Developing Formulas And Also Voice Look
Like most digital marketers, I stay current with all Google’s major algorithm changes. I also do a lot of experimenting with various other digital marketing strategies. I’m often pleasantly surprised by the results. Other days, I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out what caused a website to drop many rankings overnight. If your website is at the top of the search engine results one day and somewhere near the bottom the next day, it may be that Google made one its many algorithm changes that it makes without warning.
Google’s intent in creating these algorithm changes isn’t to keep digital marketers and webmasters second-guessing themselves. Keep in mind that Google plays fair in search results for businesses and their customers. The overall intent is to drive the best-case-scenario customers to businesses’ websites and to take customers to the exact website or information they’re looking for as quickly as possible. When the two meet, it’s a beautiful thing.
The point is, Google algorithms are in a constant state of evolution. To keep a competitive edge, webmasters need to evolve in their knowledge about search engine algorithms in addition to tried-and-true search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. The best way to do that is to learn more about artificial intelligence, machine learning and the newest flavor of algorithms: voice search.
How AI Works
If you’ve ever touched a hot stove, you’d hesitate to touch one again. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a process that tells machines that something isn’t quite right and it needs to gather some new information and adjust to it somehow. AI technology effectively trains computers to process large amounts of data, recognize patterns in it and change the way that a computer responds to it.
Digital marketers need to think of Google Search as being omniscient — or all-knowing. I read an article that suggests we should assume that Google sees and hears everything. Our job as digital marketing experts is to give it as much evidence as possible to convince Google that our site has earned a top-ranking spot.
What’s The Best Approach To Optimizing Voice Search?
I recently spoke to Oleg Shchegolev, co-founder of SEMrush, who provided some sound and simple advice for optimizing voice search. He taught me that, among priorities for marketers, using long-tail keywords, claiming your company’s Google My Business listing an ensuring the mobile version of your website is optimized are three of the most vital steps.
According to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, as reported by Search Engine Land, voice search makes up 20% of searches on Google’s mobile app and Android devices. Digital marketers should think about the trigger words customers use when using voice search and optimize accordingly. Shchegolev explained the importance of optimizing website content in the form of questions people might ask when using voice search — for example, beginning with the phrase “where can I find.”
In my experience, I have had great results when I have used user intent and question-based search terms, such as “where,” near me” or “in” a specific location. In one of my projects, I significantly increased local visibility for one of my branches with geo-targeted content by creating content that contains the location keyword “Queens, NYC.” I have created several blogs with local terms and extra pages with content related to the audience — e.g., “activities for seniors in Queens, NYC.” Furthermore, I optimized the Google My Business listing for the Queens branch, collect reviews and post updates frequently.
Understanding RankBrain And Voice Search
RankBrain is part of Google’s core algorithm, which uses machine learning to draw the most relevant results from a search query. It effectively collects and interprets sets of data — the searcher’s location, search words, etc. — to arrive at the searcher’s true intent and aim them towards the most relevant sites possible. Over time, RankBrain trains the computer to match signals to results and use the calculations to rank websites in the search engine.
I will suggest thinking like a customer when working on optimization. For example, let’s say I had a craving for tacos while I was driving alone in my car. I might opt for the voice search so that I wouldn’t have to take my hands off the wheel. I may ask my mobile phone a question like, “Where is the nearest taco restaurant?” Notice the trigger word for voice search: “where.”
Within seconds, the search engine can pull up all the closest taco restaurants around. The sites that rank highest would likely be those that are geographically closest. The voice search would probably also consider the strength of the restaurant’s reviews and whether I’ve called a particular restaurant from my phone in the past.
In summary, when optimizing your site, think about your own habits when trying to find something you need or want. Get familiar with voice search and use it often. Ask questions rather than throw a few words together. You just might find that Google takes you to the site you need, rather than the one you expected.
Moving forward, I can easily agree with Shchegolev’s prediction that voice search will become more sophisticated and soon utilize more advanced AI mechanisms. As with any digital marketing tool, this is something we must stay informed on as it inevitably evolves.
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