Category Archives: Blog With BEB

Voice Search Defined

So, what exactly IS Voice Search? Voice search (also known as voice-enabled) is a voice activated Internet search. The search method is same as the performing a normal search on your computer or mobile device. Voice search is often interactive and allows a system to ask for clarification. The search can be done on any device with a voice input dialog system.

Language is the most essential factor for a system to understand and provide the most accurate results. This covers multiple languages, dialects, and even accents. Systems can recognize speech in hundreds of languages, as users want a voice assistant that both understands them and speaks to them understandably.

Mechanisms use Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) for input. They can also include Text-To-Speech (TTS) for output. Users might sometimes be required to activate the virtual assistant before performing the search. The search system will detect the language spoken by the user, then detect the keywords and context of the sentence. Next, the device will return results depending on its output. A device with a screen might display the results, while a device without a screen will speak them back to the searcher.

Voice search is currently not a part of Google’s algorithm; however, it is still dictating current search results. Voice search queries often yield different results than if the user had typed in a text-based search. For SEO, it’s a good idea for businesses to be on their toes with voice search components for their consumers who are adapting and switching over to that medium.

Voice search content must be specifically optimized for voice. It needs to be more direct and conversational so that it will accurately sync with search queries. This will help boost traffic by staying relevant and more visible to consumers.

Below are some mind-blowing statistics as it pertains to voice search. It is the wave of the future and marketers need to construct their digital marketing plans with a focus on how Voice Search can benefit their business.

  • Grocery shopping accounts for more than 20% of voice-based orders
  • Voice-based shopping is expected to jump to $40 billion in 2022
  • By 2024, the global voice-based smart speaker market is estimated to be worth $30 billion
  • 60% of smartphone users have tried voice search at least once in the past 12 months
  • 55% of teenagers are using voice search daily
  • Top 3 common keywords in voice search phrases are “how”, what” and “best”.

2021 USPS Proposed Rate Changes

On October 9th the USPS filed a request with the PRC (Postal Regulatory Commission) to revise pricing for market-dominant products.

The amount of the proposed increase by class reflects the USPS authority, under the CPI-based cap, plus any unused rate authority left over from previous price changes, that can be carried over. The USPS did not use all of its available rate authority, meaning that some of it will remain “banked” after this case and can be used in the future.

Below is an overview the upcoming rate case:

Click here to see a 2021/2020 Rate Comparison Chart.

 

Google Core Updates

Google’s algorithms are a complex system used to retrieve data from its search index and instantly deliver the best possible results for a query. The search engine uses a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking signals to deliver webpages ranked by relevance.

There was a time when Google only made a handful of updates to its algorithms. Today, Google makes thousands of changes every year.

Core updates are designed to produce noticeable effects across search results in all countries and in all languages. Inevitably sites will have gains or declines in rankings after a core update rolls out.

SEO rankings can and do move around…a lot. Changes in search rankings are usually a reflection of the relevancy of your content. This means that if the content on your site has gained relevancy since the last update, it will be upped in search rankings. Unfortunately, the opposite applies as well.

For the second time in 2020, Google released a core update in May which was the first since the pandemic and will likely execute significant changes in search rankings.  The first core update of 2020 launched during the second week of January.

Consider how much the world has changed between January and May. In January, coronavirus and COVID-19 were barely on anyone’s radar. Now those words are on the forefront of almost everything. Once the pandemic was declared, users search behavior dramatically shifted, worldwide.

Google reported that there has never been as many searches for an individual topic as there has been for COVID-19. The virus has changed what people need from Google.

This drastic change represents a lot of search words gaining relevancy that had little, if any activity in the past. It also means that search words that were once heavily used, such as travel or concert related searches, aren’t getting the traffic they enjoyed in the past.

The May 2020 Core Update must deal with the unique challenge of identifying the tremendous changes of how and what the world is searching online.

Over time, we will be able to identify the long-term effects of the update. In the interim, Google reminds us that there is nothing to “fix” if your rankings drop after a core update. Remember to routinely make your content the best it can be, keep your website refreshed, and study your activity.

SHOPS by Instagram

As businesses continue to face the challenges of selling online as they shift their business models during the COVID-19 crisis, Instagram has created Shops. Shops is a new shopping experience through an immersive, full screen storefront that enables businesses to drive product discovery in a native shopping experience.

People can visit a shop from a business’ Instagram profile or through Feed and Stories. Once they’re at the shop, people can browse products, explore collections, and purchase products — seamlessly through an in-app browser and without leaving the app from shops with checkout. 
Checkout allows customers to buy items directly from a shop on Facebook or Instagram.

With shops, people have a place to experience the joy of shopping versus the chore of buying. Collections in shops let businesses customize the shopping experience, and curate products into themes that tell their story.

Creating a shop is free and simple. For more information about shops visit Facebook for Business. To learn more about enabling shopping on your Instagram business account, visit the setup guide.