Search engine optimization has been a vital part of digital marketing for the past two decades, and SEO has shown no signs of slowing down. However, the way people search for information has begun to change, with voice search rising to prominence. Services like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant have changed the way people interact with their devices and, by extension, the Internet as a whole.
It’s estimated that half of all Web searches will be done through voice search within five years. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to make your site friendly to voice searches. It’s a rewarding way to ensure that your SEO strategy remains sharp as search strategies evolve.
Voice Searches vs. Text Searches
One important thing to consider is the nature of typing in comparison with our normal speech patterns. We don’t talk the same way we write. Therefore, the way in which people search via text isn’t identical to the way that people search with their voices. Understanding this distinction is key for adapting your site to incorporate voice search.
If you don’t see the differences right away, try doing some voice searches of your own and see how they differ from your text-based searches. You’ll find that voice searches are longer and include some extra verbiage that isn’t typically included in text searches. Use these differences as the basis for your voice SEO methodology.
Incorporate Long-Tailed Keywords
You should already be utilizing long-tailed keywords, which allow your site to show up on specific searches where your business is an ideal match for the searcher. It’s especially important, though, when voice search comes into play. After all, since a voice search is longer than a text search, it’s also more detailed and more specific. The nuances of a search that people can’t be bothered to type suddenly become important in voice search.
Be sure to include factors commonly included in local SEO, such as the location and specialty of your business, in your site. It also helps to have some phrases that people might actually say as they search for a company. For instance, you might not type “store with basketball shoes” into a search bar, but you may well speak such a phrase to your virtual assistant.
Google My Business
If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business listing, now is the time to do so. This is vital for one simple reason. When you type in a search keyword and click “Search”, the search engine gives you a page full of results. When you do a voice search through Alexa or Siri, though, you’ll only get the top answer delivered through the search engine. In other words, if you’re not first, you’re last.
Claiming your My Google Business listing ensures that Google will have the most up to date information about your business. That makes it much easier for any voice assistant to recommend your business or to dial your number. Missing this crucial step opens many doors for competing businesses to take your sale away from you.
Other Voice Search Tips
Here are some other factors to consider as you incorporate voice search:
Ensure mobile optimization. The vast majority of voice searches are conducted through mobile devices. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it won’t be considered for a voice search inquiry.
Add a Frequently Asked Questions page. A FAQ page is a great place to cover a lot of the questions people may have – and the search terms they may use – as they consider your business. This will help all aspects of your SEO, and it’ll be a great resource for consumers.
Keep it simple. According to a Backlinko study, Google voice searches are read at a ninth-grade reading level. Your site should be written in an easy-to-digest manner that makes it easy for search engines to return the right information. The complicated text will result in the search engines finding a better option for a voice searcher.
Voice search is only going to get more popular in the years to come. The time to start incorporating voice search into your SEO strategy is right now. To learn more about how to prepare your site for voice search, contact us today.
Author - This article was written by John and Team - John Gumas is the Founder and President of Gumas Advertising, a San Francisco based full service branding, advertising and interactive marketing agency that specializes in Challenger Brand Marketing. John is considered one of the country’s foremost authorities on Challenger Brand Marketing and is the author of the popular book on the subject entitled “Marketing Smart.” Check out John’s book at www.marketingsmartbook.com/
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