Apr 12, 2024

How to Get Your Content Ready for the AI Search Experience

With the launch of Google SGE hitting any day now, digital marketers and advertisers are on edge about its impact on SEO.

Google and Bing are betting big on AI as the future of search. Google’s Search Generative Experience is revolutionizing the search experience by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI). In March 2024, Google rolled out SGE to users who haven’t opted into the Search Labs beta, now creating AI overviews or direct answers to test it in the wild. It’s rumored that Google may officially launch SGE in the U.S. and other regions on May 14th during the annual Google I/O event. 

Google believes that AI can help search engines understand questions and process information better. They report that the majority of queries every day do not show search ads. And generally, AI answers are better for longer tail queries that may not have ads anyway. SGE is here and the future of SEO will be an exciting journey for all of us. 

Is your content ready for the future of AI SEO?

Many digital marketers and advertisers are on edge about SGE launching. AI-generated answers may push down organic results and standard search ads and undoubtedly impact search results, posing both challenges and opportunities for content creators.  

Those who buy ads in the Google search results are worried about how it might impact clicks and conversions. Those who publish content are concerned about how traffic from Google organic search might decay with the launch. Content producers are worried that Google will take their content, serve the answer to the searcher, and not benefit with a single impression.

Google says they will continue to prioritize approaches that send valuable traffic to publishers. Google has also said they are showing more links to sites with SGE in Search than before, creating new opportunities for content to be discovered. 

We think the future of SEO looks promising, with a potential blend of SGE, top organic results, and ads - a more balanced digital marketing landscape for advertisers, content creators, and searchers. 

The new rollout of Google's SGE gives content creators innovative ways to drive organic discovery and traffic.  This article breaks down the trends and steps businesses can take to ensure their content is optimized for the AI search experience.

Understanding Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE)

Google's SGE represents a significant shift in how search results are generated. Unlike traditional keyword-based algorithms, SGE relies on advanced AI models to understand user intent and context more accurately. By analyzing vast amounts of data and learning from user interactions, SGE aims to deliver more relevant and personalized search results. This move towards AI-driven search reflects Google's commitment to providing users with a seamless and intuitive search experience.

As we move towards this generative web powered by sophisticated LLMs and a new AI search paradigm, the reliance on standalone websites and applications may become obsolete. Instead, we'll interact through a single, omniscient conversational platform, fundamentally transforming the World Wide Web and aligning digital interaction more closely with human cognitive and conversational models.

The Impact of SGE on Search Results

With the launch of SGE, we can expect to see several changes in search results:

  1. Contextual Understanding: SGE's AI capabilities enable it to understand the context of a search query better. This means that search results will be more tailored to the user's specific needs and preferences.

  2. Personalization: SGE takes personalization to the next level by considering factors such as search history, location, and device preferences. As a result, search results will vary more significantly from one user to another, based on their individual preferences and behaviors.

  3. Semantic Search: SGE places a greater emphasis on semantic search, focusing on the meaning behind the words rather than just the keywords themselves. This shift means that content creators should prioritize creating high-quality, relevant content that provides value to users.

  4. Voice Search Optimization: With the rise of voice search, SGE will place increased importance on optimizing content for natural language queries. Content creators must optimize for long-tail keywords and conversational phrases to align with how users speak their search queries.

  5. Rich Features and Snippets: SGE will continue to prioritize rich features, such as featured snippets, knowledge panels, and local packs. Content creators should optimize their content to appear in these prominent positions and receive higher visibility and click-through rates.

9 Tips for Creating Content for AI Search Experience

Is your content ready for the new AI search experience? Here are eight strategies to ensure your content remains competitive in the age of SGE. 

  1. Focus on the User: Build content around the search user and the intent of the query rather than focusing on keywords and the nuances of Google’s algorithm. Create content that addresses the questions and needs of your target audience, providing valuable, helpful content that satisfies their search intent.some text

    1. For hospitality industry content, you can include travel itineraries, destination articles, blogs, and landing pages about local things to do.

    2. In healthcare, create patient education, research insights, and health advice articles.

    3. For banking content, create financial trend articles, market updates, and personalized investment advice.

  2. Target the Mid-funnel. SGE is most effective around top-of-funnel queries where there is an easy, informational answer. Build content around mid-funnel topics where the user is more informed about what they are looking for. For the travel and industry, SGE allows users to create comprehensive itineraries and trip suggestions from a range of online sources. Incorporating reviews, photographs, and user travel tips will boost your visibility.

  3. Focus on Brand Citations: Focus on brand-building citations instead of link-building. Citations with mentions of your brand name will help you get referenced and recommended in SGE text.

  4. Enhance User Experience: User experience plays a crucial role in SGE's evaluation of search results. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, fast-loading, and easy to navigate to provide users with a seamless browsing experience.

  5. Leverage Structured Data: Implement structured data markup (schema) on your website to provide search engines with further context about your content. This can improve the visibility of your content in rich features and snippets, increasing its chances of being featured prominently in search results.

  6. Embrace semantic SEO: Shift your SEO strategy towards semantic search optimization by incorporating related keywords, synonyms, and natural language phrases into your content. This will help SGE better understand the context of your content and improve its relevance in search results.

  7. Optimize Content for Entities and Related Topics: Your content is only effective when it is discoverable, relevant, and helpful to your target audience. Optimize your content for entities and different content types, including images, video, snippets, and FAQs. Develop content that is hyper-personalized, user focused, brand-centric, and original.

  8. Optimize for Voice Search: With the increasing prevalence of voice search, optimize your content for conversational queries and natural language patterns. Use long-tail keywords and phrases that mimic how users speak when conducting voice searches.

  9. Align KPIs Around Your Business: Build KPI’s around business activities from organic search. If your primary KPIs are related to search visibility, like rankings, impressions, and clicks, you can expect those to drop. Identify the right KPIs before publishing content to ensure alignment and to validate the impact. Analyzing content reach and effectiveness is key to content intelligence and your roadmap. 

Are You Ready for the AI-Search Experience?

AI will not kill the search engines or SEO. As Google's SGE continues to evolve, content creators must understand the trends and ensure their content remains visible and relevant in search results. The most successful companies offer hyper-personalized content and focus not on quantity but on predictive accuracy, quality, and the intent of the user. Get your content ready now for the AI search experience and the digital search revolution.

About The Shed Creative

The Shed Creative is a boutique design and content marketing agency that energizes businesses and brands with creative strategies, stunning visual design, and user-driven content. Meet The Shed Creative team and learn about how we create helpful content optimized for AI search and for engaging user experiences.

If you’re ready to implement a content and UX strategy for your business and get results, please contact Mike Speiran, Head of Business Development, at mike@theshedcreative.com.

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