Search Marketers, it’s time you adapted to Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence was once a poster trend for the nerd genre. However, with Google revolutionizing search and numerous products with AI, machine learning and augmented reality, AI has made itself a reliable place among the mainstream trends.

As far as search is concerned, the era-defining algorithm by Google, RankBrain, has definitely challenged search marketers to up their game.

Up until now, much of the prevailing SEO techniques have advocated the ranking game instead of user-experience. Google started cracking down on the nasty players with algorithms, manual actions and penalties but with RankBrain, if offers a whole new and much more accurate search experience.

Any search marketer worth his salt would know how RankBrain has redefined search on Google with its smart machine learning system. 10 years back, Google didn’t exactly return relevant results but it does now. Even if the query is vague, RankBrain takes search behavior, query intent, among other things to return the best results.

Type Steve Jobs cause of death and you won’t just get a list of results from google but also the direct answer itself. This is RankBrain at work deciphering your query accurately and answering it immediately. Usually, the SERP results start with the #1 result but if your website is the most relevant match to the query made, it will be above the #1 result and gather the more clicks.

The core idea is that RankBrain (AI & Machine Learning system) is redefining the search. With Augmented reality making its way to the daily use apps, it’s becoming even more crucial for local business owners to optimize their listings.

Your keywords need to evolve

People are talking again. They are still glued to their phone screens but thanks to the savage digital assistants, they are talking to their phones and indulging their everyday and whimsical queries.

This is a brilliant opportunity for SEO Strategists and marketers who can evolve their keyword analysis to understand the growing natural and conversational tone of the search queries.

As Google as a search engine is evolving, so should you. Make the most out of voice search by understanding the real and most natural way of people talking among personal conversations. The idea behind these digital assistants has always been to make the user experience as personalized and convenient as possible. Google is focused on delivering the best personal results for every user and voice search gives them the ability to simply voice out their queries.

Now, don’t think about what keywords best represent your products/services or website. Think of keywords as queries made by inquisitive minds who are keen on knowing more about a certain issues.

A user searching for best sushi restaurants in Manhattan will be quick and just type best sushi restaurants in Manhattan. Given how smart Google is detecting your location on its own, you may not even need to type the location and skip Manhattan in your query and still get the best relevant results.

But imagine how would a person make the same query verbally? People speak faster than they write and they are not as frugal when talking compared to writing. The queries usually start like a natural conversation among friends such as, “Ok Google, tell me about the best Sushi restaurants nearby” or “Ok Google, tell me about the best films releasing this weekend”. These queries still have the keywords in them but you’ll have a higher chance of ranking if you answer the whole question.

The idea is to make it easy for Google to display the answers by giving it a results match that understands the query intent and answers it comprehensively.

Near Me queries aren’t as prevalent as they were

The surge in location centris queries was mindblowing in 2016 but in the last few years, the trend has declined. This doesn’t mean that people aren’t making local queries anymore. Instead, Google is becoming more and more reliable at detecting users’ live location. Since Google does such a brilliant job at finding where exactly a user is, the users skip the location and avoid mentioning the location.

While, it’s best to not ditch your local SEO keyword strategy altogether, you can make some changes to upgrade it. Optimize your website and listing with local SEO techniques since Google only shows listings that are located the closest to the user. Dominating the local search pack on Google depends largely on who’s looking for you and their location. So, to a certain extent, the distance decides who’ll rank first, you or your competitor.

For now, even if you ditch the focus on adding your location to every keyword, it won’t do much damage to your website’s rankings. But if you ignore the basics like geo-targeting your audience, optimizing citations, it may just have the worst impact on your rankings.

People are still impatient

You read it right. People are still impatient and they have a tough time waiting for a website to load. Handsets have sparked the new Mobile first trends which the search marketers took extremely seriously. However, while websites are becoming responsive, they are not loading as fast as they should. Marketers often end up underestimating the power of website loading time. Just a second’s delay may cause you loss of several or several hundreds/thousands of dollars. Few seconds are enough to annoy a qualified lead and put them off.

This is why you need to focus on AMP, accelerated mobile pages which will improve not just the user experience you offer but also your ranking.

Summing up

Artificial Intelligence is exactly what it sounds like: Artificial but it mimics human intelligence rather well through the system of machine learning. So, Google believes that experience acquired through multiple queries and data processing via algorithms can really help RankBrain grow and accomodate the most intricate queries.

But what’s worth a search marketer’s time is the rampant adoption of AI, Machine Learning and Augmented Reality in apps and other services that are consumed on a mass level. It’s only safe to assume that AR apps will grow to form an association with Google and if this scenario becomes a reality, AR could give your local business a beautiful boost of leads and visibility.

Other than that, while trying to rank your website high, ensure that you focus on the intent of the query to generate thoughtful content that gets priority from Google. Approach your keyword analysis with an evolved take on how people will be communicating with Google now that digital assistants are taking over.

Understand how you can optimize the near me queries without explicitly mentioning near me as Search Engines are sophisticated enough to detect your location.

Did you like this blog? Got a question? Ask us in the comments.

Author Bio

Vishal Vivek is the co-founder and CEO of a well known Indian Digital Marketing, Web Design and Social Media Marketing Company, SEO Corporation. From being an insomniac workaholic spending nights in the office to taking risky vacations in the Himalayas, Vishal has done it all and excelled at it. When he’s not reading corporate writing and organized crime novels, he’s usually found petting random stray animals

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