For the most part, emojis don't exactly scream “professionalism.”
But today, they're so widely used that even marketers are starting to weave them into their copy.
You've probably seen plenty of brands using emojis on social media, but that's not the only place where using them might actually give you an advantage.
They can also be surprisingly useful for, of all things, SEO.
A relevant emoji is a way to stand out in the search results.
For example, a pizza place might use the pizza emoji. This probably sounds ridiculous, but apparently, it works.
Google is even starting to index emojis.
If you're going after a search term that's pretty competitive and general, like “pizza places near me,” an emoji in your meta title or on your website could be exactly what you need to get an advantage.
An article from SEMRush explains why.
While you may have read the title of this blog post and thought “what a ridiculous idea,” the effect of millennials and Generation Z and how they use emojis could actually see a rise in emoji SEO – and this could be coming sooner than you might think.
Can emojis be integrated into your marketing campaign?
Quite simply, yes.
There are a number of things to suggest that Google is beginning to place more value on the emoji.
Firstly, back in May 2016, Google re-allowed search by emoji, and Yelp, according to the Huffington Post, has been allowing emoji search since 2014, through its mobile app.
Google image search is another example of how emojis are slowly growing in importance, and with news that Google can also recognize emojis in any tweets that are sent to them, it is easy to see that the search engine is not only recognizing, but also rapidly indexing emojis.
Emojis In Marketing
If Google is beginning to index emoji-relevant results on SERPs, then SEOs are going to need to start thinking about how their client’s visibility could be affected by this evolution of emoji SEO.
Marketers are quickly beginning to jump on the emoji bandwagon, with reports suggesting that the use of emojis has grown by 775%.
With a report from Adweek back in 2015 showing that 92% of online consumers use emojis, and with Millennials and Generation Z seemingly becoming more comfortable expressing their emotions through these little images as opposed to typing them out, it will be no surprise to see emojis begin to influence SERPs far more in the future.
This is similar to the way that slang and acronyms were incorporated into Google SERPs, where Google incorporated this in order to display the best results for user intent. Emoji SEO seems to be the next, most natural, transition.
The Purpose Of Emojis In SEO
The main reason for businesses to begin using emojis within their domain names, for page titles and for any other reason, is simply to stand out amongst the crowd within Google SERPs.
While this will benefit certain industries more than others — for example eCard websites, fun fashion and beauty blogs etc. — it really can help when it comes to click-through-rate.
With Google looking ever more closely at user experience, click-through-rate is increasingly becoming an important factor when it comes to ranking highly on Google SERPs – and emojis could be the next step to help achieve this.
The emoji helps to better convey an expression and somewhat help to produce a deeper emotion, which can truly help readers to understand the context of what is being said. This helps to make your website even more relatable to users – generating a trust factor.
If your page or blog post has an emotional element involved, then you should consider emoji optimization.
If your site is targeting common search terms, then you may want to consider using emojis within this in order to boost your site’s rankings for those using mobile in particular.
Social media is going to be a huge influencer with emoji SEO, and with Google taking social signals into account even more with every algorithm update, this could be an easy way to help boost your site even more in emoji rankings.
Include emojis with the updates that are relevant and topical, and you are likely to see more of an increase in success with emoji SEO.
You can learn more about how to weave emojis into your copy over at SEMRush.