Taking on search engine shenanigans with creativity and personalization
With the rapid advancement of AI, search providers are becoming increasingly adept at providing information without directing users to external websites. AI will make them even better at delivering results without users needing to click through. What is a marketer to do? (You can't say "nothing" this time.)
Recent developments in Google's search tool, as highlighted in the article "Google's New Search Tool Could Eat the Internet Alive," show how Google will use AI to retain users within their ecosystems, to the detriment of your website efforts, and the Open Web.
With the rapid advancement of AI, search providers are becoming increasingly adept at providing information without directing users to external websites. AI will make them better at delivering results without users needing to click through.
Now in beta, Google's Search Generative Experience aims to provide more than “snippet-based” search results, adding AI-directed summarisation. It will also include interactions, such as follow-up questions, provided without leaving the search page. In other words, your links will move further down the page. They aren’t the only companies moving in this direction.
This isn’t new, as zero-click search has been an unpleasant but accepted reality for some time. But the sea change coming has an impact across the digital landscape. Let’s explore how you can adapt to these changes. Instead of surrendering to the algorithm, here is how to take action.
- Explain your value in ways that can’t be copy-pasta’d. In other words, produce thought-provoking, engaging content. For many organisations, this means working cross-functionally. Talk to sales, support, or your front-line teams to understand what pain or benefit your service offers. Produce different types of content: webinars, white papers, or infographics that align with your users’ changing contexts and needs.
- Have goals for your website. Amidst the advancing AI capabilities, it is essential to remember that your website exists to connect with real people. Align on website goals and build engagement through interactions that can be measured. This “conversion” doesn't have to be a purchase: it can be signing up for a service, newsletter, or event. This allows you to measure what creates deeper connections and engagement outside of standard page content.
- Personalise your website. One size does not fit all; personalisation is how you address that. Utilise the data you have about your audience to deliver tailored experiences. Leverage intelligent algorithms and user preferences to present relevant content, recommendations, and suggestions. Personalisation fosters a sense of loyalty and encourages repeat visits.
Clever, creative, and consistent always wins.
Your website is a reflection of your unique and evolving voice and brand. While search companies will continue to use their massive reach and power for dubious reasons, creativity, personalisation and getting the most out of your stack is your key to differentiation over the long haul. When it comes to sustained differentiation, in the words of Tyra Banks, “It’s better to be different than to be better.”