From a time when telephones were considered sophisticated inventions, we now have the provision to make video calls, browse the internet and do a lot more with a handheld phone. We have come a long way! With each new innovation in the field of communication the way we communicate, actual user interface and lots more are changing. We used buttons to key in the input and then came the easier to use touchscreen interfaces. And now we do not even need to touch our phones to actually use them. The actual potential of voice recognition technology has not been utilized this much any time in the past, though this technology is pretty old.
Can you live without your Anthropomorphic Assistants?
Be it Siri, or Alexa or Google Now, there is a long list of digital assistants that have changed the way we use our smartphones and other gadgets and connect with the internet. Be it to set an alarm or to quickly place a call or perform any other routine tasks on your smartphone you might find it convenient to use the digital assistants as these allow hands-free operation of the smartphone. But one other popular functionality of the digital assistants that most users find indispensable is – “Search”.
Gone are the days when we navigated to the web browser and typed in long search phrases simply to find a restaurant nearby and get a million results which then had to be filtered out! “Hey Siri! Where can I have my lunch today?” or “Hey Siri! Is there a good pizza place nearby?” is all it takes to find the most relevant results in an instant.
Voice Search is very much Different from the Conventional Search
It is not just the digital assistants that allow voice search today. You would be able to find a voice search option embedded in several apps and websites as well. This is simply because this has risen to be one of the most popular ways that people search these days. The search phrases you tend to use while you search the conventional way and the phrases you use while using a voice search are so much different. Besides voice search would require powerful voice recognition algorithms to help process natural language. Conversational interfaces have now evolved and this has also resulted in the enhancement in the natural language processing capabilities. Digital assistants allow conversational searches which are easier to handle. And one other major difference lies in the fact that when you search on a traditional web search engine we simply search a short search term. But with digital assistants you put forth a question in a more natural sounding language.
A Personalized and Relevant Experience
The use of digital assistants for search improves the relevance of the search and personalizes the whole experience. Search engines would be able to save search history to provide relevant results. But digital assistants can take this one step further. The digital assistants integrated with your smartphone and tablets would be able to monitor your web search and other activities besides storing the search history. So they would be able to provide results that are pertinent to the context. These assistants can automatically access your location and thus show location specific results which are very useful especially when you are searching for nearby spots in your locality. And further the priority of the displayed results can also be rearranged based on your previous searches and preferences. It is not just the search query that is voice based but also the feedback provided. If you have a simple question that has to be answered, instead of having to browse through the results and click relevant links you would be able to hear the answer straight away. And when you are looking for information from more than one source you would be able to directly navigate to the corresponding location from the displayed results.
One other major benefit of using a digital assistant is the synchronization feature. Most digital assistants are now integrated not just in smartphones, laptops and tablets but also in smart home speakers, wearables and other smart gadgets. Your search patterns and search queries everywhere would be synchronized and so you would get the same enhanced customer experience everywhere.
So how will this Impact the Businesses?
Businesses today love the functionality of digital assistants because they can enhance the user engagement to a good extent. Businesses now also have a major challenge to handle. Conventional SEO would not be sufficient anymore. So simply ensuring that the web content is relevant and ensuring the incorporation of the right mix of keywords would not be sufficient. Long tail keywords are now slowly gaining more popularity than generic keywords. So it is time for businesses to consider revising their SEO strategies. Intense keyword research is now essential. The responses for the search queries should also be devised to be more relevant and natural in order to be noticed in the voice search space. Optimizing web content for digital assistants is a whole new field that has to be thoroughly studied. And the use of media content including video and images would enhance the voice search ranking. In-platform functionalities are now considered to be more relevant. For example, allowing purchase to happen in the same platform where the search results are displayed would ensure that the whole process can be completed in fewer clicks. This would reduce the time taken for the business to happen and this would further increase the conversion rates. Businesses thus are seen to focus now on curating conversational content based on the search patterns observed in general and making the content accessible from platforms that are commonly accessed by the digital assistants. But given that the penetration of digital assistants for search has not fully shrouded the conventional search method, it would be wise to device an SEO strategy that is a perfect mix of conventional search and voice search.