Google has been taking their micro-moments SEO concept more seriously these days. To quickly recap: “micro-moments” refer to instances where a person has an immediate need for information or services. These instances push mobile device users towards specific, context-based searches probing for nearby businesses that can satisfy their needs. Google insists that searchers increasingly find themselves in immediate-needs situations that are satisfied by such micro-moment searches, citing trends like how 74 percent of mobile users book hotels for same-day check-in.
As part of their effort to recognize and embrace the behaviors of reflexive, intent-driven searches, Google recently made several changes to their search interface and analytics dashboards. Search users can now filter their results pre-search by adding specific phrases to their queries, and businesses can learn more about who spends time on their site and why.
Together, these changes allow searchers to delve deeper into ultra-specific needs of their micro-moment while providing businesses the added information they need to deliver on the expectations of intent-driven searchers.
Giving Answers Inside SERPs
The most important changes for search users allow them to add even more specificity to their micro-moment searches. For instance, search users can now add filtering tags to their hotel searches that display only results within their price range. With this feature, a user can enter “hotels near me for less than $250 a night” and see immediate results without having to visit an aggregator site like Hotels.com first.
This feature adds important layers to an already saturated field of search query qualifiers. Google reports that use of the “near me” qualifier has increased almost 150 percent year-over year, and that use of other qualifiers like “pet friendly” coffee shops has also seen a surge in use.
Most likely, searchers are migrating towards these specificities in light of both their increasing comfort levels with search engines and their increasing demands for niche services or just-right brand values. In light of these shifts, Google intends to soon enable similar filtering for other local businesses than travel and hospitality.
Dwelling on the Present
Google added another micro-moment based feature with their dwell-time calculations. Dwell time refers in this instance to time spent at specific real-world locations or venues. Google bases these estimates on crowdsourced location data of users entering or leaving the business premises. So, a searcher can see that they are likely to spend 10 minutes less at one hardware store as opposed to another. Business owners can likewise see that one location may present time incentives for customers using search to make decisions. Managers can then potentially respond by attempting to lower location dwell times or offering differentiating factors that make the extra dwell time worth it, like free Wi-Fi.
Another helpful feature for business owners is the ability to attribute site visits based on whether or not the user “discovered” the business with a generic, intent-driven search as opposed to a partial or complete match with the business name. Site owners can hone their SERPs appearance based on this data in order to improve CTR for those who are wont to discover their respective business in a micro-moment search context.
All of these changes together signal Google’s push towards providing a portal to immediate, nearby services and goods for searchers caught in a micro-moment of need. Business owners who wish to improve their ability to work within the intent-driven search ecosystem can look to EverSpark Interactive’s Atlanta SEO services and consulting for expert strategy advice and professional management of their digital marketing.