How to take advantage of Google related searches in 2019

TL;DR

  1. Monitor your brand using Google Related Searches and Google Search Console
  2. Optimize for CTR (Click Through Rate)
  3. Enhance your keyword research
  4. Understand your target audience better
  5. Optimize for Google images

What is Google related searches and how does it work?

Google related searches mostly appear at the bottom of Google’s search result page, and while it is very common to see the search suggestion, they will not appear for every given query.

This makes sense, as according to Google 15 percent of all daily searches are new (!). So naturally, if some keywords do not have any searches, it will be very difficult for Google to predict any relevant related searches for them.

Google’s algorithm also determines the number of suggested search queries to display as related searches, and identifies them by evaluating data from multiple sources.

What is the difference between related searches and Google autocomplete?

Autocomplete is a feature within the Google Search bar, designed to guess and complete relevant searches while you are typing.

Google prefers to define them as ‘predictions’ rather than ‘suggestions’ since they are based on real users’ searches in a mission to predict the most common searches relevant to a given query.

Related searches are also considered predictions, as Google predicts the next related queries to the last query the user has entered. However, the difference with related searches is that it does not have to contain the original query (although very often they do).

related searches

In addition, based on our experience, there is a correlation between the two and if you monitor your brand’s related searches and autocomplete, you will sometimes find that some queries appearing as part of the autocomplete can later “migrate” to the related searches section.

Google’s prediction will determine their placement, but we would still expect to see the more popular searches above, as part of the autocomplete mechanism.

Is there a difference between related searches in mobile vs. desktop?

During last December, Google rolled out an algorithm update for mobile to show image thumbnails for some of the related searches.

You can see an example below:

mobile related searches
Besides, you should expect to see similar related searches on both mobile and desktop.

Bear in mind that on mobile devices, users are more likely to use the related searches as it can serve as a huge time saver.
According to Google, it reduces typing by an average of 25% (!).

Can you affect the google related searches?

The short answer is no. You cannot directly influence Google related searches as they are being determined by the algorithm.

However, if let’s say you are searching for your name or your company brand name and you see some negative queries, you can try to change the conversation.

How you can change the “conversation”?

For example, a radio or TV campaign that asks you to search for a specific query related to a brand. As CTR can be a strong indication (and had been debated over the years as an organic ranking factor), users that will click your organic result is a big hint for Google to correlate the query with your site, and hopefully later – with the related searches queries or autocomplete suggestions.

Having said that, do not expect that it will replace the negative queries of your choice, this is a pure 100% algorithmic process. So the long answer is also no, you can technically affect the results, but in most cases, to a very limited extent.

Is there an API to related searches?

Unfortunately, no – there is no official Google API to find related searches. The closest to an official API Google ever had was a Search API for shopping, and it was deprecated back in September 2013.

However, the SEO ranking tool, Rank Ranger provides its own API for related searches.

How can you leverage related searches for your SEO?

    1. Monitor your brand’s related searches using Google Search Console – it is highly important to be aware of what people are thinking about your brand and your company.This is even more important if there is a negative sentiment that you can monitor – sometimes way before social media and other marketing channels.Monitor those queries and their impressions at least on a monthly basis –
      • How many are searching for these queries? Check for impressions and clicks
      • What is the user intent of these searches?
      • Have the queries changed over time?
    2. Improve your CTR –Based on the related searches, you can modify your Meta Title and Meta Description to match with what your users are searching for and win more CTRFor example, if we search for “accounting tool” these will be the related searches:related searches exampleYou can highlight the free trial in the Meta Title to get more attention (of course ONLY if you indeed got it free!). In general, we all tend to click on a specific title rather than a generic one because it is more likely to give us what we are looking for.By the way – what is the user intent for accounting tools pdf? And should it be relevant to you if you don’t have pdf files?
    3. Keyword research goldmine – Similar to Google auto complete and people also ask, you can find many longtails and content ideas by adding this to your research.While there is no specific tool for related searches, I highly recommend keywordtool.io to find as an endless hub for new keywords ideas.For example, a few related searches relevant to “black Friday”:black friday related searches
    4. Get a better understanding of your target audience –I cannot stress this enough: We are not JUST doing SEO, we are marketers – and as marketers, our goal is not only to optimize and get more organic traffic. Organic traffic is important, but it’s still only half of the job.Our goal is also to get a better perspective of who is our target audience. What pinpoints should give us a hint?
      • Other competitor names
      • Countries or other languages – maybe it deserves your attention to build some local pages/targeted by country
      • Understand the user funnel – users are not only going through your website before making a purchase/conversion. Of course, it depends on what kind of product or service you offer, but in general, users will search for online reviews, ask question about the product etc.Related searches can sometimes give you a good hint about the stages your users are going through before making a purchase.
    5. Optimize for google images –naturally, most of the related searches are long-tails, which means less competition.Check for related searches that are also displaying images as part of the universal search. For example:related searches example 2Use this idea to diversify your images alt text and file names (only where relevant). It will be much better than just naming your photos “avocado 1” “avocado 2”.Bear in mind, there is a strong correlation between the first organic SERP and Google images, which means it is very likely that at least some of the top 10 sites for a given query will have some image results as well.

    As always, would love to hear your feedback and comments.

Posted by Roey Skif

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