How to Use Google Autocomplete for Your SEO

June 25, 2018 Stephanie Ewen

man at desk looking at laptop screen

I know we have all seen them. When you type a query into Google’s search bar, words and phrases appear. They suggest and guess as you type. But, do you know why they are there? How could you use them for your insurance agency website?

Well, grab your coffee and read on. I am going to break down the what, why and how of Google autocomplete.

What is it?

The words and phrases you see as you begin typing out your search are part of Google’s autocomplete feature. These little nuggets of gold sometimes make the news or a meme for its funny offerings.

But, these phrases are a tool SEO professionals have used for quite some time.

Why Are They There?

The goal of these phrases is Google’s way of trying to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

The phrases are based upon the frequency those keyword chains are searched. Google also looks at the time at which keywords are searched. It also checks the geographic location and your search history.

All these things play a role in determining which phrases show as an autocomplete option.

How Can They be Used in Marketing?

The biggest issue you can experience with Google’s autocomplete deals with reputation. If there are negative searches done for a brand, those can show up in the suggestions.

So let’s look at how you can use Google Autocomplete to help your agency. Autocomplete is available for desktop and mobile searches. That means you can perform research on both platforms.

You may wonder why researching on both is important. But, let me ask you something: Do you search the same when you are on a laptop versus your phone?

My guess is the phrasing and words you use on mobile are different, more direct. So don’t ignore those mobile searches. Especially since mobile searches have already surpassed desktop computer search volume.

I’m sure you want to know how to actually use this tool already…

  1. Keyword Research – This might have been a bit obvious if you know anything about SEO. It’s a tedious task. But, it should be the foundation of any SEO strategy. Even though keyword targeting isn’t what it used to be, it is still an important part of search marketing. While autocomplete won’t do all the work for you, it is a great place to start. Use it early on in your research and use it often. Especially when developing content. After all, these are searches done by real people!
  2. Intent Exploration – No, this isn’t a new camping group for young children. This is a way for you to better understand what a searcher intends to find or do with their search. Web pages perform best when they meet or exceed the intent of a users’ search query. Autocomplete helps you understand the intent of long tail keywords. But, it also helps you recognize what content is being produced around each stage of intent. Be sure to look at some of the websites that show up in search results as you are doing your research. Doing so will help you to know what kind of content is already out there. This can help you create even better content.
  3. Reputation Management – If there is an incident involving your company, people may talk about online. Autocomplete can help you find that content and track what people are saying.  As you may know, you have to be vigilant with your online reputation management.

Before you move on to your next ITC blog, check out this resource on four tricks to finding keywords using Google’s Autocomplete:

4 Google Autocomplete Tricks for Finding SEO Keywords

You will be amazed at how fast you can build an extensive keyword list.

About the Author

Stephanie Ewen

Stephanie Ewen helps ITC customers with the search engine optimization of their websites. She has been working in marketing for more than 10 years. Her specialties include web design and search engine optimization (SEO). To stay on top of the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates, Stephanie reads blog articles and participating in courses produced by some foremost experts in SEO. She is certified in inbound marketing, Google Analytics and fusion marketing. Stephanie is an avid softball fan and enjoys volunteering and spending time with her husband, kids and grandkids.

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