DOES GOOGLE’S LATEST TOOL SPELL A NEW DAWN IN SEARCH?
Gyms in the US are seeing increased bookings thanks to the new Reserve with Google tool. What are the implications for businesses and their SEO strategies?
SEO is often described as something of a moving target. In part, it is due to changes in the Google search algorithm and the like, but a more fundamental reason is that the nature of search itself is evolving. The latest development is Reserve with Google, a function that brings customers directly to your business, without them even having to leave the search page.
Reserve with Google has delivered some impressive results in the US and will soon be rolled out further. Let’s see how this fits in to the ever-changing SEO landscape, and how it might affect businesses, and help with SEO for gyms and health clubs.
HOW IS SEARCH CHANGING?
Already, we have seen an evolution from search being largely keyword driven to semantic searches, where the search engine uses information about your location, search history and other factors to make an “educated guess” as to what you are looking for.
In many cases, Google has already gone a step beyond that, not only correctly working out what you are looking for, but delivering the answers, right there on the results page.
For example, suppose you were to type in “football scores.” Using a strict keyword search, this could bring up sites that cover the Premier League, European League and even NFL or college football leagues in America.
Semantic search will use locational data, so if you are in the UK, it will “guess” that you are talking about English football, as opposed to the American variety. But more than that, Google will actually present you with the latest scores in the Premier or local league.
RESERVE WITH GOOGLE REPRESENTS AN OPPORTUNITY
For some sites, these advances in semantic search prove to be a headache – what’s the point in ranking well on Google for the keyword “football scores” if the search engine itself is just going to deliver the answer, negating the need to click on a search result?
However, when it comes to a product or service, Google’s evolution towards not just pointing searchers towards the right answer but delivering it means a real opportunity. Searching on “Italian restaurant” will, thanks to semantic search, bring a list of suitable eateries in your immediate neighbourhood. And if your restaurant is registered with Google Reserve, the table can be booked at the click of a button, without the added step of logging on to your site.
KEEPING STEP WITH VOICE SEARCH
All this might sound a little familiar to anyone who is accustomed to using Amazon Echo or similar voice tools. Alexa, what’s the nearest Italian restaurant? The similarity is no coincidence, and the ability to book and reserve is Google’s way of fighting back against its competitors.
Voice commands will form a major part of the Reserve with Google experience, and will give Google Assistant a valuable string to its bow – this type of functionality is not available with Alexa or Siri.
LET GOOGLE HELP GROW YOUR BUSINESS
Google does not charge for its Reserve service, instead relying on a system of mutual benefit – your company gets more business, and Google gets more of that precious data on which it thrives.
At present, Reserve with Google is available only in the gym and fitness sectors within the US, but there is no doubt that it will expand both in sectors and geographies over the coming months, and our SEO consultants are ready to help you implement it. So watch this space.