Digital marketing changes faster than most people can refresh a webpage.
And if you want your organization to stay competitive in today’s connected economy, you need to keep pace.
Each month, our agency is constantly discovering and starting conversations about exciting advances in digital marketing. And in our client work with public health organizations, social causes, financial institutions and other diverse industries, we’re gaining insights that we’d like to share to help your organization thrive.
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The recently (much improved and re-)announced Google Assistant is an intelligent personal assistant that can engage in two-way conversations using a natural language processing algorithm. Google is so confident in the abilities of Google Assistant, that they’ve created Google Home, which is an in-home, conversational voice search tool that connects you with Google Assistant.
It’s too early to tell if it will be used at a scale that Google intends, but it seems to be widely accepted that conversation is more natural than typing, so perhaps it’s only a matter of time before we all adopt this technology.
Therefore, the impending switch to voice driven search will potentially have several implications for the world of digital marketing. The nucleus of which is a reliance upon auditory search results and, in turn, less time spent looking at interfaces.
First, rich snippets and Markup. These will become increasingly important because Google Assistant will need to now understand the context of content on your behalf. Google now offers a tool so that users can better understand this, which is undoubtedly an effort to encourage marketers to begin creating and coding content in this way. Voice search will especially lend itself to query based searches too, so having content in the form of answers will be even more essential.
Second, local data. This is a key component of both voice and mobile search. Google has even improved the incentives for users submitting content to Google maps (reviews, photos, addresses, open hours, etc.). This is, in part, to ensure that local data is as accurate as possible for users no longer looking at maps, because they’re being told where to go by Google Assistant.
Third, reliance upon reviews. The number of options served to you by Google Assistant will likely be limited to fewer results. For example, if you search within a browser for “best bagels” you’ll receive 14+ options (ads, results on page, and 3-pack results). Google Assistant will serve a subset of these results based on location, preferences and reviews (maybe 3 – 5 results). Therefore the products and services with the highest score / most reviews are likely to be served by Google Assistant first.
Currently, Google assistant is still reliant upon interfaces, serving you options visually, so there’s no need to make drastic changes yet. However, there are a few best practices that could be applied now, that’ll help to ensure that you’re optimized for voice based searches and results.
- Have a look at reviews for your clients and start to consider how your organization might be able to improve score and volume.
- Aim to create content that answers users questions. Ensure that whoever is coding your page is using markup to help Google understand the context of your content.
- Ensure that any listings your clients have on Google Maps are up to date and content rich, e.g., have all the possible data, links and images available.
FINAL QUESTION: Do you see voice search replacing typed search completely?
Share your comments below.
See you in a month for our next digital digest!