Gen Z - those born from 1997 onwards according to many measures - are an increasingly substantial proportion of the population. This cohort is already starting to dominate industries and not just on channels such as YouTube or Tik Tok where their presence is perhaps best known. Many Gen Zs are now well into their 20s, no longer kids or teenagers, and businesses that don’t take them seriously will potentially lose out. Understanding how Gen Z interacts with marketing, and how the growth of this cohort is affecting SEO, is an essential part of ensuring your business is always able to reach them.
Gen Z + Marketing
Gen Z is a cohort that is truly digitally native with a solid grasp of technology that exceeds that of previous generations and even more enmeshment in the online world thanks to the impact of the pandemic. For this generation, brand loyalty is something that must be earned. There are many challenges to engaging Gen Z through marketing, from the fact that they are willing to hold brands accountable, to their short attention span, which averages just eight seconds. Marketing has had to evolve to connect with Gen Z - experiential marketing, including virtual reality has proven especially effective.
Gen Z + SEO
Gen Z may not be a generation that is especially responsive to traditional ads but searching is something that is ingrained in their online habits, which makes SEO a very effective way to connect with them. This is a cohort that has grown up with search and tends to use it for more intentional discovery. Despite the eight second attention span, research has found that Gen Z can become deeply focused on topics that they consider to be worth the effort. These are just some of the ways in which Gen Z habits could have an influence on SEO, now and in the years to come.
- Gen Z members evaluate search results in a different way - they are less likely to go for big brand websites because they’re less committed to brand loyalty, which could make the search world a more equitable place. It also means that brand name won’t be enough to win the search game.
- This is a cohort that has a heavy reliance on mobile devices which makes mobile optimisation essential for any business looking to connect online. This is already something that is reflected in Google’s shift to mobile-first indexing.
- Site performance and speed are also crucial for those looking to capture the attention of Gen Z. One survey of this cohort found that 60% would not use a site that loads too slowly.
- Gen Z has a much deeper understanding of how search works and tend to use keywords in a different way to previous generations. They are much more likely to opt for long tail queries - of all the generations they have the highest preference for this type of search. Because of their familiarity with search they know that short tail queries are more likely to produce broad results that may not be what they need.
- Voice assistant searching is common among this generation. Partly as a result of mobile usage, Gen Z are very happy to use voice assistant search, which also explains why long tail search queries are their preference.
Gen Z is a truly digitally native generation so it’s not surprising that their behaviours and preferences are already starting to affect SEO for those businesses keen to forge connections with this cohort.
To find out how Iconic Digital can help your business rank higher on search engines, get in touch today and call us on 020 7100 0726. Find out more about our Search Engine Optimisation Agency in London.