One of the biggest mistakes made by business owners and native digital marketers is being too focused on vanity keywords and search volume as the indicator of SEO success. This article will focus on user intent, often referred to as "searcher intent", as the most valuable point of focus for SEO success, in any SEO campaign. Let's start off by explaining what searcher intent actually is… Searcher intent (also known as "user intent") is the motive a person has for carrying out a query through a search engine. Understanding and optimising for your customers' intent is critical for SEO. How we search for answers has evolved and changed over the years. And with that change, search engine algorithms have been adjusted to return the most relevant results. In the beginning, search engines returned results based on a pretty simplistic formula: They would look at basic factors such as the density of keywords matching the query and some more elusive factors like PageRank. SEO professionals and spammers took advantage of this with keyword stuffing, hiding text techniques and buying links. The era of black hat SEO, unfortunately, blossomed. It was, and will always be, in Google's best interest to become better at answering queries. SEO success used to be built on gaming search engines, but now SEO is about optimising for what the user is trying to accomplish.
The Internet changes rapidly, which means marketers and business leaders must hurry to change with it. While most Internet searches were once done on laptops and desktops, people are now using their smartphones with similar devices to conduct searches for information, local businesses, products, and services. That shift was closely followed by another somewhat more distinctive shift called artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted voice search. In the past, a smartphone user would need to type a question or phrase into Google or another search engine to get a set of results to sift through. Now, AIs like Siri and Alexa – which reside in smart speakers and on smartphones, tablets, and laptops – have changed the way users are searching for the information, products, and services they need.
Google revealed in October that it uses artificial intelligence to help with 15% of search queries. Named RankBrain, the system analyzes vague, ambiguous queries and matches them with the most relevant results. In fact, Google's Greg Corrado told Bloomberg that RankBrain is now the third-highest signal contributing to a search-query result. Google – and similar search-engine services – are getting smarter. As marketers, we no longer can rely solely on traditional digital strategies such as link-building or social-media signaling.
By 2020, 30% of all website sessions will be conducted without a screen. Now, you may be asking yourself, how is that possible? It turns out that voice-only search allows users to browse the web the Internet and consumer information without actually having to scroll through sites on desktops and mobile devices. And this new technology may be the key to successful brands in the future. Voice search essentially allows users to speak into a device as opposed to typing keywords into a search query to generate results.