For as long as most of us can remember, search engine optimization (SEO) has focused squarely on Google. And why not? Google is the undisputed leader in search engines. But a new generation of internet users isn’t so quick to use Google. They prefer running their searches on TikTok.
As strange as it sounds, Google’s own research reveals a troubling trend for its future: some 40% of younger internet users aged 18 to 24 either avoiding Google or use it as a last resort. They prefer to search social media sites. And right now, their favorite seems to be TikTok.
Google executives admit that they are having trouble reaching the Gen Z demographic. But to their credit, they are not giving up. The company just launched the latest in a series of educational campaigns designed to explain to the younger generation why their search engine is superior to social media alternatives.
An Age-Old Problem
It is ironic that Google is having this problem with younger internet users. When Google first became a thing, the baby boom generation and older Gen Xers were not all that fond of the whole internet search concept. The marketers of the day attempted to convince consumers that the internet had nothing to offer.
Younger Gen Xers and millennials didn’t listen. Instead, they embraced the Google mindset wholeheartedly. And here we are. Now Google faces an age-old problem as the tables are turned. There is a younger generation that just doesn’t like Google or its brand.
So, what does this mean to digital marketers? Unfortunately, it means having to learn a whole new SEO skill set. They have mastered Google. Most are familiar enough with Amazon and Facebook to make them work. Now they need to figure out how to improve search results on TikTok.
If You’re Doing It In-House
Your organization may be handling all digital marketing in-house. You have a small team that maintains your website, manages your social media posts, and continually works on improving organic rankings on Google. That’s fine. Is your team up to the task of learning alternative SEO skills?
Does your team understand Facebook SEO? If you sell retail products, what about e-commerce SEO? Throw TikTok in the equation and things get even more complicated. Maybe it really is time to start thinking about professional SEO services.
Staying Ahead of the Game
Webtek Digital Marketing is a Salt Lake City firm (visit their website here) with a sister office in Austin, TX. The company specializes in all things SEO and digital marketing. They say that while not all SEO providers may have qualified TikTok skills, the pros are more likely to understand TikTok SEO than a company’s in-house staff.
It is the SEO firm’s job to stay abreast of the industry. It is in their best interests to keep their skills up to date so that they can take advantage of whatever opportunities present themselves. Unlike in-house teams, they have many different clients to worry about, some of which are undoubtedly on the platforms Gen Z frequents.
Tomorrow’s Targeted Consumers
Millennials have been the coveted demographic for the last 15 years or so. That is changing. As Gen Z grows up, they are becoming the most coveted demographic. They will be the targeted consumers of tomorrow. That’s why Google wants to get them back. It is why digital marketers have to now learn TikTok SEO.
If you need a reason to pay for professional SEO services, try TikTok. The site isn’t going anywhere. As long as Gen Z continues to use it, Google will have some stiff competition on its hands.