Search engines are constantly evolving to provide users with the most enjoyable and easiest internet experience. Voice search is rapidly growing in popularity thanks to tools such as Google Now, Siri and Cortana. More people are realizing that it can be quicker and easier to speak into their mobile devices rather than opening an application and typing into a search bar. With an increasing number of people becoming more comfortable using speech commands, marketers need to focus on voice search when developing their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
Why is voice search so important to SEO?
The goal of search engines is to provide the most relevant results based on the sequence of keywords entered. The search results are therefore ones that will most likely fulfill the user’s search intent. While users are realizing that voice searches are easier and more time efficient, marketers and search engines are interpreting them as higher quality searches because they are often lengthier and reflect a user’s intent more clearly. With higher quality searches being conducted through voice search, users have also noticed more relevant results, contributing to the growing popularity of voice search. This greatly impacts the use of keywords and keyword research for SEO strategists.
With text searches, keywords play a more literal role in determining search results because they are composed of fewer words that express user intent. To successfully interpret voice searches, search engines focus more on the context of the search, or what the user is asking or wants versus individual keywords. But this doesn’t mean marketers can retire their keyword research programs.
Researching keywords will still be needed to understand how your landing pages are being interpreted by search engines and allow you to stay knowledgeable on their performance against other landing pages. By continuing to conduct keyword research, you can be sure that the phrases you are incorporating into your SEO strategies are still relevant. Below are some best practices you can utilize when optimizing your SEO campaign for voice search.
Optimize for Mobile
Because mobile search is becoming increasingly popular among consumers, optimizing for mobile devices is critical to the success of your SEO. Search engines are more likely to push out direct answers that are mobile friendly to provide users with the highest quality result. Voice search is more likely to be done on a mobile device and therefore it is likely to have high local relevance. Locally optimized results perform better because voice searches often ask where to find something.
Write Content in a Natural Voice
With voice search, content has to do more than incorporate particular keywords. It has to be a complete source of finding specific information and answers to particular questions, but more importantly, be written in a conversational tone to reflect that of the search query. Be sure to answer the “who, what, where, when, why and how” questions that users are looking to have answered in their voice searches. Writing content in an informative but natural voice allows you to speak the language of the user and still be seen as a reliable source to return to later on if needed.
Implement Long Tail Keywords
Since voice searches are more likely to reflect natural language as mentioned above, the searches are typically full questions or phrases rather than a short one or two word query. For example, a voice search is more likely to read “What is the cheapest bagel shop in Chicago?” rather than a text search most likely reading “bagel shop Chicago.” With the text search, the intent is not as clear as with the voice search. Implementing long tail keywords that are geared towards a specific intent can benefit SEO campaigns
Undoubtedly, voice search will continue to gain popularity and marketers will find new ways to incorporate into their strategies. Strategic Marketing stays up-to-date on industry trends and can ensure SEO campaigns are enhanced to ensure top placement among search results. Contact us today to learn more about our SEO strategies and why your campaign needs to be developed to incorporate voice search in addition to basic SEO tactics.