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New Digital Search Trends and How This Impacts Optimization

New Digital Search Trends and How This Impacts Optimization

Key Takeaways:

The “what,” “where,” and “why” of search should inform your business’s search strategy.

More consumers, especially younger ones, are using social media as a search engine.

Optimize your content and regularly review your metrics on each platform. 

Search strategy has to do with how consumers find your business. And, since consumers are always changing, so are search trends.

As a small business leader, it’s important to flex your digital search strategy according to consumers’ current habits. Join us as we take a moment to explore what, where, and why people search. We’ll also share some tips for optimizing your content so it’s more visible to your target groups.

Most people undervalue where social media is in creating a search strategy. Most people think about their social media and do not think that they’re being found through social media search.

3 Questions That Should Inform Your Digital Search Strategy

There are three top questions to ask as you shape your business’s digital search strategy:

When consumers are browsing for something online, there are multiple things they’re searching for. They could be hunting for certain phrase or song lyrics. Images and video are two other popular things people browse for. Information, directions, and places to go are a few other topics that drive digital search. 

There are multiple places for consumers to search for the content, information, and products/services that they need. Search engines like Google and Bing are one of the most obvious places people turn to.

But social media platforms are increasingly being used as search engines in and of themselves. According to recent internal data from Google, nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers using TikTok and Instagram for search rather than Google. Most people undervalue where social media is in creating a search strategy. When they think about their social media, they don’t think that they’re being found through social media search. (And that’s exactly how they’re being found, especially by younger consumers!)

Destination sites are another popular place to search for products, services, and information. If you’re not familiar with the phrase “destination site”, it simply means a hub website that people go to first for information on a certain topic, knowing they’ll find helpful links to relevant topics on other websites. Amazon, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, and Reddit are just some examples of destination sites.

According to recent internal data from Google, nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers using TikTok and Instagram for search rather than Google.

As business owners, it’s vital to remember why customers are searching for something online. This is sometimes referred to as “search intent”. These are just some of the common reasons that inspire people to perform a digital search: curiosity, education, inspiration, research, desire, and need. (Take a minute to review your recent browser history; you might be surprised at how many of your search queries fall into those categories!)

Tips for Optimizing Your Business’s Content

So, how do you optimize your business’s content in light of consumers’ current digital search behaviors? Is there a way to increase your content’s visibility so that it can be found via social platforms, not just conventional search engines and destination sites?

For starters, it’s crucial to understand the search criteria that each social platform offers. If you’re on Facebook, for instance, you can search by people, posts, photos, videos, business pages, places, groups, and events. Whereas if you’re on Instagram, you can search for content by keyword, hashtag, other accounts, audio, tags, and places. Whatever social channel you want to leverage, make sure your content is optimized so that it can be easily found on that platform.

There are some simple steps you can take to ensure that consumers find your content easily via social media platform and search engine searches. For social media queries, it’s vital that you optimize your business’s visuals and captions. You also want to be thoroughly familiar with each platform’s tools and how to make the most of them.

For search engine queries, prioritize an optimized website. And stay up to date on Google’s best practices for optimization. A good place to start is grasping the EEAT acronym, a simple reminder of four of the top qualities Google’s search engine values when ranking sources in the SERP: experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

A Reminder to Track Your Traffic

Your data is another tool to rely on when determining if you need to readjust your digital search strategy and revamp how you’re optimizing your content. Consumer behaviors will only continue to shift in the future.

We encourage you to review the metrics provided by each platform. For instance, Pinterest lets you track how many outbound links you have for one of your pins and Instagram lets you know how many people access your website via a Linktree link. This will help you track your marketing goals on each platform.

And evaluate your website’s metrics. Your data will let you know how consumers are discovering your site. If the metrics are saying that Facebook is bringing in more traffic than LinkedIn, for example, it might be time to focus on that platform at least in the short-term.

Modern Marketing for Your Modern Audience

Need help bringing your marketing methods into the 21st century? Technology Therapy® Group is here to help with coaching sessions and on-demand trainings. Get up to speed on the latest social media platform updates. Then check out these three on-demand courses to sharpen your SEO, website optimization, and Instagram know-how!

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office