How Will Googles Shift from Answers to Journey Affect SEO Efforts?

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Written By Robert Dunford
I am a Marketing Consulting in the Great Toronto Area with over 25 years experience in building and implementing marketing plans for small business.

Google is no stranger to making changes to how their search works, and every SEO expert needs to keep up.  Most recently, they introduced Search Journeys, which have already begun to make things slightly more complicated for SEO optimization.

Before this change, the Google search algorithm focused on only providing the best possible answer to a query. However, now, it is going to put more emphasis on the search journey when deciding which results to display first. Let’s take a look at how Google’s shift from answers to the journey will affect SEO efforts:

How Search Journeys Work

The basic premise of Search Journeys is that context is now more crucial than merely displaying answers.  To make that happen, Google uses AI to analyze the user’s search history and determine their search journey.  It includes predicting what they are likely to look for next.

Search Journeys take into account how people search and with what intentions.  For example, users often start by looking for a solution to their problem, continue with exploring their options, and then they make the decision to buy or not.

Impact of Search Journeys on SEO

It’s clear that Search Journeys will have a significant effect on how we do SEO optimization.  Even though the change seems subtle, for an SEO expert, it means that they’ll have to adjust their keyword research and content creation strategies. Understanding the different stages of the buyer’s journey is going to become more critical than ever.

How Keywords Work with Search Journeys

To make an impact with SEO, you’ll need to keep the intent of the user in mind.  Divide the keywords into three types based on the user’s purpose and the buyer’s journey stage they’re in.

Informational keywords will be the ones attempting to find a possible solution, such as “best new makeup primer.” Navigational keywords will then help narrow down the search to a specific product or brand, like “Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer reviews.”  Finally, the user will add transactional keywords such as “where to buy,” “discount,” etc. to their query.

Creating Content that Works with Search Journeys

This type of keyword research will help you create content for each of the buyer’s journey stages. Going off the examples above, some topic suggestions for the informational stage might be:

  • How to Know if You Need a Primer
  • What Ingredients to Look for in a Primer
  • How a Primer Makes Your Makeup Look Flawless

To create content for the second and third buyer’s journey stage, a makeup brand could use reviews and special offers to close the deal with a prospect.

For an SEO expert, Google’s Search Journeys can present an excellent opportunity to use SEO optimization in the most efficient way possible. By adjusting to these changes before others do, you’d be giving your business a significant boost.

Even with the best SEO services, it might take some time before your website gains traction. If you would like to speed up the process, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to discuss your marketing strategy and help in any way I can.

Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.

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