As Americans, we love instant gratification to a fault. In fact, most of our society is built on that principle. One such way is in search results. We pull out our phones or laptops, ask Google a question and want a quick answer. Over the past year, Google has added a new feature to take advantage of these instant searches: Micro-moments. The goal is for common questions, like, “How much is a flight to Omaha?”, to be answered instantly without having to click through to a website.
So what is a micro-moment? In short, it’s an intent-driven search for decision-making. Essentially, when people turn to Google with a question, micro-moments provide quick answers. For instance, ask Google “How do I find a realtor?” Under the ads, you’ll see this:
That is called a knowledge box, and is the main proponent of a micro-moment.
As instant-answer searches become more and more prevalent, especially on mobile platforms, the businesses that can take advantage of micro-moments are the ones who will get the most traffic. This is especially true for local searches. Here’s how you can do so.
The Four Different Searches
Before you can take advantage of micro-moments, you need to understand what kind of answers users are looking for. Google breaks them down into four categories:
1. I want to go…
When looking for a local service, about 82 percent of users turn to a search engine; in fact, people now use the phrase “near me” in searches twice as much as last year.
2. I want to buy…
About 82 percent of smartphone users turn to mobile searches when they are shopping and want to find the best product at the best price. As such, over the past year mobile conversions have increased by nearly 30 percent.
3. I want to know…
This applies to random trivia as well as important inquiries. For instance, about 66 percent of smartphone users turn to mobile searches to look up something they saw on television.
4. I want to do…
Over 90 percent of smartphone users turn to Google while performing a task. Additionally, over 100 million hours of “how-to” videos are viewed on YouTube each year.
With those numbers in mind, small businesses have to craft their content in a way that takes advantage of micro-moments. For instance, someone may look up (either by typing or asking Siri/Ok Google) how to change a headlight on their Toyota Corolla. If you own an auto parts store, having a quick guide and/or video will greatly improve your chances of showing up in that knowledge box. Obviously, the entirety of the instructions can’t fit in that box, but by giving the first few steps, you encourage users to click through to your website, which boosts rankings and, naturally, conversions. (After all, they have to get that headlight from somewhere, right?)
What About My Current Marketing Strategy?
Though micro-moments are important, discarding your current marketing strategy can spell disaster. In order to take full advantage of the benefits of local SEO, you have to strike a balance between the two. For instance, informative blogs are still a signal to Google that you are an authority in your industry and should, therefore, be given high rankings in search results. So how do you find that balance?
There are a few ways you can do it. One, you can have a short, succinct answer to the question at hand at the top of your blog as an introduction, with more in-depth information further down. Doing so also encourages searchers to click through to the page itself. Second, you could create an FAQ page that answers the most common inquiries in your industry. Whichever way you go, be sure to include micro-moment answers in your marketing strategy, lest you leave an entire customer base untargeted.