The top Google search trends of 2016 indicate that consumers are increasingly living their lives in micro-moments: namely, to search for information and find things to do or buy in real-time.
Here are all of the marketing trends that defined the year in search, according to Think With Google:
- “I want to know”: Examples include “how to play Pokémon Go” or “how tall is the Eiffel Tower?”
- “I want to go”: Searchers looked for things like “where to go vote?” or “what to do in NYC.”
- “I want to do”: Popular searches include terms like “how to” or “learn to.”
- “I want to buy”: Finally, this year saw the continuation of the uptick in “near me” searches; people looked for “coffee nearby” or “women’s shoes” — and then made actual store visits.
“In 2017, marketers need to be present in consumers’ micro-moments and find ways to be useful, too,” Think With Google’s report states. “And they’ll have to do it while navigating a world that is, in many ways, divided.”
The divisions in the world, at least when it comes to technology, are quite obvious: Consumers rely on a variety of devices — desktop, mobile, tablet, wearables — and use them from the research phase all the way through the in-store shopping moment. Or, a purchase may be made directly on the mobile device itself; essentially, there aren’t traditional “rules” that govern the progression of the purchase process.
But by concentrating marketing messages around the always-present mobile device, marketers have the opportunity to reach consumers where they truly live — and that’s why understanding these micro-moment searches, which have an impact on the decisions someone makes in real-time, is so important.
As such, brands should make sure their information and listings are not only correct — so that it’s easy for consumers to find them — but that their content addresses or answers popular queries. For example: A bakeshop may sell things other than cupcakes, but a comprehensive listing of its menu offerings could help it rank highly when someone in the area searches “best cupcakes near me.”
As we head into 2017, “marketers must find ways to reassure consumers and position their brands as trustworthy,” the report concludes. “And in order to succeed, they’ll need to be relevant during the moments that, together, will add up to another big year in search.”