The Rise of Digital Assistants: Is SEO Going To Suffer?

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The Rise of Digital Assistants: Is SEO Going To Suffer?
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The progression of Search Engine Optimisation has changed substantially over the years. Great digital marketers are constantly keeping up with the latest news and adapting to changes as they happen: SEO is no exception. 

Elevation in Digital Assistants

You’re probably already familiar with intelligent technology such as Siri, Google Now and Cortana. These well-known voice-controlled assistants are all features of our smart devices giving us the ability to ask fundamental questions, check weather and traffic updates, manage our calendars and much more.

This machine and human interaction do not stop at smartphones as people now have the ability to exchange strings of messages with a household device. Google Home is a perfect example of this. Released last month, Google Home has drawn the attention of many. You can refer this capable, hands-free device as the ideal housemate – it doesn’t make a mess, leave dishes in the sink, and it is debatably good company.

However, Google Home is capable of a lot more. This gadget can change your thermostat, play your music and order your pizza. Each success will lure you to ask more and more questions to challenge its intelligence.

Impact on SERPs

So having these smart devices are great. Sit back, relax and let Google do all the work. But it is plain to see that Google Home and similar tools are going to have an enormous impact on search and subsequently, your digital marketing strategy.

A SERP (search engine results page) presents many results and allows a searcher to click their choice. However, with voice demands from a user, digital assistants determine the ‘best’ clear option.

Let’s put this into an example:

I’m baking a cake (unsuccessfully) with few ingredients and need help from Google, I head to my smartphone and search “recipe for a Victoria sponge without eggs”.

Due to my limited variety of ingredients, I now have to comb through many search results to try and find a result that will accurately answer my question. With sticky hands and not much time, this is not ideal for me.

Luckily, I have Google Home – I say “Hey Google, tell me the recipe for a Victoria sponge cake without eggs”. Google then chooses the best result to match my query. Brilliant! I have an instant answer and a delicious cake to enjoy.

How will this affect my digital marketing strategy?

It is probable to say that the rise of digital assistants is going to have a large impact on the use of search, but needless to say, it will not be replaced entirely.

This is because voice commands are generally used for those ‘on the go’, wanting to discover instant information. But some searchers may require a longer research path i.e. if you are booking a holiday. It is unlikely that somebody is going to commit to a high-value purchase without carrying out extensive research.

Do not fear your SEO strategy. Ensure that you are putting in the work to understand your audience and be willing to grow with your customer’s evolving needs. Remember that the majority of the queries being asked to Google Home are not valuable to your business anyway. For example, asking Google Home the square root of a number is not going to affect your website.

You should also think about what people would say to these digital assistants. A great trick is to use longer and more conversational works, for example, somebody would probably ask “How much is a flight to New York?” rather than saying “New York flight prices”.