We all know that if you don’t appear on the first page of Google search results, you pretty much don’t exist. Now that there are new ways of searching the Internet, such as voice search and search by image, the rules of the game are changing so if your content is not the first one that appears, or is not adapted for these applications, users won’t see it. So how will about these trends affect online marketing?
Search with your voice or with the camera
The success of smart speakers is popularizing the use of voice assistants to search the Internet, such as OK Google, Alexa, Siri or Cortana. This technology was already available on smartphones for years and has also been incorporated into computers with Windows 10. But it has become essential in the popular home assistants, because without a keyboard or touch screen, the only way to search is with the voice. That’s why voice-based searches are increasing at a dizzying pace: according to Comscore, in 2020 half of the searches on the Internet will be done by voice.
In addition, searching by images is relatively new and less widespread but no less potent. Its operation is based on applications such as Google Lens, which allow you to point to an object with a mobile device camera to obtain information about it on the Internet. For example, you can point to a flower to know its name; point to a bag on the street to know which its brand is and how much it costs. This technology offers a world of possibilities and also includes more and more smartphones and applications. For example, Pinterest has already registered more than 600 million visual searches per month.
The first result is the only one that is useful
The most important feature of voice or image searches is that they give absolute priority to the first result that appears on Google. In the search engine positioning vocabulary, this is called Zero-Result SERP or “Zero Result”. It is the result that Google has identified as the best answer or solution for the search the user has made.
Aware of the growing penetration of artificial intelligence that is, software programs that learn from the interactions of users to better understand what they want and offer more precise answers, we have the “perfect storm” that will change forever the way to search the Internet, with significant repercussions for marketing.
Before this evolution, when someone searched on Google, several results appeared and you had to choose which one was the right one. The search engine made a previous filtering through its algorithms, but the final decision corresponded to the user. However, with the search by voice or by image, combined with the greater precision offered by artificial intelligence, when searching, only one result is shown. The question that we should ask ourselves who are dedicated to communication and online marketing is: How can we make our clients and their products and services become that zero result?
Tips to adapt to new ways of search
There is no scientific experiment that makes your content appear in the first position through voice or visual searches, but here are some tips that are highly recommended:
- Give importance to informational content, not promotional: the ads will not disappear from Google but will be part of the content, not a result itself.
- Offer useful content for users: the FAQ sections are an example for Google to choose as the first relevant result.
- Keep working the communication to the media: a mention in a key media will always be ahead of all the promotional pages of your company.
- Use a natural language: forget about complex words and try to use a simple language like if you were asking a question to Siri or Cortana.
- Focus on the 6 W: if your content answers these specific questions (what, who, when, where, how, why) you will have more options to appear in the first position.
- Use the inverted pyramid: be sure to place the important information at the beginning of the content, because most users will not scroll down until the end.
- Make extracts of the content: remember that these applications only show the title and description of the page so that the user can decide.
- Keep in mind the location: in voice and visual searches, the results that are closest to the user tend to have preference.
- Take care of the users’ opinions: the sites with a better online reputation or positive comments from users are usually prioritized.
- Create “responsive” content: as most of these searches are done from mobile devices, your web, landing page or blog must be 100% mobile friendly.
- Avoid bad practices like clickbait: using deceptive headlines to attract users to your content will be counterproductive in this new ways of searches.
This sounds complicated to you? Remember this: simple recipes are the ones that work. Provide valuable content that covers your users’ needs and you will always have more possibilities to appear in the first position in Google, no matter what the search may be.
Do you usually use voice or image search? Tell us on social networks!