Google Home and Alexa SEO
You only get one response. With just one result, are you ready to rank for the #1 spot?
Alexa will pave the path and paradigm as to how we search. Maybe Googling will become a thing of the past?
How Surfing the Web is Changing.
Alexa is now becoming a household gadget. The name “Alexa” or the phrase “Hi Alexa” can be heard in millions of homes within the US and worldwide. By saying a simple command, you can listen to your favorite band, check the weather, control specific functions within your house, and even order pizza. Alexa was developed by Amazon and was released to the public in November of 2014. Since then, it has become a household name and even referred to as a personal assistant. With similar products such as Siri, Bixby, Cortana, and Google Assistant, one should ask themselves will the traditional search be dead soon?
“Hey, Alexa- Can you tell me the weather of this week?”
If you are not using a voice search, you probably have seen it on a commercial on TV or some commercial video online?
The popularity of this voice-activated virtual assistant has skyrocketed over the years. Alexa is one of Amazon’s top-selling gadgets and most impressive pieces of technology. All this is due to Amazon’s open approach to the software that powers her. Alexa can perform a variety of lists of things.
What is Alexa, and how does she work?
Alexa managed to set herself apart, unlike Siri, a mobile-based virtual assistant. Alexa is centralized with dedicated, in-home devices. It is most noted as the Amazon Echo, an always-on and always-listening Internet-connected speaker.
So What can Alexa do?
While she can’t do all daily basis tasks, there are various tasks that she can. A basic rundown includes:
Alexa allows you to play a song, artists, albums, playlists, or genre. It can stream songs from numerous streaming sources such as Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, and Internet radio services.
You can give commands and ask multiple questions to Alexa, and this device will take the answers from Bing. Alexa can also look up basic facts, solve a simple math problem, and even tell you a joke.
Weather and Traffic
Alexa can keep track of the weather and traffic! All it takes is “Alex, what is the weather today,” or “Alexa, what is the traffic to Seattle?”
Set Timers & Alarms
You can set alarms by asking Alexa to wake you up at a specific time and tell her to set your timer when your cooking that delicious dessert or even having that afternoon power nap!
Alexa also has features that allow you to connect to your smart home platform. You can pair her up with other home devices such as your TV, lights, cooking devices, etc.
Alexa’s Third-Party Skills
Moreover, Alexa integrated third-party skills through the ‘Alexa’ app, which allows the user to connect with other smart devices at home. Unlike her native capabilities, the Skills required “invocation words” to tell Alexa what skill you want her to perform; therefore, you have to say things like “Alexa, ask Fitbit what my resting heart rate is.”. Another critical feature of Alexa is the capability of purchasing directly from Amazon.
It is estimated that 46% of Americans use a voice-activated assistant, including Siri and Google Home. Nearly three-quarters of users used the Amazon Echo assistant. There are about 100 million Alexa smart speakers worldwide, while there are 50 million Google Home.
Using the voice search is on the rise and more convenient if compared to using the fingertips, and according to Google, about a quarter of all searches on mobile devices are made using the voice search engine. Experts have predicted that voice search will be used by 50% of all searches by 2020. Hence, why digital marketing, SEO experts utilize new SEO strategies to optimize for voice search
How Voice-Controlled Personal Assistant Impact Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Usually, when you search on the web, for example, “find a local online marketer near me,” it will give you a list of at least ten options, and when using a smartphone, it will provide you with at least three searches.
“Google Home and Alexa Respond with just One Result.”
Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa respond with just one result. They only report the top result and don’t go through the list or any subsequent results pages. This is one significant shift in voice search engine optimization, which offers limited results compared to the traditional search. Another important shift is the voice search answers are based on the personal data that has been collected. Of course, these could change down the road? Where could you go down the search results?
Changes in Search Languages
Voice search has changed various functions for SEO and how to construct content and keyword strategies. While users have shown that they are willing to type something by using a search bar, they are more likely to use a voice search engine by asking Siri or Alexa as if they were conversing. People can have casual conservations and usually interact with their voice assistants and quickly get the results.
Instead of asking specific words, people can tell their voice assistant what they need as seeking help from a shop clerk, and the AI assistant will do the rest. Also, for online marketers, their SEO strategies change. Phrased searches have to be naturally learned by various search engines to give accurate results.
Recognizing Natural Speech Patterns
It is familiar and confirmed that most people don’t type an email or text in the same way as face-to-face conversations. For instance, suppose you might text a friend saying, “want to grab a meal?’”. But if you were to ask the same question in a person, you would be more likely to say, “Hey, do you want to have a meal?” Your natural speech pattern consists of more contextual substance on your question.
The term “natural language” describes the queries made using the voice search engine and longer specific keywords, more like a conversation. Because of the difference between speech patterns of what people are likely to type versus what they are likely to say, it is essential and valuable for SEO to understand how significant natural speech patterns may have on search results.
