Even if you only casually keep up with tech news, you’ve by now surely heard a thing or two about Siri, the personal assistant app that comes with the iPhone 4S. While by no means ideal, Siri speaks volumes about the future of the Internet search. By 2015 mobile traffic is projected to quadruple as more people exclusively use their smartphones to connect to the web, and thus web searches themselves will be more likely to be conducted via mobile device. Combined with the fact that personal assistant apps, such as Siri, are certain to become base features for all smartphones, the information we find today by conducting text-based searches via Google and other search engines will increasingly be found by consulting such technology instead.
Since just about every digital marketing agency bases their strategy on the science of the search engine and the habits of the humans who use them, it’s important for those in our field to pay attention to the evolution of the search itself. Consider the following four ways personal assistant apps are going to change the rules regarding online marketing:
SEO will start to lose its critical role: This is obvious, but it’s important for Internet marketers to accept it sooner rather than later. Once people start asking their personal assistant apps the questions and these technologies provide the answers, search engine activity will lower while a new search dynamic will be created, the science of which is yet to be determined.
PPC will be a thing of the past: This is almost already the case, but personal assistant apps are likely to eliminate any shred of profitability from most pay-per-click campaigns. The reason why? People won’t be doing as much clicking as they used to thanks to a reliance on voice-activated means of finding information online.
Ratings and reviews will matter more: Siri utilizes online ratings and reviews when it attempts to answer user questions regarding the closest Italian restaurant or place to get an oil change. Expect virtually all future personal assistant apps to utilize ratings and reviews in a similar fashion.
Every company will have to invest in Internet marketing: So far those with little to gain from e-commerce have mostly stayed away from Internet marketing; ratings, reviews, and general online listings have done the work for them. Now that these former-passive means of online marketing are going to take on a more centralized role, even strictly-local companies are going to have to suck it up and finally accept Internet marketing in order to be found by people using their personal assistant apps to find them.
The era of the personal assistant app search is still a few years off. But it’ll be here before you know it, so today’s Internet marketer would be wise to start planning for it now. In our industry there’s nothing worse than being late in the game.