AI and structured data: How voice search raises the stakes for businesses

Last month’s Brighton SEO event was bigger and better than ever before. With a host of speakers covering hot topics such as AI, Voice Search, Mobile First & Local SEO it’s now described by the industry as “Europe’s largest SEO conference”.

Brighton SEO is a definite ‘must-go-to’ for anyone working in the digital marketing sector. The event is definitely a popular one, it’s growing year on year. Starting out in a room above a pub in Brighton, this year they packed-out the massive Brighton Centre! With room for 3,500 people, the tickets sold out in less than 13 minutes.

Organiser Kelvin Newman has done an amazing job of pulling together expert speakers from around the world for a day packed with valuable content.

Last month’s Brighton SEO event was bigger and better than ever before. It's now described by the industry as “Europe’s largest SEO conference”.

By 2020, 50% of searches will be voice search

I really enjoyed Raj Nijjer’s talk on artificial intelligence and structured data: How voice search raises the stakes for businesses. I’ve grown up using keywords as a search technique. Thanks to intelligent agents like Siri, Cortana, Google Voice Search, Amazon Echo and Google Home the number of natural language and voice queries are growing at a massive rate.

It seems there’s one main reason for the growth of voice technology. It’s  is the improved rate at which voice commands are accurately captured. I remember trying Siri for the first time, soon after it’s launch, and it wasn’t a brilliant experience.

Later this year we’ll see the integration of Google Assistant into TVs. It won’t be long until cars are fitted with an intelligent agent as standard.

It’s thought that by 2020 50% of searches will be voice search. This means that users are using intelligent agents more and more. Intelligent agents are all powered by search and the knowledge graph.

If you’re not in the knowledge graph, you won’t show up in voice search

If you’re not optimised and not telling search engines the most important information about your business, guess what. Alexa won’t be shouting out your business’ name.

It’s crucial to make sure you are optimising all of your business information. For example, if you’re a restaurant you should prioritise that your businesses’ Knowledge Graph contains the address, phone number & menu details. Schema has just come out with new menu guidelines and over time more entities will be included.

More and more people are searching for the best, most popular and nearest of things – best bar, popular restaurant or nearest hotel.

A Google search for “best restaurant open at 10pm” is ranked by rating and quality of reviews, kicking Berners Tavern and Quaglino's out of the top results.

Search engines rely on rich data to return relevant results. If you search for ‘Italian restaurant’ & ‘best Italian restaurant’ you’ll get completely different results depending on the location of your search and the number of reviews that each restaurant has.

Local businesses have realised, that to get more people through their doors, they need to up their game in getting customers to leave a review. It’s increasingly important for businesses to make sure that they stand out above the crowd. Reviews are the best way to do this and it looks like local businesses have got a head start.

Fast forward…

Search is changing and improving at such a rapid rate. People are making decisions every day and increasingly intelligent agents are making these decisions for you. Soon, asking your car’s intelligent agent to give you directions to the best pizzeria in Shoreditch or the hippest bar in Soho will be common place. And it will thanks to the knowledge graph.

Is your website working hard to ensure your company’s knowledge graph is the best it can be?

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