Despite voice & AI hype: domain remains an important marketing element
In the early days of the Internet, companies only needed a simple Internet presence to be among the pioneers of digitization. Playfully animated hover buttons and midi background music were commonly accepted standards. To appear on a search engine, webmasters simply had to submit the URL of their website. To have a serious presence in today’s Internet there is a lot more than meets the eye: Onpage- and Offpage optimization, a serious Top-Level-Domain, appealing content and a professional web design are now all-important pillars to building a successful online presence. But new trends like voice searches and A.I. powered search queries are shaking up the status qou. Experts predict that we are approaching the dawn of a new age of digitization - and that, eventually, companies’ online marketing strategies will have to adapt.
What’s the deal with Voice-SEO?
There is a reason that the short messaging service, Twitter achieved such massive success in the smartphone-age, or that the classic SMS message was restricted to 160 characters. And the triumph of the touchscreens has not changed anything.
Smartphone users have been making the switch to voice messaging over the course of time. The messaging service “WhatsApp” has made this version of communication especially popular. Big companies in the industry have also responded: voice assistants such as Siri, Google Home and Amazon Echo ("Alexa ...") have found their way into smartphones and other devices. Today, they enable completely new forms of Internet searches and, through their functionality, shake the paradigms of search engine optimization that were valid for years.
Instead of focusing on individual search words, Voice-SEO relies on formulated W-Questions. Starting from the input field of a Google search for "Vegan Restaurant Berlin", the question "Where can I find a vegan restaurant in Berlin?" is formulated.
This permanent change in search habits also involves necessary adjustments to the classic search engine optimization. It is becoming increasingly important to create content on your own website that answers specific questions. This can be easily implemented, for example, via FAQ pages ("Frequently Asked Questions"). As website owners, it is best to present the formulated questions in headlines and post the answers immediately afterwards. Optimized metadata and a clear URL structure are also helpful. In addition, the relevance of long-tail keywords will increase. (Long tail = longer, very specific word combinations and sentences, as opposed to one-word search queries.)
How Artificial Intelligence Affects Internet Searches
Together with voice marketing, artificial intelligence is also on the rise. An example of the intersection between the two technology trends is Google's language assistant Duplex. This is a further development of the established voice-based Google Assistant, which the Internet Group presented at its developer conference in May 2018. Amongst other things, Duplex is able to conduct contextual conversations while representing the user: in a demo, for example, the smart language assistant called a hairdresser. It made an appointment with him in a fluid conversation and convincingly simulated human voice.
Further AI projects of this kind are currently under development. In the near future, for example, artificial intelligence could automatically detect the needs of its users and formulate search queries - or even act directly. This advancement, towards more spoken and thus more complex search queries, ensures an increasing relevance of its contexts. Contextual, "unique" content with significant benefit is becoming increasingly important for websites. Structured data makes it easier for artificial intelligence to more quickly identify relevant information in the network.
Keeping up with this development is crucial to maintain prominent visibility on the Internet: in a classic search-engine usage scenario, a maximum of the first 10 search results will be of importance to the user. In the future, the language assistant may list only the two best search results.
But does this mean the end of classic search engine optimization or the relevance of domains?
Why domains continue to remain relevant
Of course, microphones in smartphones, tablets, smart speakers, and other devices will not completely replace the keyboard and screen as input devices. Even though the spoken word will control an increasing proportion of search queries in the future, the user ends up at a domain at the end of his search.
Once the user arrive there and values the given service, they may return for similar concerns or recommend the site. Catchy and easy-to-memorize domains make it easy for both. Especially with regards to the cutthroat competition at the shrinking top of the Internet search, existing customers, returning prospects and word of mouth are welcome helpers to be successful with setting up a personal user base permanently.
Also with regard to the voice trend, a short, concise and distinctive domain is indispensable. A domain like 2fast4you.net has in theory so many possible spellings that even artificial intelligence could fail to implement the voice input. An Internet address like auto.com is by comparison unique and easy to remember.