Technology is amazing. It's also rapidly improving.
Siri may still not be perfect (or even great), but I bet that won't last too long. Digital assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa are transforming the way people search for products and services online.
The question is: how does that affect your marketing?
How does voice search affect search engines? And what do you need to do to keep up?
There is a ton that goes into this, and you can read the entire article at Moz. But for most of you, this is what you should know:
Search engines have always been at the forefront of driving the AI initiative.
Since its beginnings, Google has been pushing search results into the realm of natural conversation, and a huge component of its strategy has been categorized under the umbrella of semantic search and, subsequently, machine learning algorithms (think: RankBrain).
Why do engines pursue semantic search?
From an engine’s perspective, it’s not hard to imagine why Google would want to pursue a more connected world: more data, less spam, a deeper understanding of user intent, and more natural language (i.e. conversational) search.
Understanding all of this data maximizes the possibility of their users getting the best search experience possible.
Google, and other engines, have become very adept at recognizing different entities and formulating answers to questions.
Using semantics and entity-based search, engines can gain a better understanding of what users may want.
Semantic search is going to become especially important as voice search gains more traction.
What to do:
1. Provide value.
Google is looking towards AI and envisioning conversation as the next evolution of search technology.
Become authoritative in your discipline, become the expert source that Google will reference in its conversations. Become that valuable source that drives connection, exchanges information, and provides visitors with some value.
Recommendation: Determine what you want to be known for. Answer the following questions, then create a killer organic search strategy based on your findings.
- What are the types of keywords that you want to rank for?
- Who is currently in that space?
- What are they doing that makes them the expert?
- How can you be 10X better?
- How can you improve your users' experience with your content, including their customer journey throughout the site?
2. Develop targeted content that answers your customer’s questions.
The idea is to create content related to the entity of your product line, which interests users and fills gaps in organic visibility.
Become a valuable source of information for your customers, build your semantic authority in the “eyes” of search engines, and become search engines' go-to guru on the topic via building robust, informational content using mixed media (images, graphics, and videos).
- Prioritize non-brand content with strong question/answer focus.
- Tip: Google appears to prefer numbered lists or bulleted step-by-step instructions that succinctly answer questions.
- Perform keyword research to determine opportunity for queries that are being searched with “how to,” “why,” and “what is” questions.
3. Structure sentences clearly and answer-based.
SEO writing is natural language writing. Content should use natural language. This simply means that content should make sense.
When creating content it is important to write in terms of entities which means more noun-focused sentences. Simple, subject focused sentences provide engines with more information.
- Search engines are incorporating semantic signals in their results. This change requires webmasters to integrate synonyms and related content for each target topic.
- Semantic search provides additional meaning for engines: data, spam, answering user questions, establishing more personalized results, and providing a more conversational user experience.
- Semantic search high-level strategies: Provide value to your visitor, answer your customers' questions, create content with structured sentences, and implement structured data.