Introducing Google’s Micro Moments

… and how content marketers can benefit from them

Susanne Gmachl | © punkt & komma
Susanne Gmachl
Content marketer
  • What’s the name of the latest album of my favourite band?
  • How do I remove a red-wine stain from my shirt?
  • Why are cats afraid of cucumbers? (Incidentally, that’s one of the most-asked questions on Google in 2016)
  • Which food processor is right for me?

Every day, we ask Google millions of questions in hopes of finding the desired information. Mostly, we do this on our smartphones.

Google calls these moments in which we are looking for information, making decisions or eager to discover something new “Micro Moments – the moments of decision-making”. And there are lots of them every single day!

And that’s exactly where content comes into play. Thought-out content gives you the chance to pick up your personas at this exact moment and guide them to the right path. The path to you!

The 4 moments of decision-making

Google distinguishes between four moments of decision-making that we want to share with you.
  1. I-want-to-know moments: Your persona wants to know more! Wouldn’t it be nice if your content could answer all of his or her questions? For instance, where they can rent a bike on their next holiday or what else their holiday destination has to offer?
  2. I-want-to-go moments: Your persona is looking for a certain place nearby – maybe for your restaurant or shop?
  3. I-want-to-do moments: Your persona has a problem and picks up his or her smartphone to find a solution (“How do I get rid of red wine stains?”), guided by the principle of “Help me help myself”.
  4. I-want-to-buy moments: Your persona is clearly ready to buy! Relevant content on your website can be the way to actual purchase.

Relevant content is king!

Don’t forget the fact that despite getting their information on the internet, your persona is more likely to realise the actual purchase offline. This makes it all the more important to convince your target audience online with relevant content and point them towards your shop.
  • Relevant content should always have a semantic similarity to the respective search term.
  • Offer content that describes the actual product. After all, your customer might look for search terms like “family car” or “sports car” before googling a certain car make. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Ein offener Schreibblock mit Kugelschreiber von punkt & komma. | © punkt & komma

Higher expectations result in increasing content demands

What seems as easy as “1 + 1 = 2” at first glance is a bit trickier in reality. Higher expectations mean greater content demands on the part of the user. This means that users instantly expect to find relevant information relating to their search query. Right then and there, this very minute and on the very device they are using. And that’s not all. Ideally, they want to be provided with personalised content tailored to their individual needs.

In short: Consumers grow new demands. And as content marketers, you will want to meet them. Consequently, Google has defined three new attributes that define today’s consumers.

Today’s consumers are
  • more impatient
  • more discerning
  • more curious

than they used to be a couple of years ago. They want to be encouraged to make a decision, supported by their smartphones. This is documented by the fact that mobile search queries have increased by 80 per cent (!) in the past two years!

Help me find a certain place, Google!

According to Google, most searches are related to local restaurants, bars or the like. About one third of search queries are about looking for a certain place in the users’ immediate surroundings. They simply use the Google Maps app and hit “explore” and – hey presto – are presented with all nearby restaurants. 

Since Google launched this kind of search, search queries of this kind have increased by 200 per cent. Recently, Google announced that user behaviour has changed even further, with search queries without the “Explore” option overtaking the ones made using this feature. The search volume for this kind of search has increased by an incredible 150 per cent in the past two years. 150 per cent!!
Mann mit Winterjacke hält ein Smartphone mit einer geöffneten Karten-App in der Hand. Am Boden liegt Laub herum. | © Pixabay
What’s the reason for this? Consumers have learned that Google displays those restaurants first anyway that are nearby – or at least in the same city. That’s why entering a more detailed location has become obsolete.

A similar case are weather forecasts. Isn’t it convenient that it’s enough to google whether it’s going to rain today without having to add where you actually are? We think it is!

So long, Google!

We can’t wait to see what will happen in terms of Micro Moments in the upcoming days, weeks and months!

Micro Moments update of August 31, 2017

That was quick – there’s already an update on Google’s Micro Moments! In the last days of August 2017, Google announced another change in user behaviour. The most recent Micro Moments study painted an even clearer picture of consumers, revealing one increasing demand: the immediate satisfaction of their needs. This is also reflected in their search behaviour:
  • Mobile search queries related to “same-day shipping” have increased by a whopping 120 per cent over the past two years …
  • … and travel-related searches done via smartphone have increased by 150 per cent.
Das Content Marketing Workbook von Ines Eschbacher. | © punkt & komma

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