The Threadgill Agency | From Search to Success: How Google’s Generative Experiences Can Transform Your Marketing Efforts
Learn how SGE uses AI tools to dig through massive amounts of online content to generate a relevant search response.
Search, SGE, Search Generative Experiences
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From Search to Success: How Google’s Generative Experiences Can Transform Your Marketing Efforts

From Search to Success: How Google’s Generative Experiences Can Transform Your Marketing Efforts

You’ve probably noticed how Google search results have evolved from relevant links to AI-generated answers, called Search Generative Experience (or SGE). You may be left wondering how your business will get online attention. Will customers even bother clicking through to your website when Google’s answer is served on a silver platter at the top of the page?

The Threadgill Agency introduced the good and bad of SGE last summer for early testers who opted into Google Labs. In a nutshell, SGE uses AI tools to dig through massive amounts of online content to generate a relevant response. 

The impact is huge, potentially $40 billion a year in Google ads, according to BrightEdge’s evaluation of SGE on certain industries, including: 

  • Healthcare: 76% of queries analyzed were impacted by SGE
  • Ecommerce: 49% of queries analyzed were impacted by SGE
  • B2B Tech: 48% of queries analyzed were impacted by SGE
  • Insurance: 45% of queries analyzed were impacted by SGE
  • Education: 44% of queries analyzed were impacted by SGE


As SGE expands, however, marketers don’t need to shrink in fear, but face this new digital marketing landscape with flexibility and determination. Search Engine Journal offers this reassurance: “If your business has been employing local SEO and content marketing best practices all along, you are well-positioned to adjust to this evolution of search.”


Old vs New SERPs

This new age of online search looks different and feels different to the user, serving as a sort of two-way conversation. Instead of just relevant hyperlinks with a short meta description, SGE Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), including organic results and Search ads, are listed below SGE-generated results.

Here’s the rub: Websites stand to lose up to 75 percent of organic traffic, according to a webinar by Yext on the healthcare industry and SGE. “Above the fold” results are typically laid out in columns displaying the SGE answer and knowledge cards at the top, creating a possible zero-click query that doesn’t result in site visits. Content cards are sourced, but guaranteed clicks are questionable, especially for info-heavy sites. Plus, relevant links may not be based on rankings but at random. 

The new search experience isn’t just a learning curve for the marketer, but for the consumer as well. For example, a user may search “electric trail bike” and SGE gives an AI overview paragraph, with different tabs for motor, battery, range, etc.; suggestions for narrowing down the search; content cards with links to relevant articles; and finally links to bikes for sale (sponsored ads and organic). But users are starting to get more specific with their searches, such as “are electric bikes good for commuting on a college campus?’


Beyond Keywords to Context

Keywords still matter, but honing in on user intent and creating a seamless user experience are vital in this next phase of online marketing. Your strategy needs to match the user’s question with clear information, credibility and trustworthiness. 

So where should you focus to maximize your SGE success? Experts suggest prioritizing the areas where SGE sources its information:

  1. Google Business Profiles (GBP): Formerly Google My Business, your Google Business Profile should be clear, user-focused and as local as possible. SGE utilizes Places tailored to specific users’ intent. Search Engine Journal says “GBP is king,” so don’t underestimate this step. Ensure you have consistent, accurate information, plus complete listings including hours and photos. Read this how-to with best practices for setting up your Google Business Profiles.  
  2. Reviews: SGE gathers reviews from your website and GBP, so positive customer ratings go a long way in building trust. Be proactive by soliciting reviews (even offering incentives like giveaways or a discount) and engaging with or responding to reviews. Keep them fresh and relevant, like with a new product or service, for example. 
  3. User-focused experience: From site speed to clear, accurate information, your website needs to be speaking to the user and working smoothly for the user. This includes:
    • Optimizing for mobile first and ensuring your site is easy to navigate. 
    • Checking Core Web Vitals to test the quality of your site: site speed, performance and accessibility (examples: image alt, title/metas, headline structure).
    • Incorporate FAQ pages that address long-tail keyword queries, backlinks and Schema markup code that gives detailed category labels to your site for search engines.
    • Using N-E-E-A-T principles to create targeted content.


Data-Driven Adaptability

Search Generative Experience is still relatively new. Here’s what you can do today: Keep creating quality, user-focused content and examine the data to see what works best with SGE, as well as emerging trends. 

Look at your organic SEO data, what terms users are typing in and how are they coming to your website. Finally, perform a brand and non-brand search to gain more customer insight and if your website can satisfy questions for SGE with authority, clarity and trust.

If you need help pivoting your digital marketing strategy to include SGE, contact The Threadgill Agency today.