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Preparing Your Organization for the Future

Date published: December 19, 2017
Last updated: December 19, 2017

Make your company information visible for AI and voice powered commerce

Technology is expanding rapidly and we are entering a new era of voice-based commerce. All major technology providers are investing in AI powered virtual assistants. Microsoft has Cortana, Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri, and Google has Google Assistant. In this post, we will be looking at how companies can prepare themselves to be more visible in a new age of voice powered information.

In the context of company visibility, structured data is the extra information you see on search results next to a website. Its extra code is added to a website called schema markup that not only helps search engine crawlers understand the content of a website, but the context, as well. For example, if you search for a hotel, the search results will not only have its name, but also additional data such as operating hours, positive reviews, pricing and more.

Optimize Data for Voice Search

Voice search is changing SEO. Studies show 50% of searches will be powered by voice by 2020. However, this is a challenge for businesses that are still relying on content with keyword Meta tags, since those are optimized according to typed searches. Welcome to the rise of semantic search engine optimization.

Voice based search brings new types of keywords into play: spoken phrases.

Keep in mind, most voice based interfaces allow users to search the web through voice commands, rather than typed content. For example, a user might type “car repair in Houston” in the search query, but will likely say “where can I find a car repair spot near me” to a voice interface, like Siri.

So, if businesses hope to secure their online visibility in the future, they must optimize their online content to accommodate voice search, as well.

For example, consider the fact that people use digital voice assistants to locate physical places they want to go.  They can say things like “find a pizza place near me.” Local listings management becomes even more important for boosting online visibility.

Optimize for Quick Responses

Voice search is all about quick results, not in-depth answers, for simple questions. For example, you can use your iPhone to ask Siri quick questions like “Hey Siri, how is the weather?” and the digital assistant might give you the forecast for the day.

So, for businesses to start preparing, they need to consider the types of questions their target audiences might ask, but those don’t require extensive answers.

To illustrate, consider an organization that owns several brick and mortar stores. For marketers, this could mean appealing to quick questions about store hours, addresses, or even sale prices. For this, the types of queries optimized by a business will be based on the type of business, the target audience, and the industry. So, if someone asks Google Assistant “where can I find a grocery store near me?” it can lock in to the user’s location, use the local listings from Google My Business, and provide the user with immediate results.

To optimize for a future of voice search, businesses should ensure that the structured data on listing websites, like Google My Business, is updated, accurate, and includes the right level of context through detailed business and service descriptions.

Google’s AI and Structured Data

At this point, we know that implementing structured data will mean that search engines will understand the context of your website during voice searches.

Google is smarter now than it has ever been. Before, marketers used to trick the search engine into showing their content by stuffing relevant keywords in it. Now, thanks to its new machine driven system RankBrain, Google is smarter in understanding intent. No search system accommodates intent better than voice search.

This, combined with Google’s Hummingbird search algorithm, which relies heavily on structured data, can give business owners new ways to gain more exposure online.

Optimize for Mobile User Experience and Featured Snippets

Studies show that mobile bounce rates are 40% higher than they are on desktop. Since people usually use voice search on mobile, businesses should start prioritizing voice search optimization for mobile user experiences.

One way is to update your search strategy by optimizing for featured snippets. These are brief answers to a user’s search queries and are displayed on top of Google search results. They appear for the top 10 searches on Google. In addition to a snippet of a page’s content, a featured snippet contains its URL and the page title.

Basically, any website that has its content optimized, to appear as a featured snippet on Google, can boost its online visibility.

Here’s how this can work out: your websites can have blog posts which answer specific questions that users might ask via voice search. Sure, featured snippets offer answers to single questions, but you don’t have to follow the same route with your blog posts. Start off a post by answering a question, and then expand on it by offering additional information that might be useful to the reader.

Optimize for Long Tail Keywords

Thanks to artificial intelligence, voice search is now conversational. In fact, this is what makes it so different from standard searches, and why this new style of query formats must be included in a marketing strategy.

Using long tail keywords is a start. Keep in mind that interrogative words (who, what, when, where, why, and how) are strongly associated with search queries. For one, they are conversational. You use them to ask questions like you would in normal conversations. Other than that, they also make a search query’s intent obvious.

To prepare for a future in which search queries will become more conversational, businesses should consider expanding keyword lists by targeting longer tail keywords.

Thanks to AI driven virtual assistants voice search is growing in popularity. To meet the demand, organizations should start planning marketing campaigns for voice based search.


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