Since ChatGPT made its splash in the world pond late last year, each day brings news of how Artificial Intelligence (or simply "AI") is already affecting almost every area of our daily lives.
When it comes to digital marketing and lead generation, the impacts are being felt everywhere - most notably regarding content, copywriting, and website Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
For individual Realtors® and brokers who rely on users finding their services via Google Search for lead generation and clients, that impact is about to be akin to a giant asteroid hitting the Earth. ☄️
While Google initially fell behind in the AI game, they're making up for it quickly. The tech giant has already rolled out its first look at how AI will upend the most significant technological advancement of our age - Google Search.
Called "SGE" or "Search Generative Experience," the changes will completely disrupt how your brand is found online. For those who've wrestled with using SEO to boost your ranking in search results, this is like changing all the rules to a game you already aren't very good at playing mid-game.
While we don't know how much the changes will improve Google Search, you must start preparing now to compete for web traffic to your website.
But every "sea change" is an opportunity, and, in a way, you can look at this like a "level set" or a new "tabula rasa" where you can seize the chance to better your website and rise above competitors.
On the flip side, for those who don't adapt, this could genuinely be a "doomsday comet," destroying any chance of ranking highly in Search - and doing more business. 🦕🦖☠️
Read on to learn more about the significant changes coming to Google Search and how you can make the most of this (likely) once-in-a-lifetime web marketing opportunity.
What the heck is SGE? And how will AI change Google Search?
If you want to read how Google "officially" defines it, you can head to their marketing splash page here. They even show you some examples of what it looks like when a user searches.
Otherwise, here's an "in other words" layman's-style description of SGE:
Imagine you're asking a super-smart friend a question, and instead of just giving you a list of places to find the answer, they quickly summarize the main points for you, show you some pictures, and even chat with you to clarify things further.
That's what Google's new SGE does to search results.
It's like turning Google Search into that knowledgeable friend. Instead of sifting through links, you immediately get a quick, clear overview and can even ask follow-up questions.
It's a more interactive and efficient way to find what you want online.
Want to see it in action? Below are some live screenshots showing SGE results for the search "realtors in Asheville NC:"
As seen in the "Screen 1" image above, you can already tell things look different.
Most notably, the expected "link after link" view of your usual Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) is gone and has been replaced by entries with:
- A summary of what you'll see above the results
- Image/video "snapshots" of businesses
- Rankings & ratings with total number of reviews
It gets better as it goes, too.
Scrolling down (as seen above in "Screen 2"), you see SGE providing two very new, prominent results features:
- Actual recommendations (not just links to sites!)
- "Ask a follow-up" capability
For my search, I did ask a follow-up question: "Who are the most favorably reviewed agents from these results?"
From that, SGE offered me an AI recommendation of who I should contact based on the quality of their website content, online information, and content from many other sites, such as Realtor.com and Zillow reviews, as well as customer feedback/testimonials.
Thus, Google Search is synthesizing what's being said online and developing a list of "recommended realtors" for you.
That's big, with even more enormous implications for your web content (more on that later in the post!). 🔥🔥🔥
How will SGE change what I do with my website so I still get found (and recommended!)?
I've been experimenting with SGE a lot recently, and here's what I've learned (and how it will affect real estate websites). I've presented my findings as concisely as possible, but be warned, this territory is hard to put into "layman's terms:"
1. Understand the AI Landscape: Before diving into strategies, it's essential to understand the changes. Google's new AI-driven search, the Search Generative Experience (SGE), provides users with AI-generated summaries for their queries. These "AI snapshots" pull information from various sources, offering a concise and informative answer.
2. Adapt to AI-First Approach: The new look of Google's search results page is AI-first. Understand the workings of Google's latest changes and adapt your content strategy accordingly. Small businesses should ensure concise content, providing valuable information that AI can pick up and summarize effectively.
3. Optimize for Long-Tail Keywords in your SEO: With AI synthesizing vast amounts of data, optimizing for specific long-tail keywords is more crucial than ever. Think about the complex questions potential homebuyers might ask, such as "best family-friendly neighborhoods in [city]" or "homes near top-rated schools in [area]." By targeting these detailed queries, you increase the chances of your website being a source for AI snapshots.
4. Provide Diverse, Comprehensive, and Updated Content: Ensure your website offers detailed, up-to-date information about properties, neighborhoods, market trends, and more. The more informative and current your content, the more likely it is to be sourced by Google's AI for its snapshots. The SGE AI will offer a range of products and considerations. Ensure your content covers a topic from multiple angles and provides a comprehensive view.
5. Engage in Local SEO: Local SEO is more important than ever. Ensure your website is optimized for local searches, including listing your business in local directories, garnering positive reviews, and engaging with local communities online.
6. Collaborate and Build Backlinks: Backlinks signal to search engines that your website is a trusted source of information. Collaborate with local businesses, bloggers, and news outlets to create guest posts or features that link to your site.
7. Stay Updated and Adaptable: Our new AI-influenced world is in constant flux. Regularly review your website's analytics, stay updated with Google's changes, and be ready to adapt your strategies.
8. Engage with Multimedia: Google's AI is designed to understand multiple media types. Incorporate videos, virtual tours, and high-quality images to make your website more appealing to users and AI.
9. User Experience is Key: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, and fast. A positive user experience can lead to more extended site visits, increasing the chances of AI recognizing your website as a valuable source.
10. Encourage User Engagement: Engage with your audience through comments, forums, or Q&A sections. The more users interact with your content, the more it signals its relevance and usefulness.
11. Stay Educated and Collaborate: Join real estate forums, attend webinars, and collaborate with peers. Sharing knowledge and strategies can help everyone stay ahead in this AI-driven search landscape.
12. Corroboration is Key: The AI will provide sources that corroborate the information in the AI snapshot. Ensure that reputable sources back your content and are consistent with other authoritative information on the web.
13. Optimize for Conversational Queries: With the ability to ask follow-up questions conversationally, businesses should optimize their content for natural language queries and anticipate potential follow-up questions from users.
14. Visual Content Matters: The new search experience will be accompanied by visual information. Ensure your website has high-quality, relevant images and infographics that can be displayed alongside search results.
15. Direct Access to Information: Users can jump directly to the source of information. Ensure that your website's structure allows easy navigation and that essential data is easily accessible.
If you've taken the time to read through these fifteen bullets, one thing should stand out loud and clear: content.
It's my sincere opinion from doing web marketing for decades now that most real estate pros suffer poor SEO (and thus get fewer leads and clients) because they don't emphasize producing the regular, strategic, and correct content that powers a great SEO ranking.
In other words, we're staring down the barrel of the single most significant change to Google Search (and "rankings") in history, so now is THE time to get smart about marketing content creation - and how to do it well.
The new AI-powered Google Search will offer a more concise, dynamic, and interactive experience for users searching for real estate resources in a given city. It will also prioritize providing a comprehensive overview at a glance, reducing the need for users to sift through multiple websites to gather information.
That means your site will now get many fewer chances to be seen, especially if it's not AI-first. 😬
Check out our suite of AI content tools for Realtors®!
https://reallypdq.com - Write a better listing description in a few clicks with our ChatGPT-driven app.
https://reallyblogit.com - Need help producing content so you rank in Google Search? Write an instant blog on a topic of your choice in seconds via our AI app.