FAQ’s work for voice search engine
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) are a great way to start optimizing content for voice command devices. For example, web owners can group all similar and relevant questions and make them more visible to the visitor. Still, it is significant to make sure that those questions coincide with any other information you have. It might take time to put all those questions together, but the results are paid off because putting all information on the web page can boost traffic and conversion rates.
While a text-based search engine may seek broad information, a voice search typically seeks crucial audio-based information, such as hours of operation, shipping, return, location, and direction. General inquiries have become less popular; many people admit to being lazy to type their search. More specific keyword searches will take place; therefore, making your web page available during voice search results provides a variety of questions and readily available answers to the various audiences.
Location and navigation searches
Voice search and mobile search are closely intertwined, and due to the nature of smartphone use, most voice searches are navigational. Businesses with a powerful presence on local searches benefit the most from the shift towards voice searches with the integration of Google Maps.
For instance, suppose a person searches for a “web design agency near me” rather than doing a general search on their phone. The AIs process will find the top answer based on the geodata. Also, the result will be an instant and optimized landing page with location references.
As stated earlier, Alexa has many valuable features. However, web surfing isn’t one of them. It’s necessary to ask such questions to give you a sense of how this all could be possible.
- Connectivity, more specifically, how would the user be able to view his/her searches? For example, Alexa could webcast to a TV. But what about TVs that don’t support webcasts.
- How would the user navigate his/her searches? If Amazon sticks with their hands-free model, then this would be somewhat of an issue. However, if this “Alexa 2.0” came with a small trackball or wireless mouse, it could solve the problem.
- Is everything still going to be controlled via voice commands? If yes, this can be somewhat problematic, not so much for the user but the web developers.
Not too long ago, the primary viewing device for web browsing was your personal computer. Since the popularity and lower price points of smartphones and tablets, web developers had to cater to a brand new viewing style. This changed the way web developers designed their web pages. Initially, only a few popular sites had the option to be viewed by your mobile device now; almost every page you visit has a mobile version. Most developers start with the question, “how would this look on my mobile device” before designing the website. If Amazon were to include web surfing on their Alexa device, web developers would have to come up with a way to develop web pages that understand spoken commands. The shift would include voice recognition as well as UI web design. Telling Alexa to scroll to a certain point on the screen seems almost like an impossible task. The smartest and greatest developers have their hands full in managing the nearly impossible task. Most significantly, it will require a new set of web development skills to tack such a challenge!
Consumers will have to face a similar pain point, and that is getting used to using voice commands to surf the web (assuming Amazon sticks with their hands-free model). The frustrations of Alexa not understanding your command and directing you to a different site would be a whole new level of frustration. Being an Echo pod owner, I can tell you from first-hand how frustrating it is for Alexa not to understand my command or play a song I didn’t say to play. Additionally, if websites weren’t updated with the recent speech to talk web development software, this could only exacerbate the issue. Lastly, consumers will face the cold reality of not having the convenience of their keyboard and mouse or touch screen at their fingertips. For some, this may not bother them at all; personally, I prefer the ease of using my mouse and keyboard or thumbs to navigate a website.
Surfing the web reimagined
Let’s say that Amazon (being the genius company that they are) discover a way to integrate Alexa with surfing the web perfectly. Envision, pulling up websites on your TV, and just browsing from the comfort of your couch—no controls, no keyboard, no mouse, no touch screen, just your voice commands. “Alexia, scroll to the bottom,” “Alexia, click a link to next page” will be the new sound emerging from the homes around the world. I imagine that the Amazon website will be the very first site to incorporate the speech commands. With a simple command, you can view ratings, view product descriptions, and add items to your cart.
What about Visual Content like YouTube
YouTube will probably be another fun site to visit; you can search by your command and say, “play video number 3”. Netflix would be another website that would receive the speech commands that would be similar to the Amazon “firestick.” Assuming all sites receive this royal treatment of being able to understand voice commands- you can visit CNN.com and get your news updates or see what’s on sale at your favorite furniture store. But, you have to ask yourself, is this changing the way you surf the internet? Essentially, you’re just replacing your keyboard and mouse with your voice and being susceptible to extreme frustration and undesirable surfing experience. What could make surfing the web truly reimagined?
Combining Alexa with computer software
As stated earlier, Alexa has competing AI’s- Siri, Bixby, and Cortana to name a few-. Being a PC owner, I naturally gave Cortana a try when she was first introduced. With Cortana, you can use your voice commands to open up an internet explorer or a specific website, but the functionality stops there. You can’t have Cortana fully navigate a webpage, play a link to a video on CNN or YouTube. It’s minimal. If Alexa could be downloadable software for your computer with the functions discussed earlier, I can see your web experience changing.
You can type a report and say a simple command without leaving your word document, have Alexa browse Google for your research topics, and then instead of moving your mouse to scroll the page request, Alexa, to click link 3. The possibility for this combination is endless, and being an Amazon product, you can expect to shop hands-free on your PC. That’s one aspect of combining Alexa with software, but what about other combinations.
