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Bing has unveiled the top marketing keywords searched for throughout last year, based on their US search data. The new reveal sheds light on what people are thinking of and what the biggest upcoming trends are, with personal assistants beating out the competition.

”Personal assistants and artificial intelligence were a clear priority for marketers over the past year. Advances in chat bots and virtual assistants, such as Alexa, Cortana and Amazon Echo – as well as updates to several smartphone chat bots, were likely drivers for these search terms.”

Of course, Microsoft owns both Cortana and Bing, so it is possible that played a role in the high rank of personal assistants on the list. Still, the popularity of other services such as Siri and Alexa shows that virtual assistants are quickly becoming a major part of the tech and marketing landscape.

In addition to personal assistants, Bing says augmented reality and virtual reality are also poised to play a big role in marketing.

”Virtual and augmented reality came second to intelligence, with the popularity of searches representing the growth of this technology throughout 2016 – and it’s likely continual development into next year.”

Check out the rest of the top marketing search terms for 2016 below:

  1. Personal Assistants/ Intelligent Agents
  2. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
  3. Search Marketing
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. Email Marketing

Bing is launching a new feature specifically for local businesses to make it easier for customers to reach you at any time. With the new chat feature, users can click a link to “chat online with a representative” directly from the search engine.

After clicking the link, you are immediately connected to the business through their primary chat program. That could be a native chat service or other options like Facebook Messenger.

You can see what it looks below:

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In this case, Bing links to Facebook Messenger:

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The new feature makes it easier than ever for searchers to contact your business for questions and concerns. It also makes it more important than ever to make sure your business is taking advantage of online chat services to provide customer service.

As smartphone internet use has exploded in the past few years, mobile-friendly pages and search engine optimization have become the standard, but new statistics from Bing suggests the future of SEO may be all about voice search.

During the Search Insider Summit last week, Bing representatives told the crowd that a quarter of all searches performed on Bing are voice searches and the trend looks keep increasing for the foreseeable future.

Additionally, as users get more accustomed to voice search, it is changing how they are performing searches entirely. Voice searches are notably longer, tending to fall between six and 10 words, compared to just one to three words for text searches.

Part of this notable rise of voice search on Bing is likely because the company powers three of the leading voice assistants in the world. Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa are all reliant on Bing to answer voice search queries. However, that shouldn’t discount these findings entirely.

While Google hasn’t released any statistics on voice searches performed on their platform, the company has taken clear steps to invest in voice search for future growth – such as using Google’s AI to recognize conversational speech in voice searches by having it read romance novels.

Clearly, the two largest search engines recognize that voice search will only become more prominent in the future. Likewise, marketers, SEOs, and businesses should start preparing now by investing in long-tail keywords and voice search optimization.

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Like Google, Bing has been increasingly focused on delivering a mobile-friendly version of the web to its growing number of mobile users. Now, Bing has released a tool to help webmasters ensure their site meets the search engine’s standards for mobile-friendliness.

Specifically, the tool reviews your site based on the following criteria to decide if your site is mobile-friendly:

  • Viewport and Zoom control configuration
  • Width of page content
  • Readability of text on the page
  • Spacing of links and other elements on the page
  • Use of incompatible plug-ins

The tool will also notify webmasters if any of the above criteria were inaccessible or blocked, so you can remedy the problem.

MobileFriendly

Like the tool Google offered shortly before it released its “Mobile-Friendly Algorithm”, Bing’s tool delivers an overall verdict as to whether you site would be considered mobile-friendly by the search engine.

NotMobileFriendly

It will also explain what issues it detects and explain why your page fails, if that is the case.

Both Bing and Google’s tools reportedly detect essentially the same things, with little difference between the ultimate results. However, Bing’s tool is significantly faster and easier to use.