The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the world. The increasing number of IoT devices and ubiquity of WiFi connections and the related decreasing costs will only speed up that process.
AI, Machine Learning, and other technologies are rapidly gaining in market share, but their full potential remains untapped.
So if you are in the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) industry, you need to know how this will affect your business and marketing strategy going forward. Otherwise, you risk your competitors getting an edge and gaining more market share.
The IoT is set to transform the way SEO and online marketing are executed.
In order to take advantage of this trend, you need solid strategies to adapt your SEO for the IoT era, so your marketing and sales systems can continue to generate sufficient revenue.
Without further ado, let’s dive into them.
The Big Picture of IoT and Marketing
There is no getting around it: the IoT will undoubtedly change how people search in the near future.
With wearable devices, voice assistants, smartwatches, smart cars, and smart homes (with their myriad devices such as automated thermostats), even current SEO best practices are going to become obsolete sooner or later.
Barring any psychic abilities, it is impossible to predict exactly how the IoT will affect SEO and online marketing in general.
However, we can point out some general trends in the ways people are beginning to use their devices and give you tips on how to apply those trends to your marketing strategies.
Focus More on Personalisation
Millennials and later generations tend to expect a more personalised approach when dealing with online businesses. The IoT is only going to speed up this trend as IoT devices hold more personal information about users, including search history, location, devices, and much more.
From smart refrigerators to smart vehicles, marketers will have more data on their hands to implement in their marketing campaigns.
Such data is as granular and detailed as possible, meaning these devices tap into nearly every aspect of users’ personal or professional lives.
On top of that, IoT devices can stream data in real-time. This opens new possibilities for marketers to respond to changing trends and customer demands much faster and more successfully.
New platforms will emerge that collect and organise this data for marketers, so you can analyse it for your SEO needs and create more effective campaigns.
Here are some useful practices to adopt:
- Embrace data: Run A/B tests on your campaigns to find pop-up methods, CTAs (Calls to Action), designs, and sales copy that proves the most effective in captivating and converting your core market.
- Optimise Search Strategy: As an SEO expert, it is wise to look to voice search, improve data analytics skills, and read up on the latest changes to the IoT.
The IoT hasn’t completely taken over the world just yet. However, without a doubt, IoT systems will increase in mainstream popularity and affect marketing from multiple angles.
Prioritise Voice Search
The year 2021 and beyond will usher in many voice-based searches as this technology continues to advance.
Currently, smart home devices (such as Google Home, Alexa, etc.) accept voice commands from users and often answer their questions directly and accurately. Therefore, search engines will change their algorithms to account for these voice-based inputs.
Keywords are and will be important. However, conversational queries are gaining in popularity. SEO marketers should adapt their campaigns to target conversational queries and rewrite site content to appeal to these searches.
This is what you should do with your content to accommodate conversational queries.
- Analyse Your Content: Discover what kinds of conversational queries would guide users to your website or app, and optimise both the advertisements and on-page content accordingly.
- Straight-to-the-Point Answers: Aim to write content that directly addresses the voice queries leading visitors to your landing page, so they know immediately that your business is relevant to the needs they are trying to solve.
While analysing and adjusting your content may take an in-depth audit, look at it as an investment and not an expense.
Synthesize Online and Offline Data
Up until this point, SEO has mainly focused on information from online sources such as keyword tools and Google Trends. However, IoT devices provide even more insight into real-world offline data that your target market is generating.
Aim to collect information from these smart devices right from the source, since they could provide better indicators of what users are looking for than other online data.
These devices allow you to embrace predictive analytics based on the input of users that fit your ideal customer profile — bringing offline data into the online marketing world.
While IoT devices have yet to gain large user bases, they will do so in the future, so keep the following in mind as you leverage offline and online data.
- Watch Adaptation Rates: Set feasible goals while preparing to take advantage of these changes without throwing out your current strategies.
- Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself: Use the most accurate numbers available as you implement changes since the rate of adaptation of these technologies is still unpredictable.
Maintain a consistent consumption of industry trends to keep up with adoption rates and adapt your strategy in the most effective way.
Watch IoT-Based Search Media Closely
Google is the 800-lb gorilla in the search marketing game as of now. However, the IoT is going to reform how SEO works in unpredictable ways.
If people are equipped with smartphones, watches, refrigerators, and even glasses, how will these devices suggest results to customers?
Google will likely remain the leader in the SEO field for the time being. However, other tech companies like Apple are releasing innovative smart solutions, such as self-driving cars, which promise to change that.
As their competition with each other increases, they may attempt to divert from traditional online marketing to create a new dynamic. Your business needs to respond to that.
Let’s look at some aspects of the industry you should look out for as you seek to adapt.
- Watch the Evolution of Search: Go beyond Google. Diversify your strategy to embrace other platforms that are innovating ways to connect searchers with the information and products through IoT-enabled technologies.
- Explore New Companies: First adopters gain a considerable advantage — they can discover what’s working before others in the industry even have a clue.
Keep up to date on emerging companies and startups that are disrupting the traditional SEO space to make sure you’re aware of innovative technologies early on.
Personalise Your Marketing
The end goal of any marketer is to understand their target audience on the deepest level possible.
If you understand your listeners, you can speak to them in their own language. You can phrase your content in a way that matches the queries they are using to solve their problems.
Various ways of gaining more relevant data about your customer base are emerging, and you can draw analytics from various connected devices.
You need to understand the technologies guiding these innovations to ensure you are differentiating between consumer and business applications for your SEO strategy in the right way.
Preparing your SEO Strategy for IoT
Technology has ushered in many trends that are changing how marketers need to approach their strategy, especially when it comes to SEO. If you don’t adapt your methods to these innovations, you risk losing out on potential traffic and conversions.
However, implementing a new SEO approach is easier said than done, as there are many unknowns and many aspects of it to keep in mind. Even without IoT in the mix, SEO is a constant balancing act of creating content that equally pleases both the users and the search engines.
Therefore, review the tips above. Aim to implement 2 or 3 strategies right away that can move the needle in the right direction.
It might seem like a massive undertaking complicated by the fact that IoT is yet to reach its full potential. Nevertheless, starting early, even small steps can ensure that you’re on the right track once these technologies become widely adopted.
That way, your business is poised for massive growth instead of falling behind in your industry.
I’m a UK based freelance SEO consultant and digital marketer and I provide results-driven online consulting and digital marketing services to SMEs. Are you ready to grow in 2020? Get in touch today!