The Rise of Digital Assistants and What You Can do About It
Remember when it became possible to ask your phone a question, and in return, an answer would be conveniently produced?
When Siri was introduced into our lives, many of us were genuinely intrigued with their phones voice search capabilities. Digital assistants are quickly abating speech input in the form of Cortana on Windows Phone and Google Now on Android, simultaneously with Siri on the iPhone.
One thing we do know is that voice search is growing, and it’s growing rapidly. More people are feeling confident about using natural speech when searching for information, and more accurate results are being generated when they do so. In fact, Google’s speech recognition error rate is at 8%. That is down 25% just two years ago. In which, Google has estimated that 20% of mobile search queries are voice searches.
If you think voice search won’t impact search results than you are sadly mistaken. In the past, keyword-focused queries were necessary if you wanted your site to rank. In the same token, building content around general questions was enough to make your sites visible. Now those strategies don’t cut it, the competition for attention on the internet continues to thrive and developing mediocre content will only keep your sites in the dark.
With that being said, 87 percent of the world’s population own a smartphone, 2015 was the breakthrough year for mobile as more people turned to smartphones and tablets instead of the traditional laptop and desktop computer.
Interestingly enough, Google tailors its search results based on the past things you’ve searched for and previous online habits. Digital assistance mocks the same behavior but to a higher degree. For example, Cortana can “learn’ that when you searched for a calendar template, you aren’t looking for tips on how to manage one, you’re looking for one you’ve already made.
While digital technology continues to evolve so does the need for Marketing Strategies, SEO companies, and business owners when targeting their audience.
The Power of Voice Search
Traditionally, we often use the shortest queries to achieve the best results on Google. Not the same case with voice search. We’re much more inclined to say to Siri, “Where is the closest movie theater?” As opposed to typing “Movie Theater GA.” Voice search is designed as a conversational canvas, answering the “who, what, why, where, when, and how.” Using conversational language shows stronger intent, meaning a better understanding of the user's readiness to take action.
For digital marketers, try adding some relevant question keywords phrases to your keyword list as a test. This information becomes highly valuable and can be implemented into your keyword strategies.
If you are bidding on ads, optimize and bid up on these questions and long-tail keywords. You could also consider curving the ad copy and landing page more specifically towards the highest-valued questions asked, and lastly include filler words in your questions.
Let’s say a company is selling vacations to Maui; include phrases such as:
The more correspondence you have, the more likely your ad will appear on a voice search that includes words like “a” and “me” and “for.”
Who's using Voice Search?
Thrive Analytics did a study back in 2014, showing a compelling number of people using personal digital assistants. The age bracket of 18-29, had the highest usage of 71%, following ages 30-43 with a 59% usage, 44-53; 39%, and lastly, 54+ at 38%. Keep in mind, given the speed at which this technology is advancing; the adoption numbers have grown dramatically. According to a survey conducting in 2015 by MindMeld, most people only just started using voice search and voice commands within the six months before when the survey was conducted, resulting in 41.6% new users.
What are we using Voice Search for?
Currently, most people are utilizing voice searches for tasks such as finding directions, calling contacts, and dictating tasks. With 40% of users asking for directions, predicted future use entails searches ranging from directions, to where to go dinner, to where to buy a phone charger.
Other important takeaways you can incorporate into your SEO:
- Keep your local listings up-to-date: Did you know? Voice search on local devices is three times more likely to produce local results than on a desktop. Is your address and contact information current? What is your neighborhood called to the locals? Targeting and focusing on local details can get you found over your competition.
- Keep conversational language in your posts: Conversational queries naturally attract conversational results. Adding long-tail keywords, colloquial phrases, and long form questions in your content will help you emerge for more voice-based questions.
- Reduce your efforts on basic information: For some time, writing posts with simple answers to common questions was a good idea. Presently, digital assistance can provide that information speedily, and not needing you as the go-between. Rather than writing this type of content, venture into more complex, niche territory.
Now is the prominent time to answer questions and truly listen to what consumers are asking. Addressing these questions as if they were right in front of you is the key to optimizing your content towards digital assistants. Constructing quality content around issues within your industry will do wonders in this new age of voice search. Look for hard-hitting questions on social media, devote a Q&A section on your website, or read an articles comment section.
Remember to focus on the main action items, including:
- Long-tail keywords, and more natural conversational phrasing
- Intent will be clearer with voice search
- Voice search will leave a significant mark on local search results
- Test out voice search yourself and analyze your results
Need help optimizing your sites your sites for voice search? Are you ready for your business to make a digital impact and on-line presence?
Click the link below for a Free Consultation with Kirk Donovan about how we can assist you in building a marketing strategy that works for your companies needs.
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