AI Blog Post

What is Artificial Intelligence Targeting?

To some AI sounds superficial or in many ways impossible. AI technology is super sophisticated and therefore can be very hard to comprehend. Therefore, many do not realize how powerful this strategy can be for businesses online.

In its simplest form, AI is showing your display or video ads to people across all devices, using machine learning to target consumers based on who is engaging with the ad.

So, what is machine learning and how does it work? There are a zillion factors that go into the algorithms and methods and how this technology was developed. It is important to understand the sole purpose behind this technology is to make marketing meaningful by predicting the potential of every moment, so that marketers can deliver amazing experiences that get real results. Sounds like a dream right?

When a moment presents itself like when a digital consumer visits a website, AI usually has less than 100 milliseconds to leverage all available data about the visitor to make the best decision and execute the ideal delivery of the advertiser’s message.  Success is achieved when we delight the visitors into taking an action or a conversion like a phone call, click or even a store visit.

One of the AI modeling techniques developed helps classify a marketing moment or event. For example, in marketing terms will the person respond favorably to the ad or not? The models use a wide array of data, including patterns of user behavior across the web, first-party data (online visit data) and data made available with permission by the brand websites and segment data from 3rd party providers (offline visits and even purchase behavior).

AI targeting dissects data every minute of a campaign by evaluating historical info about that campaign.  One of the data points looked at is who is converting on the advertiser’s website after seeing the ad.  The machine learning sets boundaries and limits on the converters from the non-converters with minimal error.  Behind this line is an equation that weights all of the features – that is, the data descriptors – that we know about each user and each moment. Then the technology seeks to find more people like these converters based on their behaviors and patterns all in real-time. Each minute it is constantly learning, refining and then delivering at a much more astute way that any human could fabricate on their own.

So while AI is narrowing in on the ideal audience, it also assists in creating that personal experience that consumers want. People want to see ads that relate to them and this is all being led by these AI models and algorithms.  It is predicted that by 2020, 85% of customer relationships will be managed without human interaction.

So why is this useful?

With the influx of web activity every minute of the day and so much exposure to messages and advertising, many advertisers have a hard time finding their core audience online or they are having difficulty getting their audience to respond.

This machine learning assists in doing some of that heavy lifting and helping advertisers refine who they are talking to in a way people never thought it could be possible.

Spending on artificial intelligence globally is forecasted to reach $35.8 billion this year, an increase of 44% from last year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

So, don’t be scared. Trust that the engineering is powered to have the advertiser in mind to reach their consumers.

Voice Search Blog

Voice Search is Here: Is Your Business Ready for It?

When Apple’s Siri first came out back in 2011 the technology was a novelty.  It was cool to test out and sometimes provided informative results, but often the results were laughable.  Not many people predicted voice search would become a major digital trend of the future.

Voice search is defined as a speech recognition technology that allows users to search by saying terms aloud rather than typing them into a search field. Some examples of programs that have voice search capabilities are Google Assistant, Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa.  The proliferation of smart phones and other small, web-enabled mobile devices has spurred interest in voice search.

Three years ago, Google said that 20% of all searches were initiated by voice.  While they haven’t updated that statistic yet, with more than a billion devices globally that feature the Google Assistant, it’s very likely that the percentage of searches initiated by voice has increased dramatically.

In fact, there’s so much interest that 41% of adults (and 55% of teens) use voice search daily. Also, by 2020, Comscoresays that 50% of all searches will be voice searches.  With the projected growth with this tool many businesses are questioning how to stay ahead.  A new study from Uberall, says 96% of businesses are not voice search ready.   Are you part of that group?  If you are, it’s time to make some changes.

The number one factor contributing to low voice search scores is inaccurate business information across online directories.  Here are some of the areas of error:

  • Hours of operation
  • Website links
  • Location name
  • Addresses

Understanding what consumers are searching for with voice search is important.  According to a Google survey people want to get information about deals and sales, personalized tips, information about upcoming events, customer support and more, all of which are important to any business:

How does Voice Search Impact SEO Rankings?

Since the point of SEO is to rank websites accurately so users can find the best information for their search as quickly as possible, user experience is ultimately, at the forefront of search engine optimization (SEO).  Because of that, search engines are placing a higher emphasis on voice search. Keep in mind that voice search SEO and traditional website SEO are different.  Therefore, some factors that affect one, may not affect the other.  For example, voice search SEO is more conversational resulting in long sentences showing up in search queries, such as “Where can I find a plumber in Phoenix” rather than typed Google searches, which tend to be shorter like “plumbers in Phoenix”.

Does Voice Search Drive Website Traffic to My Website?

The answer is yes.  Voice Search works the same way as traditional SEO.  Since that’s the case, you still want to ensure that your business shows up in the search results.

So now that you know all of this, how does your business get found in Voice Search?  Here’s a quick overview of areas of focus:

  1. Get to position zero AKA “featured snippets”
  2. Google My Business listing
  3. Long tail keywords & questions
  4. Page speed
  5. Directory Listings

Voice search is here and we’ve included it in all our SEO offerings for our partners, including search through Amazon.   For most local businesses, 90% of their traffic is from Google, and a very small percentage is from Amazon.  Our optimization is platform agnostic, which means we are doing good things for websites, regardless of the search engines.  Amazon does have an immediate impact on local business with voice search, and our SEO plans and recommendations account for that.

Considering that nearly all the steps you can take to optimize for voice search are beneficial to your Search Engine Marketing efforts overall, the decision to focus on voice optimization should be an easy one.  Incorporating this strategy has several benefits businesses are rewarded with, including:

  • Increase in website traffic
  • Increase in brand awareness and visibility
  • Connect better with consumers
  • Enhances customer engagement
  • Can provide a higher scope of conversions and sales

Voice search offers so many opportunities.  It can change the way that we connect with and communicate with our customers.  Having your business ready for it can prove to be an efficient method to improve customer relationship management.