How Conversational Search Impacts AI in Driving Organic Traffic

Digital marketing is constantly evolving. As search engines continue to change with the times SEO strategies have to change accordingly.

One of the biggest changes impacting SEO is artificial intelligence.

When Google reported that subpar content would no longer be tolerated, most marketers switched from quantity to quality to avoid lower search rankings. When they said they were going with a mobile-first index, most marketing efforts were poured into digital voice assistants like Siri, Alexis, and Google Assistant; with an added emphasis on conversational search.

AI has already made a huge impact on the way that organic traffic works, and it will continue to do so.

Today, we’ll dive into how AI affects organic traffic and what you can do about it.

What is Conversational Search?

Conversational search refers to the use of complete sentences and other natural-sounding phrases and verbal cues in search queries. A big factor in conversational search is how those queries are interpreted by search engines using artificial intelligence algorithms.

In the past, most internet searches were based on keyword phrases. However, conversational searches use grammatical and syntactical patterns that closely resemble the way people talk. The result is a search experience that’s more organic and appealing to the average searcher.

An example of a basic keyword phrase would be “dog food.” Most people looking for information on dog food would not simply enter “dog food”, they would search a conversational phrase like “the best dog food for puppies” or “what kind of dog food is best for my dog?”

So how do we plan the content to integrate both, and how do we make sure our target audience is reached?

Keep it Organic

To drive more traffic based on target audience search, you focus on conversation search phrases in addition to SEO best practices. Research in conversational search indicates consumers are much more likely to engage with fluid, interactive digital experiences than rigid, antiquated ones. Reports like these emphasize the need to place conversational search considerations at the center of the content planning process.

“Organic” doesn’t mean open-ended. Traditional keyword searches tend to open up a myriad of undifferentiated results, often having no relation to one another aside from the inclusion of a given keyword.

Most audiences find these results tedious and difficult to navigate, often resorting to random clicking to get to the information they’re seeking. This can drastically decrease their chances of encountering content that you want them to see.

Conversational searches return refined and targeted results. As of late, the expansion of conversational searches is largely attributable to the growing popularity of digital voice assistants. Its use is predicted to continue climbing as more users come to rely on intuitive text and voice searches.

Several optimization tactics can help your content organically fit both SEO and that of a conversational search. All of them require you to go back to basics and pair useful, well-conceived, quality information with revealing website data and SEO best practices.

Prioritize Conversational Search Terms

It’s no longer enough to inundate searchers with simple keywords and search terms that lack context. Writers should look for ways to incorporate and answer detailed questions that directly align with the needs of their audience.

Integrate Relevant Questions

Work in hypothetical questions intended to capture the reader’s attention or act as the authoritative final word on the topic at hand: “What is…?”

A conversational piece of content likely to appear in the results might use the question as a header, then offer an answer. Another way to incorporate conversational search terms is by creating a frequently asked questions section. It allows you to address multiple anticipated queries in the exact form you expect them to be asked in a search.

Engaging Design

It’s not enough just to create quality conversational content, you must make sure your audience can access it easily and can get something useful out of it. Web designers are an important part of a systematic approach for planning and producing content-first design to maximize consumer engagement.

Headlines, copy, basic layout, and surrounding graphic elements should be considered to establish a connection with the reader from the moment the page loads. Directing your audience toward the information they seek with limited clicking, you can help your content gain an audience from conversational search and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Start Conversations with Intent

Thanks to digital assistants like Siri, finding exactly what we want is much easier and faster when we’re more specific with our searches, and this is accomplished through conversational search queries.

In terms of search, this means searching as if you were organically talking to a friend instead of a search engine. In other words, instead of asking Google for “coffee” conversational questions would sound more like, “is there a coffee shop near me?”

Today’s queries, which are more specific and entail intent, allow you to cut through the clutter and arrive at the answer that more accurately aligns with what you were searching for in the first place. These details are the difference between your audience finding what they are looking for on the first page and losing them to the internet abyss beyond that.

Stay Up to Date

Because searches are becoming more conversational, content must be more conversational as well. You should drop the technical jargon and focus on natural language that mimics real conversations.  Conversational search is the future of online interactions in combination with SEO.  

Luckily if you look closely, you’ll see that this emerging landscape isn’t so different from the one most of us already know so well. It is simply a matter of doing what content creators have always done: Identifying the needs and preferences of consumers and meeting them on their terms.

Engage 2 Engage is Here to Help

Engage 2 Engage is here to help remove the headache from figuring out how to craft the messaging content to optimize for organic growth so small businesses and entrepreneurs can focus on building and expanding their brand.

By outsourcing, we’ll help you plan, develop, and implement an optimized content strategy. Learn more about our programs today!

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