Search has become the people’s go to path for assistance over the years. If you thought mobile raised the bar for speeding usefulness, then your expectations are gonna seriously exaggerate. New smart devices are emerging, and consumer experiences are becoming better and more tailored because of data and machine learning. People have come to expect better and better assistance across multiple devices and through life.
From Text to Voice
Getting assistance will evolve from typing on our phone to speaking to our car, televisions or, maybe even, our fridge. Amidst this change, brands need to find new ways to stay a step ahead of the consumer needs but the change will require more insights and that will require innovation.
In the age of assistance, the ability to combine data and machine learning to address consumer needs will define how brands grow. Technology firms like Google and Amazon are working to apply their knowledge and learnings from search and their understanding of data and machine learning to this problem.
Together, they can help brands innovate to assist.
Voice Assistant at the Moment
7 in 10 smartphone owners speak to their devices to get answers to questions. By 2020, 30% of web browsing is expected to happen without a screen, according to Mediapos.
Voice assistance has been used at the top of the chart for price comparison and shopping. 72% of 35 to 55 year olds are using it for that purpose and about 67% of people are using that for shopping, price comparison and getting questions answered, according to Think with Google.
All those questions can lead to potential purchases. AI interactions through voice that are gonna end up in a result of somebody spending some money with somebody else.
Voice and chat based shopping fueled by artificial intelligence is being considered as the next retail frontier. The majority of voice sales are going to be driving through retail.
41% of consumers would like to manage shopping lists by speaking to digital assistance. The evolution is incredibly exciting and reflects a shift in how consumers will engage with your brand.
Voice users have already formulated their search query in a more natural spoken language and expect shopping to be more personal and convenient no matter where they are and what they’re doing.
Conversational commerce brings three key benefits to brands: more customers, more sales, and better brand control.
Voice Search, SEO, Google Algorithmic changes
Voice search is not just an extension of just standard type search we do at the moment. There are completely different semantics involved. The types of searches that you get with voice search are quite different. There are going to be big changes in the entire search industry. According to Google I/O 2018, 20% of searches in the U.S. currently are done through voice search. It’s a huge number.
We’re talking hundreds of millions if not billions of searches which is having a massive impact on the search terms that are coming through. It’s having an impact on the search terms, which then has an impact on how the ranking in Google works as well.
So the SEO strategies that you’ve got at the moment may not be adequate going into the future because of the changes that are happening. It’s so big that Google had to change how one of its match-types works.
Exact match keywords weren’t able to cope with the volume of search traffic that was coming through via voice search. Therefore, Google had to do an algorithmic change to their entire AdWords department.
Moving your business from mobile first to voice first
If search is changing, then PPC and SEO are going to be changing as well and businesses would need to be on board with that. The digital world is very fast-paced. We are used to change; we’re used to seeing things happen quickly. Because of voice search, digital world is moving just about as fast as it ever has.
Something I’ve heard chucked around before is ‘SEO is dead’. It’s not dead but big changes are happening. We’re going to see a move away from some of the old SEO methods like keywords and metadata as we move towards more powerful options like structured data, Schema.
With PPC and organic traffic changing, you will need new campaign strategies and structures that are more flexible in your campaigns. We’re moving from a mobile-first world to more of a voice-first world.
Much of what you’ve heard lately: your business needs to be mobile ready is moving towards voice now. Your website needs to be voice ready. Make sure that your business’s digital strategy is able to cope with those changes.
Voice search has a long way to go
The AI that powers voice search in general is still a bit of an infant technology. If you’ve had cars with voice technology a few years ago, you know that voice technology has improved from what it used to be. It’s not very disobedient anymore but it still got problems.
You’ve probably asked your phone to do something and it ignores you completely or does something that it’s not supposed to. AI that powers it is not entirely there. There have been some fairly large public failures with AI.
The technology is evolving, is your business?
Voice search is an evolving technology and we’re seeing huge shifts. For example, the recently upgraded Google Assistant is capable of dealing with more than one queries at a time. You can ask it one question and then follow it up with another question and it will remember what you’ve told it. That may sound simple but actually the technology that goes into that it’s very complicated.
We’re seeing such examples in lots of different sectors. Recently, for example, a University in America developed an AI system, which taught itself poker. It taught itself how to bluff. It taught itself how to deal with the imperfect data that you get with poker and then it took on four World Poker champions and thrashed them. They didn’t even touch it.
We are dealing with some seriously powerful technology here and are gonna see that going forward into the future.
What is next?
What does that actually mean for the future? To be honest, we don’t really know this. It’s at the cutting edge. There are people far more intelligent than any of us working on it. We’re going to see improvements in voice search, shopping and making the process smoother and more efficient.
But where we go from there? We’re not 100% certain. We’re not going to see Iron Man style Jarvis assistance anytime soon although we are going to see more personalized, intelligent personal assistance, which is going to be much more in tune with what you’re doing in your life. That’s going to have massive effects not just across the digital world but also across the rest of our lives.
Make sure you know your businesses are on top of it. You’ve got plans in place; you are working with people who like innovations; and you’re growing your business.