4 Strategies to Make Your Website Personal Search-Friendly

As technology evolves, so do users. GPS location turned mobile users into local searchers. Digital assistants have increased users’ dependence on their devices to find the products, services and locations they need. And, because search engine algorithms continue to deliver highly relevant results, users are starting to rely on them to find advice and recommendations personalized for them, thus beginning the era of Personal Search.

What Is Personal Search?

Personal search is the use of search engines to find information, products, services, etc. that fit the unique demands or criteria of an individual searcher.

For instance, a general search may involve the question “What are trending colors for living room décor?” or the search term “popular living room paint colors.” Personal search, on the other hand, asks, “What color should I paint my living room?”

What Makes a Website Personal Search-Ready?

For websites to be personal-search-friendly, they must offer content that can be individualized and/or content that resonates on a personal level with the user.

Here’s the rub: you cannot “personalize” your website to rank better in personal searches just by changing the pronouns you use in your copy.

Most marketing copy is written in second person, addressing the user/reader as “you.” The business/company uses first-person pronouns (I, we, us, mine, our, etc.) to refer to itself. Like this:

You need custom web design. At SonicSEO.com, we deliver.

You can’t just switch that so that the website viewer feels like he/she is reading about themselves. It introduces all kinds of grammatical and theoretical conundrums—not to mention, search engine algorithms are smarter than that. Because search engines are starting to index websites in ways much more closely aligned with how humans read and evaluate content, search engines cannot be so easily manipulated to improve rankings in personal searches.

Strategies to Personalize Your Search Marketing

Yes, it will take more work than simple pronoun substitutions to make your website personal-search-friendly, but it is possible to optimize for this new way of searching. Ways you can revise, update or upgrade your content to improve ranking in “for me” searches include:

    Developing customization tools

    Your website may already have content that outlines options and factors to consider to select the best one. But users do not want to sort through information that applies to everyone. Make their search easier by providing tools that produce custom-tailored results or recommendations based on their input.

    Companies that have done this include:

    Company Customization Tool
    Lending Tree
    Zillow
    Bank rate
    Mortgage calculator
    Brooks Shoe Finder
    Hale Cosmeceuticals Personal Skin Assessment
    Findation Makeup color match tool

    Admittedly, developing customization tools may involve a serious investment. However, compare the cost of development to the potential returns—increased traffic, completed online sales, actual phone calls to schedule service. It may be that you can’t afford not to create a personalization tool.

    Including case studies and testimonials

    For many products/services, the right choice “for me” is simply a matter of personal preference. In that case, encourage users to prefer your brand by including content that resonates with them emotionally.

    Case studies and testimonials allow users to see themselves in your past clients, helping them visualize your products and services as the solution to their needs.

    Encouraging users to seek further personalization

    For some businesses, there are just too many factors that affect product or service selection. If those factors are confidential in nature or simply too numerous to outline or explain, you need to make sure your users have the ability to get more personalized information at their fingertips—i.e., your email and/or phone number.

    Create clear calls to action so that users click or call to continue their quest for personal information with your company/brand.

    Making your business the expert

    The rise of personal search is all due to Internet users’ trust in anonymous reviews and search engine rankings for guidance. Position your business as the expert they consult.

    How? By providing content that proves you’re an industry leader, like:

    • Expert blogs
    • Testimonials from past and current clients
    • Press releases
    • Technical publications

    Post and promote the content that your business/members of your team developed, contributed to, evaluated, etc. so that users know you know your stuff.

Much of what it takes to rank well in personal searches is really the same as what it takes to rank well, period. The Internet marketing experts at SonicSEO.com already develop personalized content to boost your search engine performance and conversion rates. So, the rise in personal search is no cause for panic for our clients.

But, if you are not so sure how your website may deliver “for me” content, contact us. We offer website evaluations and consultations to help you find the personal search marketing strategies that can increase your performance on- and offline.