The changes to Google that WILL affect your website traffic

By Managing Director of Boost Social
Elisha Fiorentino

Google is changing things again—changes that WILL impact the amount of website traffic! All businesses rely on some extent to popping up in organic search results, particularly when you don’t have the big marketing budgets like the global brands like McDonalds, Apple and Coca Cola. But the way we search for things online has begun to change and here’s why:

Voice-activated searches.

If you think back to the early days of the introduction of Siri, it was difficult enough to get the answer if you had an accent. Siri’s reply would be “I don’t understand” or “Here are some things I’ve found on the web.” If you were lucky you’d get a list of search results around your topic, but it still meant scrolling through links. Things have evolved since 2011. Technology is increasing faster than what we can keep up with it and now we have Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa to add into the mix.

What impact will voice-activated searches have on organic searches?

Where Alexa really comes into her own is by providing single answers. For example; “Alexa, what is the fastest growing social media agency in Australia?” And she’ll give you a single answer (If the answer isn’t Boost Social on the Gold Coast, it’s broken, send it back!).
Jokes aside, people want their information fast! Alexa does this with a single answer.

Google wants a piece of the Amazon pie, so you may have noticed that when you type a search query it a) tries to anticipate your next words and b) provides the answer before you’ve even hit the return button. There’s no need to visit a website when the voice-activated software is providing you with the answers you’re looking for as shown in the image below.

Google has already started using snippets, finding the most relevant piece of information without having to leave Google without visiting the website. For example: ask Google how many accents does Siri understand?

Google provides the answer! No need to visit Lifehackers website and it also gives you a variety of other search queries people have asked and provides a single answer if you click the down arrow.

Wired magazine wrote an eye-opening article entitled Amazon Alexa and the Search for the One Perfect Answer, which we believe they have hit the nail on the head.

The conventional web, with all of its tedious pages and links, is giving way to the conversational web, in which chatty AIs reign supreme. The payoff, we are told, is increased convenience and efficiency. But for everyone who has economic interests tied to traditional web search—businesses, advertisers, authors, publishers, the tech giants—the situation is perilous.

The way we’ve been used to searching is significantly changing and there’s no question. There’s no need to scroll through pages of results when you can have one answer, and get most of the information you need without even clicking on a website. It’s got to the stage where Google is even outranking Wikipedia which used to hold the number one position in organic search results.

With fewer visits to websites which will result in fewer people subscribing to your marketing emails, what can you do to future-proof your business?

1. Google My Business (GMB)
This is non-negotiable. It increases your search presence, gives people easy access to your social media pages. It also allows you to be found on Google Maps. If you’re not on Google Maps, you might as well not exist.

2. Social Networks

Linked in, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube are the must-haves. These are places where you can create brand loyalty and interact with the people that follow your business.

3. Opinion blogs

There’s one thing Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa can’t do, and that is share your opinion.

4. Video

The total number of people who use YouTube – 1,300,000,000. Facebook and Instagram want their piece of the pie, so they’ve launched IGTV and Facebook Watch, so if you’re not making video you’re missing out.

5. Podcasts

According to music oomph, 2019 statistics reveal 51% people (approximately 165m) have listened to a podcast, and 32% listen to podcasts at least once a month and even more tune-in to their favourites more than once a month. You have two options here, a) set yourself up as an expert and express your opinion via audio (a good option if you’re not comfortable in front of a camera) or b) find a relevant podcast and ask for sponsorship advertising.

Ironically, there’s no one single fix-it option for the changes about to start taking place. An all-inclusive marketing plan will help you future-proof your small business as the organic search results we’ve been used to start to die off.

As a small business, keeping up with all the changes to Google and social media can be frustrating. Boost Social can provide assistance. We stay up to the current trends and can help you in cost-effective ways to help you navigate your marketing with ease.

Let’s talk today!