Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in blog

Something significant happened on April 2016. According to Pew Research, “Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation”.  There are now over 75 million people in the US, between the ages of 19 and 35. Explosive technology and social media are some of the factors that shaped millennials’ world-view. Understanding how these trends influence the modern buying decision is key to tapping into this market, and accelerating your business.

Trend 1: Internet and Data Everywhere

It’s been 45 years since the first ever email was sent. Now, the internet is accessible everywhere. It has disrupted the way we learn, work, socialize, relax, and shop. Today, approximately 7,000 tweets are tweeted; 700 Instagram photos are uploaded; 55,000 google searches are initiated, 126,000 YouTube videos are watched, and over 2.5M emails are sent – EVERY SECOND.  This new generation only knows a world where all information is accessible, on demand. This reality has shaped the psychology of the modern buyer.

Today’s consumer searches first and searches often. The internet contains all the information that they seek. Through search they, find the best value, learn what their friends think, read reviews, etc. Then, today’s shopper incorporates this analysis into their decision to buy. Businesses must have a presence online to succeed in this environment. But it is no longer enough just to be present.

Actionable Insight:

Most everyone is searching before purchasing, and the data is consumed quick. So, if you are not in the top positions for the right search terms, it is hard for your customers to find you. And instead, they find your competition. Make sure that your website is optimized per the latest criteria. This will maximize your opportunity for placement.

Trend 2: Proliferation of Devices – Mobile First

Some of you may recall the iconic “wakeup call” scene from the movie Wall Street. Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) calls Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) from the shore of his beach house.  That phone call was possible through cellular technology. But in 1987, cell phones were only accessible to the rich and powerful.

Today, one of the largest parenting debates in America is, at what age should a child get their first smartphone? Unlike Gekko’s phone which only made calls, today’s devices provide all the internet’s power. With over 5M phones and tablets sold daily, mobile devices are everywhere.

Millennials prefer mobile devices to access the internet, because they are portable and anonymous. This generation is ‘mobile first’. That is why the major search engines now favor top search results to mobile friendly sites. They are catering to this demographic and their behavioral norms – so should you.

Actionable Insight:

To maximize your exposure online, your website must be responsive, or mobile friendly. Even if found, if your site does not render well on a phone or tablet, the majority of the market will exit and move on. A responsive site provides you more access to this demographic. It also ensures that you maintain relevance with the search engines.

Trend 3: Search Terms Are Longer and More Specific

Studies show that people are searching smarter. Over 70% of all searches are now between 3 to 7 words in length. Two reasons are driving this. First, with so much information online, it is more difficult for general terms to return relevant information. So, people are typing more words to find specific results. Second, voice search from mobile phones is also having an impact. Through voice, people use phrases and sentences when searching.

Actionable Insight:

When building your website, include content that is specific to your business. Use words that describe your value proposition. Mention your specific service areas. Now with this targeted content, your site appears for those specific searches. Customers searching information about your product or service, in your area(s) will find you.

Trend 4: Search Wars – Bing it on!

Google still commands a majority of the search market, but Microsoft is gaining share. As of iOS7, Apple made Bing (from Microsoft), Siri’s default search engine. That means every Siri search on an iPhone is on Bing.  Also, through Windows 10, Microsoft is offering free OS upgrades. Their goal is to reach 1 Billion customers. The default search engine for Windows 10 is Bing. Bing is also the default search engine that ships with every Dell PC.

Actionable Insight:

With Bing gaining share, Google now represents approximately 64% of the search market. Make sure that your digital marketing strategy includes all search engines. Just focusing on Google means that you will miss out on over a third of the market.

In Conclusion

The psychology of the modern buyer has been shaped by millennials. Mobile devices offer access to everything online. This means that search is the prevailing behavior before purchasing. Your business must have the correct content that is mobile friendly, to be successful.

Modern SEO from a reputable firm will make sure that your site has the technical foundation and the relevant content to succeed in today’s search environment.

To continue the conversation …

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