You no longer have to hide your love of using emojis in a professional setting: They could help your business improve its Google Search rankings.
What are Emojis?
Emojis, or Emoticons, are miniature cartoon-looking images that express an emotion, idea, thing, activity, or place and can be used in place of words.
For example, if you want to tell someone you’re hungry for pizza you can show it!
I am 🇭🇺! And I want 🍕now!"
(That’s Hungary’s country flag by the way.)
Then after you eat the whole thing yourself and you get a text from your friends asking where you are, you can tell them it’s nap time with a simple 😴.
They are also sometimes used at random to accentuate a thought or sentence:
I’ll be there a little late!🦔🐀🌆.”
Emojis can also be used in the title of a blog to capture someone’s attention:
🇺🇸 Why Baseball is THE All-American Sport ⚾️💥
Your options for using these little electronic images are nearly unlimited because there are 2,666 emojis in all and more get added every year (the kangaroo emoji is on its way and we’re a little partial to kangaroos here at WebPunch!).
How do I Get to My Emojis?
If you’re on a mobile device📱, there’s a button on the lower left ↩️ portion of your keyboard ⌨️ that will switch it from letters to emojis. If you can’t find it, you may have to download an emoji keyboard.
If you’re on a mac, punch Command+Control+Space Bar and the keyboard will pop up. You can also find it manually by clicking the “edit” button in the toolbar at the top of the desktop. Click the emoji you want to use and drag it into the field.
Using Windows 10 or 8💻? Follow these steps:
- Pull up your touch keyboard by right-clicking on the desktop
- Select “Toolbar”
- Select “Touch Keyboard”
- Choose the smiley key towards the lower left of the keyboard
- Select the emoji to type it in the field
One more bonus feature: You can change skin or hair color on human property emojis, like a hand or face. Just click and hold the mouse over the emoji and these options will appear. Kind of cool! 👮♂️👮🏻♂️👮🏼♂️👮🏽♂️👮🏾♂️👮🏿♂️
More and more, people 💏 are using emoji symbols to communicate, especially younger generations. According to an inc.com survey, 68% of millennials feel more comfortable expressing emotions with tools like emojis and GIFs.
In an effort to harness the power of the millennial generation, Google Search will return results for emoji symbols (not on Google Maps, however). So, businesses that use an emoji appropriately in their online content will be in the running for a top spot for the emoji that was searched. Businesses can incorporate emojis into their meta descriptions as well, and seeing as few businesses are really taking advantage of this feature means that those who utilize emojis are on the cutting ✂️ edge.
Instead of Googling “pizza,” why not Google 🍕? I tested this search function for myself. I found that when I punched a 🍕 emoji into Google on my laptop, I got general results back about pizza, the pizza emoji itself, and images and videos about pizza.
While I’m not getting any actual options for dinner, you’ll notice that the 🍕 emoji is in all of the titles and some of the meta descriptions.
When I searched for the 🍟emoji, similar results came up as well as the nutritional information for french fries. Something new popped up this time, though. Google brought up the latest posts from a top-ranking Twitter handle that has the french fry emoji in their name (yes, you too can add an emoji to your Twitter handle!).
It wasn’t until I added “near me” with no space after the emoji that I really started to understand how emojis could help businesses in local Search results. And “near me” could be replaced with any location-specific information like city, state, or zip code.
I’m not sure how an Orthodontics 👩⚕️ company got into the mix but you can see that the top result is a pizza place and the third is an Italian market. I think we’re onto something here!
The emoji search is in its infancy. Google allowed it in 2015 but cut everyone off shortly after that and only started allowing it again last year. That being said, I think the infrastructure is lacking right now because it hasn’t quite caught on yet. WebPunch works with some service-oriented businesses and I wanted to see what would come up when I used an emoji that represents any of those types of businesses. For example, I tried “🚽near me” hoping to get a local plumber, but to no avail.
Below the three-pack (the top three local results pertinent to a search) are links to apps and businesses having to do with toilets and bathrooms, but I didn’t get any results for plumbers. If a local plumber were to include a 🚽 icon in their description, they’d probably top the list of links that show up below the local search results, as well as in the local results.
I also tried “🛠 near me” and “🔧near me” hoping for a handyman to show up in search results, but I still didn’t quite get the handyman I was looking for.
Then, on the hunt for a swim school, I tried the male swimming emoji, 🏊♀️: and came up dry.
I moved onto the bathing suit emoji 👙 and got some results for a nearby pool, which was more along the lines of what I was looking for. A swim school business may think it is sensible to use a 🐟 emoji, but it most likely won’t do much good. A male 🏊♂️ or female 🏊♀️ swimmer emoji seems to be the one to use but as we saw earlier, even that didn’t really pull up solid results. Plus, you would most likely have to factor in both male and female swimmer emojis. Perhaps just a simple bathing suit 👙will suffice.
Below the local search are links to brand-name stores selling bikinis. And if one of those stores had a 👙emoji in its description, it would surely be at the top of the list.
Don’t Forget Your Audience
One thing to keep in mind is your audience. Using emojis is generally for the younger customers. Think about it from their perspective by asking yourself, “Which emojis will they use to try and find my business?”
Get in on the Ground Floor
What does it all mean? People aren’t taking advantage of this search function. And once it catches on, the fact that people can search for pizza or a plumber simply by punching in a picture, it’s sure to be used much more. Even more convincing, once someone uses an emoji, it gets stored in their “recently used” section, making it that much easier for them to hit the 🍕 emoji or 🍔 emoji when they’re hungry. So why not get ready to catch the wave? Start including emojis in your marketing operations today before everyone else does!
Matthew Van Deventer is a content creator for WebPunch. As a dealer of words he dabbles in journalism and loves a good story, whatever the medium. Matthew lives outside of Denver, CO with his wife, daughter, and pup, Chewy.