The key to targeting Gen Z is understanding their unique search behaviours. Previously, Google was king, however the search engine giant is now being challenged by other ways of searching. From social platforms to voice search, brands need to get the grips with all the ways that Gen Z search in order to keep hold of market share and build brand awareness. So without further ado, here are five ways that brands can target Gen Z via their search strategy.
1. Target long-tail keywords
Did you know that Gen Z searches more long-tail keywords than any other generation? Typically long-tail searches are made up of four or more words, which allows users to be more specific when articulating what they want. For example, ‘little black dress with lace sleeves’ will help the user to find their perfect dress compared to simply searching ‘little black dress’. Gen Z have grown up in an era of convenience where they can quickly find what they want. Therefore, this nuanced way of searching suits the immediate and personalised service that they are used to, compared to generic searches where they would have to browse around to find exactly what they are after. As a result, brands need to ensure they are targeting these long-tail keywords when forming their search strategy. This not only helps to capture Gen Z searches, but could increase conversions because you are displaying the exact product a consumer is looking to buy.
2. Think of TikTok as a search engine
Organic search is expanding beyond the search engine. 40% of Gen Z prefer to use TikTok to search than Google. From restaurant recommendations, to holiday inspiration, Gen Z turns to user generated content for the same answers that previous generations look to Google for. Therefore, brands need to ensure they have a presence on social platforms in order to capture these searches.
Firstly, brands should create their own TikTok account and post regularly in order to promote their products in the place Gen Z spends a great deal of time. Once you have begun to build your own brand presence, businesses can look to influencers with an already established community to promote their products and services to an actively engaged audience. Finally, brands should begin to build their own TikTok community by responding to comments or answering questions to generate a greater rapport with their audience. This helps to foster a stronger relationship which can improve brand loyalty and increase returning customers.
3. Incorporate visual search into your strategy
Studies have found that 65% of Gen Z students learn best visually. This is due to growing up in a digital era where bitesize content is widely available on social media. Therefore, brands need to target Gen Z’s media habits in order to resonate with them. One easy way that can do this is by incorporating visual search into their organic strategy.
Visual search simply means searching by images rather than text. Using AI tools such as Google Lens or Snapchat Camera Search, users can find exactly what they want via a photograph or other visual mediums. This is a great opportunity for brands to drive sales. For example, if a user takes a picture of something they like, and your brand is displayed in the search result, they could buy it instantly as they have quickly found the item they wanted. Therefore, brands need to ensure they are optimised towards visual search in order to be put in front of users. You will need to include keywords in your image titles and descriptions, use high resolution images, and include alt tags which describe the image in order for the AI to understand and display your content.
4. Optimise your brand towards voice search
The rise of smart speakers and AI-powered voice assistants has led to voice search becoming an increasingly popular way of searching, especially amongst Gen Z due to the unique way they search. We know that they prefer long-tail keywords which are much quicker to say than to type. For example, all a Gen Z customer has to do is ask their smart technology to ‘add a Clean Cotton Yankee Candle to my Amazon basket’, and voila, they have found and bought the product they want in a matter of moments.
This is a great opportunity for brands to minimise the consumer journey and increase conversions by optimising towards voice search. The key is writing content in a less formal manner by using conversational language which is reflective of the way people naturally speak. Users also tend to ask their smart speakers questions, so providing answers is a great way of getting your brand in front of potential consumers. Lastly, ensuring your website is optimised for mobile is always important but especially for voice search, as most users tend to use their smartphone’s voice assistant to find what they are looking for.
5. Rank in local business listings
Studies have found that 47% of Gen Z use Google Search or Maps to find information about local businesses. Therefore, local SEO is an important part of your search strategy if you are looking to target Gen Z. This is a great way of driving consumers in your area straight into your store, restaurant or business which can help you to build a local community of regular customers.
Google takes the user’s location into consideration when displaying businesses in the search results. Therefore, you need to ensure the location of your business is clear to Google in order to rank for these searches. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a ‘Google My Business’ account. Here you can create a business profile which displays your location, services and reviews to both customers and the search engine, which can help you to rank highly in the local business listings.
There we have it! 5 key ways to target Gen Z via your organic search strategy. Remember that this group is particularly disruptive so traditional media strategies won’t work. Marketers have to stay on top of emerging trends and technologies in order to find their Gen Z audience. From voice search, to visual search and social platforms, the way we think about organic search is expanding so it’s best to be prepared! Ensure your brand is visible across the whole search landscape so you don’t lose out on any potential customers to competitors.
For more information contact our Organic team today to see how we can help shape your holistic search strategy.