Tips from Google on Meeting the Needs of Searchers at the Moment of Intent

Small, everyday moments in life inspire us to instantly search with intent to act

By eleventy marketing group

Google Search Moment of IntentWe’ve become a world of searchers. Google processes an average of over 40,000 search queries every second. That’s 3.5 billion searches per day. More than 100 billion searches per month. And 1.2 trillion searches per year. (see more Google search stats here)

Searching and marketing share a natural connection. People search for information, answers and solutions. Organizations (both businesses and nonprofits) exist to provide information, answers and solutions.

But are organizations making the most of the opportunities search provides? Are we making a strategic effort to be there for people at the moments they need us most?

In today’s post, we’ll look at some data from Google explaining why the “micro-moments” of search are important and how your organization can use them to better engage with consumers at their “moment of intent”.

What Are Search “Micro-Moments” and Why Are They Important?

This recent post from Think with Google (a blog where Google shares research and insights) discusses the idea of the “micro-moment”. These are the small, everyday moments in life that—thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices—inspire us to instantly search with intent to act.

This diagram from the Think with Google posts shows how “micro-moments” exist at the intersection of context, immediacy and intent:

Think With Google Micro-Moments Venn Diagram


According to Google, these moments are becoming increasingly important to brands since they present ripe opportunities to connect, engage and activate people. As the post states: “People turn to Google and YouTube in their I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-watch-what-I’m-into moments”.

Here are some examples of micro-moments:

  • Your iced tea maker just broke. You search to find a new one, or research the best or most economical ones currently available.
  • You just watched a news report about the Syrian refugee crisis. You search to find out what you can do to help.
  • You see a product you’re thinking about buying in a store. You search to find out if you can get a better price or find a better option.
  • You get out of your car and the handle on the door breaks. You search online to find out what it will take to fix it yourself.
  • You’re in a city or neighborhood you’ve never been in before. You search to find a restaurant nearby to eat lunch.

3 Steps to Reach More Google Searchers at Their Moment of Intent

Here’s how your organization can better reach searchers in these micro-moments…

1. Anticipate the micro-moments that are relevant to your target audience

What are the moments when a potential customer would need you? What would they be seeing or doing that would inspire a question, problem or need for content you can answer, solve or provide? Think of different scenarios where the search journey could ideally lead to your organization.

2. Create content to directly address the needs of those micro-moments

With the above information in mind, what Web pages, blog posts, landing pages or other online resources can you create to directly meet the needs of people in those micro moments? You’ll also want to identify keywords (or keyword strings) that would likely be searched in each micro moment.

3. Make sure your content is optimized and tailor-made for mobile

Google underlines the fact that these micro-moment searches are done on mobile devices. That’s the immediacy at work. People grab their phones when they’re watching TV or cooking dinner. So you need to deliver a superior mobile experience, making it quick and easy for people to find what they need and take action.

Make a Strategic Effort to Connect with Micro-Moment Searchers

Why do we search? What compels us? Thinking of your own recent search experiences—what spark inspired you to grab your phone, jump on the Internet, and head over to Google? 

Put yourself into your micro-moment searchers’ shoes. What would you want to know or see or do when the moment strikes? Use that inside thinking to create online content and experiences that offer the ideal answer or solution in those all-important moments of intent.

Use both organic and paid search (a combination of both generally works best) to get your content at the top of search results, and provide relevant, useful and valuable information that quickly and directly meets the need of the searcher within that micro-moment.