Combining Alexa with Rift Technology
This would be the ultimate combination of new technology working in unison. You have your headset's comfort (controller optional), and you can browse using your voice commands. You don’t have to worry about scrolling to the left or right of the page. You can tilt your head in whatever direction you would want to scroll. I believe this would be the game changer consumers are looking for, minus the VR headsets' price point. The VR headsets are designed to give the user the feeling of being immersed in their content, whether this is movies or games.
Surfing the net has never been an immersive activity. You have your bright monitor, the clicking of your keys, and mouse. You don’t have the desired amount of privacy, and someone can quickly peek over your shoulder while you’re reading an article on “how to pick up chicks” on askmen.com. The use of virtual reality is becoming increasingly popular; there are sites where you can take a virtual tour of a home using a VR headset. There’s also television that’s broadcasted in 3d. Imagine throwing on your VR headset and watching your favorite football game. It will feel like you have expensive front row tickets. I genuinely believe this would be the most immersive, interactive, refreshing way to surf the net.
Combining Alexa with Mobile devices
This last category seems redundant since you have Siri, Bixby, and Google at the top of the game. However, speaking from experience, Siri can only do so much before you have to surf the web, similar to Bixby and Google manually. If Alexa was an application you could download that has access to your microphone and internet browser. You can browse the net while you drive (hands-free- safety first). This would be the best testing ground for Alexa’s app, with the speech to talk. Speech commands already being implemented into the phone. Alexa can use current mobile technology to make it even better. If Amazon is willing to take a risk, they can come out with their mobile device similar to what Google did, and that way, they can thoroughly test their new technology. I feel this would be the safest way to go initially. Amazon can troubleshoot and provide updates based on consumer feedback, or they can release a beta version to a small pool of people and receive feedback that way.
A step in the right direction
This new device takes the voice command features of Alexa and improves it by adding more microphones and an external screen. I love this new version of Alexa because it provides us, the consumer, with a look into the future. However, like its predecessor, the Echo Show can’t surf the web, even though it has an external screen. I’m not too sure why the developers decided not to go the whole internet route. I’m sure it has to do with a myriad of factors. The Echo Show does allow you to order off Amazon directly, and it even shows you an image of your order, the rating, and product description. Although lacking the ability to surf the web, this new device gives me hope that we will be close to having a competent AI with the ability to surf the web one day soon.
Without a doubt, there are current issues with the speech to command AI’s. Notably, these issues must be fixed moving forward. I feel that the addition of more microphones is a must-have. There are countless times where I have to yell or go right next to Alexa for her to hear my command. Secondly, a feature to pick up on consumers with accents is probably one of the most essential features that need to be addressed. Lastly, have a way of deaf and hard of hearing consumers use these new features.
Looking Ahead — 2020 and Beyond
Looking ahead, there is undoubtedly one thing for sure that people are quickly adapting to the fact that voice search can help in searching. Voice search will be destined to become a significant factor in our everyday lives. With the subsequent explosion of smartphone technology and other innovative advanced technology, voice search is the wave of the future and the present. This means that it is significant for business and digital marketing strategists too, and they must be ready to tackle this new SEO in digital marketing challenge. After all, the web design technology and establishing organic SEO for voice-enabled devices will be different.
Web design tips and SEO trends will continue to morph and come and go. To stay ahead of the competition, businesses should understand how the likes of Voice will shift the search paradigm. For example, there well may not be a need for attention-grabbing titles for websites or CTC (Call to action), but content that answers customers' questions.
Final thoughts on Alexa Search.
Alexa, like other voice-assisted tools and technologies, is just going to grow. With the right mindset and creativity, Amazon’s Alexa will have a home and business place. After all, the likes of Siri, Google Home, and Alexa are paving the path as to how we search and control our gadgets, whether it be good or bad. With that said, online marketers and web designers will no doubt need to embrace such changes.
Our Seattle web designing services continue to embrace such challenges and continue to stay ahead and adapt to digital marketing trends. Connect with us if you're looking for any web-related services and want to stay ahead of the competition.
Local Web Design Services
If you’re looking for web design, website development, a new website, or need to revamp an existing small business website, then you’ve come to the right place. Notably, at Visualwebz LLC, we understand business owners and the website benefits your business needs. Also, we know that being a website owner. You will want to see immediate results. Furthermore, we can help your website reach an international, national, or local customer base. Besides, we know how to get your customers to you. After all, small business websites and SEO have been our specialty since 2008!
We Deliver the Best Web Services
Interested in chatting to us regarding SEO or web design? Or have questions regarding our expertise or web design costs? Then Contact us today at 425.336.0069. You may also want to check our reviews and learn why our customers like us! After all, our 5-star reviews tell prospective customers why we stand out regarding service, punctuality, quality, and affordability.
Originally published at https://visualwebz.com on February 21, 2018.