Google has become so good at providing relevant search results to users that the days of site owners obsessing over individual keywords are over.
Why? The age of conversational search has arrived.
I ghost wrote this thought leadership piece for a national retailer magazine to be useful to local business owners, who must now craft an updated strategy for their website content to turn conversational searches into qualified website traffic, and ultimately sell more.
Google continues to dominate local search, with a massive 70 percent share of all activity. In recent years, users have rapidly migrated away from PCs and now spend as much time (or more) with a mobile device in their hands, often while watching TV simultaneously.
Today, retailers must focus on the intentions of shoppers (keyword themes), execute a content strategy around buyer personas and these themes, then measure results at the page level.
On a PC, users are accustomed to entering one or more keywords into a search box. As more terms are added, these traditional queries quickly turn into a long list of words that sound more like a computer talking than a human speaking. Digital marketing vendors continue to focus a massive amount of time, energy and money into targeting specific keywords and long-tail queries in an effort to connect shoppers to retailers.
Enter the smartphone. Google knows that just under half of all searches are now done via mobile devices. As a result, a new type of search emerged in 2010. Sometimes called latent or abstract search, the best term to describe it is simply conversational search.
This is where Hummingbird shines, with the latest Google algorithm changes now making the search giant better able to turn natural language searches into relevant search results.
Today, shoppers are much more apt to speak directly into their phone to ask, “Where is a local [brand] dealer?” than they are to open a browser and type “[brand] dealer Chicago.”
The key for Google (and its rival at Apple) is to win the race to develop the technology necessary to smoothly turn these questions into highly relevant answers in the form of both organic website links (your website content) as well as text (PC and mobile), display and video ads that generate revenue for both Google and retailers.
Useful tactic (via RetailerNOW magazine):
Google Unleashes the Power of Conversation