This is a post related to “Internet of Things” and "SEO", the topics for weeks 8 and 9 respectively of the “Digital Marketing” course that I’m currently undertaking at RMIT.
I created this Spotify Playlist for this article, feel free to give it a go while you read the following lines:)
SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimisation and a word that probably drives crazy many business managers: “We need to do SEO, we need to do SEO!”. Everybody wants to rank number 1 on Google, but with the high competency that can be found in the wild world of Internet it has been proven to be a challenging goal nowadays. However, the World Wide Web is an evolving space, and being up-to-date with trends and innovations might position yourself ahead of your competitors. In this article I talk about how the Internet of Things (IoT) might impact the SEO world, which can be important to take into consideration in order to stay ahead of the game in this matter.
IoT is changing the way people search
After going through some research on how IoT could affect the Digital Marketing landscape I was surprised to discover that one of the potential impacts could be indeed on SEO strategies. When I thought about it I realised it made complete sense, as search engines focus on providing the most relevant results as a consequence of a user’s input, and these technological innovations are changing the nature of this input: people are starting to search in a different manner.
How do people search?
With the rise of smart assistants such as Google Home or Amazon Echo –which are considered IoT devices–, the amount of voice-search, for instance, is increasing notably. In fact, back in 2014, Andrew Ng (Google Brain’s founder and Baidu’s Chief Scientist at that time) forecasted in this interview that “by 2020, 50% of all searches will be either through speech or images”. Although current data shows that the previous prediction might be a little too optimistic, there’s no doubt that more and more people are getting comfortable with using voice search. For instance, in this report conducted by PwC we can read the following:
- 65% of 25-49 year olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day.
- 61% of 25-64 year olds say they’ll use their voice devices more in the future.
- 71% of wearable device owners predict they’ll perform more voice searches in the future.
Welcome to the voice revolution!
How will the voice revolution affect the current SEO strategies?
The traditional SEO model is based on keywords: we have been told we have to insert in our website those words that our target audience will likely type on a search engine when they aim to find what we offer. However, think know about how you would ask something to Siri or Alexa. You probably won’t say: “Alexa, 153 AUD in EUR” –this is a kind of query I type quite often during my stay here in Australia– but instead you will say something like “Alexa, how much is 153 Australian Dollars in Euros?”. Therefore, as we can read in this article titled “5 SEO Strategies for an IoT-Driven Future“, the new SEO strategies will likely have to prioritise voice search by focusing not only on keywords but also conversational queries.
Although I believe that it’s a fact that the amount of voice searches will increase in the years to come, to me it’s still uncertain whether this behavioural-shift will have a major impact on the current SEO strategies. For instance, perhaps Google manages to find a way to analyse the conversational queries that the users input in order to obtain the main keywords of the sentence, which would allow to perform the searches pretty much like in the traditional way. However, I think that these potential changes are a good reminder of the importance of keeping ourselves informed on the technological innovations that are taking place, so the new shifts don’t catch us flat-footed. What we learn today might have changed by next week, so we have to be constantly learning. Although it’s certainly a challenge, we should take it as an opportunity to improve.
What do you think about this topic? Do you think that as marketers we should be concerned because of the potential changes in the SEO strategies due to the rise of IoT, or we should actually embrace these changes as they will be beneficial for our customers? Or perhaps you think we shouldn’t worry at all because, as I suggested in the previous paragraph, Google might find a way to eliminate the need to apply changes in our SEO strategies?
~ by Elies Delgado Tamarit