The Effect of Digital Search Assistants on SEO
The Rise of the Digital Search Assistants
Siri has changed the world of search engine optimization and will continue to play a role in how SEO functions in the future. If it's not Siri that leads the way moving forward, it'll be Microsoft's Cortana, Google Now, or maybe even Amazon's Echo. Perhaps a new technology will come along that changes the SEO landscape.
Searching via text will soon become only an option, and may become an ineffective way to search in general. Talk-to-text technology and digital search assistants will soon dominate the way we search. Simply asking a question to your nearest device will be the preferred method of choice; and we're almost there now. But as with all technological changes, it may take time.
How SEO Will Change
Searching will become conversational, less static and more organic. Go-to search terms such as, “how to” and “near me,” will be used less frequently and be replaced by full and specific sentences/questions. Possessive words, such as “I,” “me,” and “our,” will become more common, because that’s the way “we” speak.
Local dialects, slang words, and conversational commands will become commonplace search queries. People will search like they speak and it’ll be the role of SEO managers to build strategies which capture this change. No longer will simply building a list of targeted keywords and adding them to web pages be enough; long-tail keywords will need to account for all local, colloquial and conversational versions of the same query.
Right now, search and speak don’t match. People don’t speak like they search, and if they did, all of our conversations would be confusing.
The Inherent Awkwardness of SEO
Currently, SEO experts build targeted lists of keywords and phrases, which are relevant to their site, yet are disjointed and awkward.
If I want to rebuild the engine of my 2009 Hyundai Elantra, I won't ask my mechanic friend for help by asking, “how to rebuild engine elentra.” I'd ask him, “how do I rebuild the engine of my Elantra?” This is the basis for how search engines in the future will operate.
Web copy will need to adjust; as will PPC and metatag strategies. Long-tail keywords are the optimal method for capturing qualified clicks and visits, but even these don’t account for the organic nature of searches in the future.
The goal will be (and always has been) to think like a potential searcher. Rather than tell them which words to use to find a website, figure out how searchers find a website, and design an SEO strategy to capture these queries.