Digital Insights

How will Predictive Search Change SEO?

Published: March 12, 2015

As advancements in technology and innovation continue to change the ways people interact with the Internet, it often changes the way prior innovations are being used. Such is the case with “predictive search” and the way it is changing how website developers use search engine optimization (SEO) in order to reach out for customers/clients/users.

The Importance of SEO
SEO has become one of the most powerful marketing tools in history. Through the process of entering one or two keywords, potential customers are driven to e-commerce websites by the millions. A company’s success with marketing its goods and services over the Internet depends on its ability to effectively arrange keywords so that customers can find them. If done properly, SEO allows smaller unknown e-commerce websites to compete with big box merchandisers. Based on a survey completed by “Search Engine Journal,” email and searching are the two most prominent activities being used on the Internet. At 14.6%, SEO leads provide almost as strong a lead close rate as does outbound advertising, and it doesn’t strain marketing budgets. Also, e-commerce sites that convert to SEO marketing campaigns report an increase in site traffic of over 2,000% and an increase in revenues of up to 40%.

What is Predictive Search
Prior to Google’s predictive search innovation, e-commerce seekers were require to submit a fairly accurate string of words in order to find the sites that offered the goods and/or services they were seeking. Predictive search now allows the user to start locating those categories before they are finished typing their keyword phrase. For example, a potential customer looking for concert tickets would have to type in that complete phrase in order to get an accurate listing of ticket merchants. By using predictive search, the user gets suggestions about what they might be looking for by the time they have typed a few letters. In the concert ticket example, they might see a drop down menu of choices like concert venues or concert tickets by the time they have typed “CONCE.” Each successive letter takes them closer to their target without having to type complete phrases.

How will Predictive Search Change SEO?
Aside from saving the user much time over the course of a day/week/month/year and eliminating the need for accuracy, predictive search is changing the way e-commerce websites are designed. In the past, the development of SEO required site developers and marketing companies to use exact phrasing to draw potential customers. Today, SEO is being designed in different ways.

Keyword Phrases – No longer are site developers concerned about using specific keyword phrases, hoping that customers will find them by entering the exact correct phrase, spelling and all. Now they can pull customers to their sites by using creative and imaginative variations of keywords that might distinguish them from other companies in the same space.

More SEO Content – Since SEO developers know they can now draw site traffic without specific keywords, they can infiltrate their site with many kinds of keywords and successfully draw traffic to the site without even mentioning a product. The SEO content can now focus on questions like who, what, when, where, why and how. When users enter “concert tickets,” predictive search might give them choices like concert tickets in specific locations or for specific event. SEO can now be developed to answer those questions and draw the right customers in the process.

While some users might get annoyed at the ever changing suggestions provided by predictive search as they type, most people have gotten used to the process and appreciate the way it saves time and effort while pointing them in the right direction. As a result of this feature, SEO developers are learning to use this innovation to their advantage, making the SEO process more creative, efficient and effective without using redundant keywords.


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