This year marks the release of a number of new smartphones, including the Google Pixel, the first smartphone fully designed by Google. The tech industry was buzzing with excitement upon news of this smartphone’s release, but they weren’t the only ones who were curious about the Pixel. Marketers often began to wonder how the Google Pixel—and its voice-controlled Google assistant feature—would affect search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Why should marketers be concerned? Search Engine Journal reports that 41% of adults and 55% of teens use voice chat features on their smartphones on a daily basis. If these consumers get their hands on a Google Pixel and have access to its digital assistant, they would likely use this feature to submit searches to a search engine instead of typing in their queries the old-fashioned way. Here are some of the ways Google Pixel will affect SEO strategies:
Keywords will change.
Now that people will be speaking to a digital assistant instead of typing out words to perform searches, brands will need to adjust their keyword strategies to stay competitive. Why? The words people choose when speaking are far different than the words chosen while typing. For example, if you are looking for a pizza place in New York City, you would probably type something along the lines of “pizza in NYC” or “NYC pizza” to find a restaurant near you. However, if you are speaking to a digital assistant, you would probably say something similar to “find a pizza place near me,” or “where is the closest pizza place?” Brands must keep this in mind when choosing which keywords they should be targeting. It may be difficult to incorporate these questions into your content naturally, so you may want to consider adding a FAQ page to your website to make it easier.
The possible end to paid ads.
Tech insiders have predicted that the Google assistant will only return one search result per query. This means if you ask the Google assistant, “where is the closest pizza place?” you will be shown one option instead of a list of restaurants nearby. If paid search results were included, it’s possible the same restaurant could be suggested to users every single time someone was asking about pizza in New York. This would be great for the restaurant’s business—but consumers probably wouldn’t be happy about only being shown restaurants that paid to be included in search results. However, many believe Google will not include paid search results in their voice search feature to eliminate this problem and level the playing field. If this is true, brands will need to shift their attention from paid to organic search results.
Location, location, location.
The Google assistant will take a user’s location into account when figuring out which search results to return. What does this mean for businesses? Businesses that are located close to the user performing the query will have the upper hand over businesses located further away. But, this doesn’t mean you don’t have a shot at appearing as the sole search result if you’re located a few miles away. It simply means businesses need to focus heavily on long-tailed, location-based keywords in order to compete with other businesses that may have a geographic advantage. The more specific you can be with your keywords, the better your chances are of being selected as the search result.
It’s not surprising that Google Pixel is expected to make a splash in the tech world, but its impact on SEO may have caught a lot of marketers off-guard. It’s important to keep in mind that although the Google digital assistant will greatly affect SEO, not every consumer will be using it to perform searches. Marketers should incorporate these strategies into their existing SEO plan so they can target both Google Pixel and non-Google pixel users. SEO strategies must constantly evolve to remain effective, so this is just one more change that marketers must adapt to in order to stay on top!