As Google moved from Google Suggest to Google Instant last week, I began to wonder what impact it may have on B2B marketers and how to assess that impact. As with any significant change, the results will be positive for some, negative for others. Here are some things B2B marketers should watch to determine the effects on their sites.
Monitor keyword diversity
One of the things that makes B2B search challenging is the lack of shared lexicons in most industries. As a result, the same product or service may have 6-7 different, yet fairly popular, names for it. And with each of those names comes countless permutations in long-tail search engine queries.
While the effects of Google Instant have yet to be quantified and fully understood, it has the potential to concentrate the same number of searches into a smaller number of SERPs; as people begin to type their queries, they may opt to choose a popular query rather then complete their original, perhaps less-popular query.
You should keep an eye on changes to the number of unique keywords sending traffic to your site. Material decreases in the diversity of keywords may indicate more searchers opting for Google’s suggested queries.
Explore your head terms
If you notice reduced keyword diversity (and even if you don’t), you should know what queries Google is suggesting. Google Instant’s suggestions are based on the characters and words with which you start your query. B2B marketers should be aware of the most popular suggestions Google Instant makes as relevant head terms are typed. Pay attention to what Google Instant suggests and whether you have SERP visibility for those queries. It’s another way to do some quick keyword research.
Monitor your organic click-through for non-branded terms
Track the click-through from Google for your top 30 or 40 non-branded keywords. Watch for material changes in click-through volume pre- and post-Instant. If there are sharp changes in the your traffic for any of these keywords, you should investigate the queries Instant suggests as you begin typing these non-branded keywords (assuming of course there are no other apparent reasons for these changes.) You may need to optimize your pages to align better with Instant’s suggestions.
While the general, market-wide effects of Google Instant have yet to be determined, the specific effects on your site may be quickly visible. Make sure you take the time to assess Google Instant’s impact on your site.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.