Rapid growth of artificial intelligence in all digital platforms is a fact, and while it isn’t new, it’s continually evolving by the day. It can simplify things like turning on our coffee maker in the morning or securing homes just by asking. More importantly, people are using voice commands to search the web for products and information. The possibilities for this technology are infinite.
The consolidation of virtual assistants in mature markets like the U.S. makes it a favorite format for web-based searches. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), approximately 60% of users with mobile devices use voice command systems to search the web. Less than 40% prefer conventional formats. Few have no preference for one over the other.
SEO and voice search, the new inseparable duo
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and AEO (Answer Engine Optimization; aka voice search) are two elements that must coexist. SEO is more about tactics in searches because you get a variety of results; while AEO is about strategy because a voice response may give only one result depending on the format used.
For example, SEO is oriented to organic optimization for specific keywords, phrases and content on a desktop or mobile device. It helps companies improve visibility by capturing search information. More searches that lead to a company’s site results in higher positions in search results. Higher positions in search results lead to more visitors, and consequently more sales. On another note, AEO focuses on optimizing the website for particular queries and answer engines. It may also limit results to one web page, rather than a typical web search that gives you several sites to review before you select one.
The greatest challenge for SEO is that AEO significantly narrows the field of websites that make it to the top of a voice command search. The truth is that AEO has grown quite a bit in recent years, but a strong 50% of the population still perform standard SEO related searches. This is very likely due to people liking variety. For this and many other reasons, it’s wise to ensure that a business maintains the optimization of SEO and AEO equally.
Things to help improve SEO and voice search for your business
1.Dominate Google My Business
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses. It allows organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including summary and maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can help customers find you and tell them about your business. Lots of businesses overlook Google My Business, but it’s really a cheap and easy way to provide reasons why a prospective client should pick you while they’re searching, and before they even see your site.
2. Be precise
Once the address of your business has been placed, the next thing you should do is place relevant information about your business. Details of the service(s) you offer, contact information, and a reference photo of your business or building are important elements to include in your profile. The more information you provide, the less guesswork for your clients, and the more likely they are to choose you over others.
3. Use Adwords correctly
Google Adwords is an advertising service by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network to increase traffic or leads. The AdWords program enables businesses to set a budget for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and only pay when people click the ads. The ad service is largely focused on keywords. Even if a person doesn’t click on your ad, they will see it, and you only pay for those who click and engage with you.
Get guidance from professionals
Companies with a strong web presence and access to voice-based searches will do well in the coming years as these types of searches are becoming more commonplace. Building an effective web presence is a product of working with professionals who can help navigate this path, complement your brand, and provide you with useful information to maintain that standard of consistency.
According to a study by MDG Advertising, sales of smart speaker devices, like Google Home or Amazon’s Echo have seen an increase of 50% in 2019. A comScore has estimated that by 2020 voice-based system will surpass 50% of searches.
So how can you optimize your site and content to take advantage of this interest in voice search? That’s the focus of the infographic below also by MDF Advertising which looks at trend, and provide suggestions for SEO strategies. The results will differ for each organization, of course, but its worth considering.
You can read MDG’s full report here, or check out the infographic below.