After reading through the recent Google research that covers digital insights and trends from 2018, I shared with our team sparking a lively discussion about how these could be used. We decided to pull out a few of these consumer trends and buyer insights that might matter most to us and you, our clients.
Here are four insights we found to follow a similar theme, along with how you can incorporate the findings into your marketing this year.
1. Google has become a trusted advisor.
Of course, people turn to search engines when they want to learn more about a given subject. But the average consumer is using Google now to get actual advice, even on big and important issues. Mobile searches for “do I need” and “should I” have both grown over 65 percent. These search queries could be along the lines of, “how much do I need to retire,” “how much paint do I need,” “what laptop should I buy” or “should I buy a house.”
Instead of merely trying to gather more information, this phrasing implies that people are trusting Google’s recommendations more. Looking for actual guidance about life decisions, when to make big purchases and what they should get gives businesses an enormous window of opportunity. You can start shifting your website content over from being simply informational to actually providing answers to potential customers before they even need to ask the questions.
You can also start making clear suggestions for your target audience, and connecting the dots for them between their needs/concerns and your products or services in a more overt way than you might’ve done before. After all, that’s what they’re seeking.
2. Natural language is becoming the norm on search engines.
Just as consumers are asking Google important questions and looking for guidance on matters big and small, they’re also becoming more conversational about their search queries. Whether typing them in, or speaking them via voice search, these searches are looking more and more like the way people actually talk. One example is Google searches starting with “can I,” which have grown over 85 percent in the last year. A buyer may type or say, “can I use PayPal on Amazon” or “can I buy a seat for my dog on an airplane” directly into the search engine.
What this means is that it’s wise to consider using more natural language on your website and in other digital content. For instance, you can adjust your blog post titles to include more “how to” phrases or those with “you” in them. It may also be a good idea to create intuitive experiences across all of your digital touchpoints and try to approach every interaction with a customer or prospect in a more natural, human-to-human way.
3. People want search results that are tailored to them.
We’ve seen major increases in personalized marketing over the last few years, and this is hardly surprising. As our data capabilities continue to improve, we can cater to buyers’ specific needs and timing - and then they expect that level of personalization going forward. This shift has also permeated search. In fact, people are including qualifiers like “me” and “I” in their searches more than ever before. Over the past two years, mobile searches with the qualifier "for me" have grown over 60 percent.
So instead of searching for “best insurance,” it’s more likely someone will search for “best insurance for me.” The more you can personalize the content you send to your buyers, the better. And again, the more you can paint a picture for website visitors of how your products and services are the best for them, the better your odds you’ll gain them as customers.
4. Buyers’ patience is even thinner than normal - and they want technology to help them maximize their time.
Just as consumers are expecting more personalized communication and custom-tailored products and services, they’re also wanting it all faster. There was 120+ percent growth in mobile search for “wait times” in the last two years, demonstrating just how unwilling the general population is to waste their time.
You can cater to this need for speed by going the extra mile in your communications about timing. If you have a brick-and-mortar location and there’s a possibility someone may have to wait in line there, post your wait times online and on social media so they can be prepared. If you ship physical products to customers, make sure you over-communicate about their estimates arrival times and work to make production and shipment times a key priority.
So, there you have the four consumer trends and buyer insights we’re dialed into after reading the most recent Google research. Contact us if you have any questions, or would like some help incorporating these takeaways into your own digital marketing!To learn more and stay up-to-date with Google’s trends visit Think with Google.