Are you read for Google’s Search Generative Experience?

Last year’s rapid rise of AI models like ChatGPT revealed a surprising trend: humans liked using AI for search queries. Big Search took notice and reacted. This caught the generic SEO industry off guard, but for us marketing professionals (who also happen to be technology nerds), it’s the obvious next step in web searching. So how can you ensure your website is ready for the impacts of SGE? Hint: You may need a Hero.

SGE Explained: What it is and why it's important

Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) integrates artificial intelligence into the search process, offering overviews of topics directly within Google Search and providing a faster way of finding information. It can include pointers for further exploration, and the ability to ask follow-up questions in a conversational manner, without ever taking the user to the website(s) the information was derived from. This can be great for people who are looking for quick answers on Google, but it's a potential hit to businesses when their websites are no longer being visited by said people (aka customers).

SGE is an experimental feature, part of Google's ongoing efforts to improve search experiences. However, SGE is not as transparent as some would like, given that Google's AI model (PaLM 2) doesn't reveal much about its decision-making process. In terms of its impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), if users get most of the information they need from AI-powered summaries, their need to click through to websites may decrease. On the other hand, AI-generated responses could also drive higher-quality leads to websites for more in-depth research needs (by reducing general term results). If that’s the case, the old adage “less is more” may apply.

It's worth noting that Microsoft’s Bing Search is also using AI in this manner, but their market share is much less than Google’s.

SEO & Website Management in Nashville

If you know anything about Hero Agency, it’s probably that we take pride in that EVERYTHING we do is done in-house, right here in Nashville, TN. Most website service providers outsource the work to low-wage overseas workers. That means if you hire one of those other companies to manage your website and digital marketing strategy, they’re going to hire someone else to do the actual work for significantly less and then pocket the money for themselves. That’s a great business model if you just want to take people’s money, but not if you want to provide professional quality services. We won't name names, but we know they're reading our blogs.

The Best SEO and Website Management Company in Nashville, TN.

You may be wondering what this rant has to do with SEO/SGE. It’s simple: most of those overseas providers are using obsolete SEO tactics that are years (sometimes over a decade) old. Practically none of them have adopted current strategies and best practices. SGE isn’t even on their radar.

So what are the next steps?

Google has made it clear that quality content is the most important factor in search ranking. Yes, keywords still matter, but not in the same way they used to. Enter “long-tail keywords”, just one of Hero Agency's many strategic approaches to SEO in 2024 and beyond. Long-tail keywords are specific phrases that are less competitive but highly targeted to a specific audience. They’re critical for:

  • Specificity and Relevance: For example, instead of targeting "running shoes," a long-tail keyword would be "beginner trail running shoes for men." This specificity helps reach a more targeted audience, and they’re more likely to find exactly what they are looking for on your website.
  • Lower Competition: Lower keyword competition makes it easier for a website to rank higher in search results for these phrases, as opposed to highly competitive broader terms.
  • Better Conversion Rates: Users searching with long-tail keywords often have a clear intent and are further along in the buying process. For instance, a user searching for "best price on 2022 15-inch Dell Latitude Laptop" is likely closer to making a purchase than someone just searching for "laptops."
  • Adapting to How People Search: With the rise of voice search and conversational queries, especially with AI-driven search tools, people are increasingly using more natural, longer phrases in their searches. Long-tail keywords align well with this trend.
  • AI Algorithms’ Preference for Context: AI-driven search engines like Google's SGE are designed to understand and interpret the context of a search query better. Long-tail keywords, by their nature, provide more context and specificity, aligning well with the AI's ability to understand nuanced queries.
  • Content Diversification: By targeting long-tail keywords, you can create more diverse content that covers a wider range of topics within your niche. This broadens your website's appeal and can attract different segments of your target audience.
  • User Experience Enhancement: Content tailored to long-tail keywords often directly addresses user queries, resulting in a better user experience. This can lead to increased time spent on your site and potentially better search rankings as a result of positive user signals.

Ready for the conclusion? Here’s your TL;DR

So what does this mean in simple terms? The content on your website needs to tell a story, it needs to be specific, it needs to be tailored for humans. “Wait, what? You just said this is all driven by AI!” That’s correct, but keep in mind that this is AI trained on natural human language. Google’s new SGE (and other AI search engines) are designed to incentivize a more human website experience. The old tricks like keyword loading and click-bait SEO are relics, and they will only become less effective as time goes on.

Now is the time to make the switch to a real website solutions provider. You need someone who knows your business, knows your target audiences, and understands how to bring them together online. We’re Hero Agency, one of Nashville’s oldest website solutions providers, and we’re on a mission to save businesses from bad websites and bad SEO.

Give us a call today. Let’s get coffee and talk about how we can save your website.

Let's Talk!