There is no doubt that emoji have become an important element of internet communication. What’s more, some say that this group of pictograms is the fastest developing language in the world. We use them commonly in everyday conversations with family and friends, as well as in posts and comments on social media. Emoji also play an important role in online marketing, among others reducing the distance between the company and the client.
Pictograms can sometimes effectively replace a few words, and further increase the visual value of the content. However, these are not the only reasons why you should be interested in them when planning your marketing strategy. As it turns out, emoji can also affect SEO.
How did the emoji come about?
Despite the fact that Scott Fahlman is recognized as the creator of emoticons, the beginning of their history dates back to 1881. At that time, PUC published an article in which signs tried to express some of the types of emotions, including joy or sadness. Nevertheless, these typographic proposals proved to be too complicated to be widely used. In 1982, the previously mentioned scientist Scott Fahlman proposed to his colleagues to use the symbols “:-)” and “:-(” to distinguish humorous from serious content.
This is how emoticons got into internet communication, and thus their number expanded dramatically. The popularity of these symbols was so great that after a few years the word “emoticon” was in the English dictionary. In 1998, Shigetaka Kurita began working on communication with the client using icons, resulting in a collection of 178 graphics known as “emoji”. The name results from the combination of two words in Japanese – “e”, which means picture, and “moji”, which should be translated as a character.
A great return to SERP
Interestingly, in 2015 Google decided to block the option of adding colored emoji that appeared in search results. Reason? Many website owners have abused colorful pictograms, wanting to stand out from the competition. However, in 2017, the online giant decided to restore this option, observing the growing popularity of emoji in social media. Along with the announcement of this information, they began to wonder whether the search engine would be enriched by a colorful ranking of results due to new possibilities.
Emoji and SEO
Because emoji can be used in meta tags, they allow you to position yourself in search results. For example, if you want to order a pizza and put a pictogram in the search engine that presents it, Google will present a ranking of places offering this type of dish. However, keep in mind that some of the results can only relate to the graphics themselves. Anyway, entering the phrase “pizza” would also be too general and would not bring the expected results. For this reason, it is worth adding a location description, e.g. city name, to the emoji. After entering in the search engine, eg “🍕New York”, the results will show a ranking of pizzerias from this area, which in the meta title or meta description used this pictogram.
Of course, searching with emoji is much less popular than using words. It is enough to compare the search results, thanks to which it is easy to observe that the use of symbols for this purpose is not of constant interest by internet users. In addition, some pictograms can have different associations, so searching with a specific service or product can be problematic. One could therefore conclude that since two years since the introduction of emoji to SERP, it has not significantly affected the behavior of Internet users, it is better not to use them in meta tags, and thus not waste valuable characters. Not completely.
As it was emphasized at the beginning, the role of pictograms is constantly strengthening, so there is a chance that searching with them will become more popular. On the other hand, you cannot forget about other benefits that they bring, namely: making the message more attractive and able to effectively determine the attitude of the sender of the message.
The use of emoji in meta description allows you to effectively attract the attention of recipients. A catchy and unique description combined with attractive pictograms can influence the decision of the user who decides to visit our site. This, in turn, translates into increased click-through rate. CTR, which (along with the time Internet users spend on a given site) is, according to some positioners, a ranking factor.
Why use emoji in your content?
Emoji works great in internet marketing, where in the final selection of the offer by the client, psychological factors play a key role. According to researchers dealing with the impact of the internet on the human psyche, there is a special area in the brain that is activated when you watch your face. In their opinion, it starts and causes similar reactions when looking at emoticons or emoji. In other words: by using positive symbols, you have a chance to positively influence the mood of your interlocutor, as well as increase the level of sympathy and trust that he feels towards your person.
The use of emoji in communication with the customer also allows you to reduce the distance between two parties, and thus more effectively encourage the recipient to take various actions, e.g. subscribing to the newsletter or leaving a comment. In addition, one should not forget that one pictogram can effectively replace several words. This works great in communication and advertising on social media. In order for Facebook and Instagram posts to effectively attract the attention of recipients they must be interesting, but also concise. Emoji in this type of content allows you to perfectly depict a given thought and attitude of the author, without using many words.
Emoji are an important element of modern communication, thus becoming an effective tool in internet marketing. However, it is worth remembering about the measure in their use, if only because of the reason why Google in 2015 blocked this option. Inserting emoji into the content, you must first of all pay attention to whether their excess will not be confusing to the user, and thus will not disturb the transparency of the message. Such communication will also not fit into every industry and for every search – on the contrary! Handle it with care. 🙂