Google is testing a new search experience called Search Generative Experience (SGE), which is powered by artificial intelligence (AI). SGE is designed to help users find the information they need more quickly and easily, especially for complex topics.
SGEs provide users with short summaries or brief answers to their questions, as well as links to the original sources for more information. SGEs also take into account Google’s EEAT principles (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) when ranking content.
This means that content creators and marketers need to be equipped and willing to experiment with SGEs in order to rank well and engage with users. For example, in the search query “good bike for a five-mile commute with hills,” the AI-generated text highlights the key factors to consider when choosing a commuter bike and concludes that an e-bike is the best option for hilly communities.
It then lists the best e-bikes to consider. All of this content appears before any organic or paid search listings.
The shift in searcher experience and the layout of Google’s search engine results pages calls for a shift in SEO strategy as well. Content creators and marketers need to focus on creating high-quality content that is relevant to their target audience and that meets Google’s EEAT principles.
They should also experiment with new ways to present their content, such as using videos, images, and infographics. Here are some additional tips for optimizing for SGEs:
- Use natural language in your content. SGEs are trained on massive datasets of text and code, so they can understand and respond to natural language queries. Avoid using overly technical jargon or marketing buzzwords
- Be specific in your content. The more specific your content is, the better SGEs will be able to understand it and recommend it to users.
- Keep your content up-to-date. SGEs are constantly learning and updating their models, so it’s important to keep your content fresh and relevant.
- Use structured data. Structured data can help SGEs to better understand your content and to present it in a more informative and engaging way.
By following these tips, you can improve your chances of being featured in SGEs and reaching a wider audience of potential customers.
How to make content part of SGEs
Google’s new SGE is still in its early stages, so it is too early to say for sure how it will impact traffic. However, it is expected that it will have a similar effect to previous zero-click results, meaning that many searchers will get the answer they need without having to click on a link.
This could lead to a decline in top-level traffic, but it could also lead to an increase in conversion rates, as the people who do click on links are likely to be more interested in what the site has to offer. Here are four types of content that you can optimize for to make the most of Google’s SGE:
Images and videos
Visual content often takes precedence in organic search results and SGEs. To enhance your image and video search strategy, consider the following:
Align with Searcher Intent in Conversational Queries:
- Tailor your visual content to address the intent behind conversational queries.
- Conduct regular keyword research to stay updated on trending terms and phrases.
Optimize Video Content:
- Break down lengthy and intricate videos into bite-sized clips that address specific questions or concepts.
- Utilize high-quality, original visuals to effectively communicate a single point, product, or idea, allowing your content to stand out in competitive multimedia search results.
Enhance Schema Markup and Structured Data:
- Leverage structured data and schema markup to facilitate search engines’ comprehension of your image and video content.
- Include detailed descriptions, relevant file names, and alt text for accessibility.
- Ensure images and videos are included in your sitemap to ensure thorough crawler coverage.
Improve User Experience:
- Properly size and compress images, optimizing them for the web. Consider implementing a content delivery network (CDN) for large-scale improvements.
- Make your images and website responsive and mobile-friendly to accommodate various devices and user preferences.
- Integrate your target keywords naturally within image and video titles, alt text, captions, and descriptions.
By implementing these strategies, you can boost the visibility and accessibility of your visual content in both organic search results and SEGs, ultimately enhancing the user experience and driving better outcomes.
Blogs and articles
Optimizing your blog content for Google’s helpful content system is a great way to prepare for SGEs. Google prioritizes useful, high-quality content, and SGEs are designed to surface the best possible results for searchers.
Here are some tips for optimizing your blog content for SGEs:
- Pay attention to blog/article structure. Use subheadings to break up blocks of text, highlight important questions and information, and help readers skim through the information. Make sure the content in each section delivers on the promise of the subheading.
- Use natural language. Write in a conversational tone that resonates with your audience. Incorporate longtail keywords naturally into your content, and always write for humans first and optimize for search second.
Here are some additional tips:
- Answer your readers’ questions. Think about the types of questions your audience is likely to ask about your topic, and answer them in a comprehensive and informative way.
- Provide value. Make sure your content is useful and informative. Avoid thin, generic content that doesn’t provide any new insights or value to readers.
- Be original. Write your own content in your own voice. Avoid copying or plagiarizing other sources.
Schema.org provides a standardized vocabulary for describing the content on your website. This helps search engines understand your content better and display it more prominently in search results.
To optimize your content for Schema, carefully review your content to identify the key elements to highlight, such as the article title, author, date, images, and any other relevant details. Then, choose the corresponding schema types that align with your content.
While you can manually add schema markup to your HTML code, there are also structured data markup tools that can simplify the process and help ensure accuracy.
Schema has become increasingly important with the introduction of generative AI and Google’s SGE. We have seen a fourfold increase in the presence of schema tags in top-ranking positions for all industry categories in 2023 compared to 2022.
As marketers plan for the early holiday season in ecommerce, they are focusing heavily on images and product schema, a trend we are seeing across the board as brands prepare for SGE. They are also ensuring to tag essential organization and company information, such as locations, social media accounts, and third-party reviews.
