consumers are asking more detailed questions, want personally relevant answers, all faster than ever before. Savvy marketers will head into 2018 with marketing strategies that address the super-empowered consumer. Women’s Marketing offers a suite of omnichannel marketing services and strategies, contact us today to learn how we can position your brand to win.
Source: Think With Google Ask a researcher: Why shoppers are turning to search for ideas and inspiration December 2017, The new consumer behaviors that defined Google’s Year in Search 2017