Friends of Search 2019
or Friends of Voice?
Today Laméco attended Friends of Search 2019, the biggest search convention in The Netherlands. Or rather we should say that they attended a convention around Friends of Voice? Two of our Dutch colleagues recently attended conversational sessions around search and speech in 2019, and one thing became obvious to them throughout their time; “voice” is coming and it is closer to becoming our reality than what you might think.
In this blog we unpack 5 tips on how you can prepare for the speech yet to be spoken.
1. Prepare yourself for voice
At this point in time worldwide there are 1 billion mobile devices that have Google Assistant installed (to give you a mental image, there are 5 billion devices worldwide which makes this number a crazy 20%!).
Most users use the assistant in a “natural” way which is the major difference in optimising for search engines as you are used to now. i.e. Instead of typing in search queries like “weather Cape Town today” [natural way] people speak to their assistant. This usually sounds like something along the lines of “What is the weather like tomorrow?”. The Google Assistant knows your location, picks up data from relevant sites and shows you the weather in Cape Town.
Tip 1: Start on your content! Think about questions - what? how? when? Letting go of the traditional search words and focus on questions and answers in your blog and FAQ pages on your website. This will certainly help in your preparation for voice search.
2. Get your brand ready for speech assistance
Did you know that Google Assistant is already being actively used by most brands that are equipped with a decent online presence? Think about the goliaths like Spotify and Uber. How does this work? Besides the default Google Assistant, the system can co-oporate with apps of third parties. As an example - in South Africa a common command to your Google Assistant could be “Hi Google Assistant, please get me an Uber”. This will automatically open up your Google app (should you have it downloaded already) and proceed to order you that Uber.
That's not all. With Google Assistant you can be even more precise than making a general command or asking a simple question. Asking your application to "Get me an Uber to the airport" will make all the difference as the app is bound to give you a few options prior to odering you that ride.
Tip 2: You can create your own Google actions that are supported by Google Assistant. This may not apply to every business however, the idea is to start thinking about how you could use this to enhance your company's online exposure. Off-course we’d like to help you think about this as well!
3. Position 1 in Google is going to be the only position
Google Assistant obtains all kinds of information from websites, online platforms and actions through third parties. Research indicates that most information is retrieved from position 1 in Google (the companies and brands that are ranked at the top of Google when entering a search query). Besides this fact a lot of data is retrieved from rich snippets. These are larger search results Google builds thanks to structured data on your website.
Q: What does this mean to you and how can you apply it in your own context?
A: Tip 3: Make sure you have relevant content, structured data and a good position in Google! (Hint - this is were SEO is able to play a critical role)
4. Connect with other systems
Not only are you able to ask these smart assistants simple - complex questions / commands, but you can also connect assistants like Google [Alexa, Siri] to other systems. These systems have been developed to help make your life more convenient and is slowly becoming the busy person's best friend in scheduling appointments; making phone calls; adding to to-do’s lists and so much more. The possibilities seem to be endless...
From what we can tell, the next few years will allow more devices to be connected to assistants.
Tip 4: Try to keep your wits about you. In the great words of Francis Bacon who quoted in 1597 "Knowledge is Power" - it is crucial to stay in the loop with the latest trends
5. SEO is not dead!
People often think SEO is dead and we will be the first to put our neck's on the block (excuse the pun), and say that this is not the case! Whilst the technological revolution rampages on, "old fashioned SEO" continually changes with the times and in fact still opens up many new opportunities online.
In today's day-and-age, search engines still look at keywords but are incearsingly looking at data as well. With the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence "voice" will start become a societal norm in having conversations with end users.
Tip 5: In other words, if you would like to become a market leader in your industry, try not to dwell on the idea of optimising your website for the search engine and "voice" too long!