Google is significantly changing the online landscape with new services like Google+, Google Wallet and Google Shopping. Here are our predictions how these services will be a significant specialty auto parts industry trend.
Prediction 1: SEO and paid search is a battle for real estate, not just position.
Search engine marketing will no longer just be about being on the first search results page. It will be about the total real estate on the page including results for Google+, Google Shopping and other Google search enhancements.
(Editor’s note: this article was written in 2012. For a more recent update on the concept of real estate and SERPs read this more recent article.)
Prediction 2: Google+ will play a significantly larger role in marketers’ SEO strategy in 2013.
One of the most powerful social networking tools a business can use is Google Plus (or simply “Google+“) It is a free social media platform to connect with customers and gives your business more prominent search result. Google doesn’t say publicly that Google+ is a Facebook competitor, but it is. Today, Google+ users are a small fraction of Facebook’s users but this new hybrid blend of social media and search means Google+ will be your most important social media in 2013. (To see the Hedges & Company Google+ page click here.)
Prediction 3: Google Wallet will be an increasingly popular payment option for consumers and businesses.
(Editor’s note: Support for the old Google Wallet for digital goods ended March 2015, after this story was written; a new Google Wallet app was released in September 2015 in the Google Play store.)
Google is becoming more e-commerce driven through Google Wallet (formerly called Google Checkout). This gives businesses more credibility and allows consumers to pay directly through Google. When a business activates Google Wallet not only will they get the advantage of having Google users making fast and secure purchases, they will also get the added credibility of reviews and ratings right there in the search results. When a company has Google Wallet enabled, customer reviews show up in search results. At left, we’ve circled examples of how Google Wallet enhances search results.
Google Wallet will also become more accepted at the retail level. Using your Android-based phone and near field communication (NFC) you will be able to pay for auto parts in a retail store by placing your phone near an NFC reader at the cash register.
Prediction 4: Google Shopping will significantly transform online search for consumers wanting to buy auto parts.
Google will make Google Shopping using Product Listing Ads (PLAs) a paid listing service as of October 17, 2012, so vendors must pay to be a part of the service that lists where buyers can find products locally, compare prices, select specific brands and much more. Since it is now paid, it will significantly improve what Google displays for results. Google is also including a “trusted stores” feature to allow a business regarded as fair and honest to be in a “trusted stores” list.
Combine these four predictions with other enhancements Google is bringing to local search and SEO in 2013 will radically changed forever.
What is your experience using Google? What changes have you seen recently in your SEO efforts?
Update: for more information on our search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) services for the automotive aftermarket please see this page.
Check back tomorrow for Trend 28, Predictions about eBay and the automotive aftermarket.