Use Google’s Rich Results Test and Schema Markup Validator to see which content schema may trigger rich results.
Here are some additional tips for optimizing your content for Schema:
- Use the most specific schema types possible. For example, instead of using the general Article schema type, use the more specific Blog Posting schema type for blog posts.
- Include all relevant schema properties. The more information you provide, the better search engines will be able to understand your content.
- Test your schema markup regularly to ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date.
Google Business Profile content
The shift to SGE is designed in part to help searchers find accurate, helpful local business information. To that end, Google began sourcing reviews and photos from Google Business Profiles in June.
This means that your local SEO strategy is now more closely tied to your organic strategy, as the information in your business profile can help you appear higher up and more often in conversational query results. How can you use this to your advantage?
- Add more high-quality photos and videos. Consider hiring a professional photographer to refresh your photos and make sure they are optimized with descriptive file names. Add photos and videos of your company’s interior and exterior, products/services, employees, events, and more on a regular basis so that Google recognizes that your profile contains new content. Create a process for removing outdated photos and videos so that your content remains relevant and high in quality.
- Improve your review management. Respond promptly to all local reviews, both positive and negative. Use email or SMS to follow up after purchases and in-store visits to address any negative experiences and encourage customers to leave reviews. Ask questions in post-transaction surveys to encourage more descriptive and keyword-rich responses.
- Ensure the accuracy of your business name, address, and phone number. Be aware that Google may change the contact information on business profiles based on user suggestions, other results on the web, and information provided by data aggregators. Use software to monitor and prevent poor experiences caused by outdated business data.
By following these tips, you can optimize your Google Business Profile and improve your chances of ranking well in SGE results. Additional tips:
- Use relevant keywords in your business name, description, and other profile fields. This will help Google understand your business and match it to relevant search queries.
- Get as many reviews as possible, especially from recent customers. Reviews are a key ranking factor for local businesses in SGE.
- Encourage customers to leave photos and videos with their reviews. This can help your business stand out from the competition and make your profile more visually appealing.
- Keep your profile information up-to-date. Make sure your business hours, address, and phone number are always accurate.
Messaging and chatbot content
Chatbots can play an important role in improving your ranking in SGE, even though customer chats are not indexed in Google search results. Here are some ways to use chatbots and messaging content to your advantage:
- Examine chatbot insights. What questions are people asking your chatbots most often? What keywords are they using? You can use this information to create new content or update existing content to answer these questions and incorporate those keywords.
- Review Google Messaging responses. Evaluate the questions asked in Google Business Profile Messaging and make sure you have accurate, up-to-date content to answer them. You should also look at the performance of the pages you share in your FAQs and instant messages to see which ones are resonating with users and resulting in conversions.
- Expand your educational content library. Look for opportunities to repurpose text content into video or imagery for your knowledge base, which can then be used to populate chatbot and messaging answers. You can also use keyword research and explore the live SERPs to see which types of content Google may prefer for specific queries. If you don’t have content that meets this criteria, create some!
By following these tips, you can use chatbots and messaging content to improve your ranking in SGE and provide a better experience for your customers. Additional tips:
- Make sure your chatbot is well-designed and easy to use. Customers should be able to find the information they need quickly and easily.
- Use your chatbot to collect feedback from customers. This feedback can help you improve your content, products, and services.
- Use your chatbot to promote your content and special offers. This can help you drive traffic to your website and increase sales.
By using chatbots and messaging content effectively, you can improve your ranking in SGE and grow your business.
Creating a great experience
Search is becoming more conversational, expanding the potential touchpoints throughout the customer journey. As Google Search increasingly leverages AI, and generative AI in particular, to deliver better results, marketers should evaluate the new opportunities and plan and execute a strategic content strategy that meets the evolving needs and expectations of searchers.
Google Search is becoming more like a conversation and less like a transaction. This means that there are more opportunities for businesses to interact with customers at different stages of their buying journey.
As Google uses AI, and generative AI specifically, to deliver better search results, marketers need to adapt their content strategies to meet the changing needs and expectations of searchers. Here are some things marketers can do to prepare for the future of search:
- Create content that is conversational in tone and structure. This means writing in a way that is easy to understand and engaging. Avoid using jargon and technical terms that your target audience may not be familiar with.
- Answer the questions that searchers are asking. Use keyword research to identify the questions that people are asking about your products or services. Then, create content that provides comprehensive and informative answers to those questions.
- Optimize your content for featured snippets and other rich results. Featured snippets are short snippets of text that appear at the top of the search results page. They answer common questions that people have about a particular topic. Other rich results, such as product reviews and event listings, can also help your content stand out in the search results.
- Use AI to create more personalized and relevant content. AI can be used to analyze large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends. This information can then be used to create content that is more tailored to the needs and interests of individual searchers.
Reliable Google SGE Help in Houston, Texas
Wondering how SGEs are going to impact your business? If your website needs to be optimized to work best with Google’s SGE, do not wait to get in touch with SERP Matrix.
We regularly help clients all over the nation with all kinds of local SEO concerns and better yet, we also offer an SEO services guarantee. You can also turn to us for help with mobile app development and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.