How Can My Small Business & I Capitalize on Google’s Generative AI Search Update?

Powerful Digital Solutions generative search AI update post

I’ve been creating websites and digital marketing campaigns since 2014, and I’ve seen plenty of major updates with Google and the Internet. In addition to all the algorithm updates in Google and social media, there has been the push toward responsive design (making sure websites look good on mobile devices), General Data Protection Regulation (privacy by default), and website accessibility.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has also been a very hot topic, and now it’s becoming part of the Google search experience. This will be referred to as the Search Generative Experience (SGE). As Google mentions in their article about SGE:

  • after typing a search query, you can look forward to an AI-powered snapshot containing key information
  • when searching for a product, you’ll get a snapshot with factors to consider in addition to the actual products
  • search ads will have their own dedicated slots

In a nutshell: when you go to Google to search, you’ll receive a generated AI output in addition to the usual Google search results. You could almost think of this as ChatGPT being part of the search experience.

Here’s an example of what a new search engine results page (SERP) would look like after this upcoming update:

Search Generative Experience example

What This Means for You & Your Business Website

If you have lean or low-quality content on your website, then you might see a drop in organic traffic. However, as long as you have valuable and high quality content on your website and truly focus on serving your online visitors, you should be in excellent shape.

Your website content should follow Google’s guidelines of experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness also referred to at E-E-A-T. If you’ve been neglecting this, now would be an excellent time to be more on top of your content creation efforts.

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Google’s Upcoming SGE

1. Focus on Creating Unique & High-Quality Content
In the realm of Google’s SGE update, content is king. Thin, keyword-stuffed content does not work. You have to prioritize creating unique, high-quality content that delivers value to your target audience. Remember Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines. For example, find ways to demonstrate your knowledge and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. This could include maintaining a blog, conducting webinars, or anything else that your audience would find valuable.

2. Include More Visual & Interactive Content
This can include high quality images, videos, infographics, quizzes, polls, or anything else to help break up your text and provide a more immersive experience. These elements can make your website more engaging and user-friendly. You’ll not only enhance the user experience but also make your content more shareable on social media.

3. Optimize for Local SEO
If you run a business that mostly serves a local area (like a restaurant or shop), then local SEO will be extremely important for you. As mentioned in a previous blog post about why local SEO is crucial, you’ll need to ensure that your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is up-to-date and complete. Use relevant local keywords in your website content and pay attention to how your website looks on mobile devices.

4. Anticipate Your Online Visitors’ Questions
Understanding what your potential customers are searching for is key to success in the age of SGE. Use keyword research tools to identify common questions and search terms related to your products or services. Here are some tools we recommend:

Create FAQs and other content that directly addresses these questions and provides comprehensive answers. By anticipating your visitors’ questions, you increase your chances of appearing in search results and providing the information they need.

5. Create an Amazing User Experience (UX)
As you work updating your business website, never forget about the UX. According to an article by BrillianceNW, UX and engagement will be very important for optimizing your website for generative AI search. At a minimum, your website should be easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, and able to load within three seconds. When you provide an amazing UX, you’ll not only improve your search rankings but also increase your conversion rates.

Powerful Digital Solutions preparing for SGE

Generated by DALL·E 3

Steps We’re Taking

At Powerful Digital Solutions, here are the steps we’re taking to make way for Google’s upcoming SGE:

  • We are double-checking the meta images for each web page to make sure they create curiosity and encourage click-throughs (according to an article by Extreme, having relevant meta images in place can help you stand out)
  • We are updating our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to make sure that they sound more conversational and resemble what someone might search for
  • Although we have a web page dedicated to FAQs, we will also include an FAQ section on each of our service pages so that we have a greater chance of showing up in the SERP (e.g., someone could do a Google search for “what are the steps of getting a website for my business” and then have the opportunity to ask a follow-up question “can you recommend a local website designer”)
  • Since high-quality video content is much more difficult to produce with AI compared to written content, and since Google owns YouTube, we will be more active on YouTube (you can subscribe to our channel here; also watch this video on why it can be more beneficial to focus on YouTube after the SGE update)
  • We are also making our website more engaging with the use of videos and quiz funnels (e.g., when you visit our Start Here page, we’ll ask if you already have a website or don’t have one yet since someone who already has a website will have different needs than someone who doesn’t)
  • All in all, we’ll make sure that all of our content and offers reflect the latest trends so that we can provide the best possible service to all our clients (e.g., our Website Performance Review service will include any necessary recommendations for getting your professional website ready for the SGE update)

Final Words

Whether we like it or not, AI will continue infiltrating our business and personal lives. AI adoption is becoming more and more common across every industry, and businesses that embrace AI will be better positioned to succeed in the future. Experts like billionaire Mark Cuban have even said that companies of all sizes will need to know how to use AI.

Instead of viewing this upcoming SGE as a threat or a nuisance, we can view this as an opportunity to become more innovative and see how we can serve our current & prospective clients even better. In the grand scheme of things, Google is all about providing an amazing UX to its users, ensuring they get the information they need. If you follow the above tips, you and your small business will be in excellent shape.

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