The Rise Of Voice Search And Its Impact On SEO

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 16 May 2016 by Cheryl

Search engines have worked hard over the years to work out users needs when it comes to the search results they return. They have developed and learned from prior queries, locality and sometimes a bit of guess work, but overall when we type in a query they return the results we want.

With the arrival of voice search, more of us are ditching the keyboard for Siri, Cortana or OK Google, who listen to us when we verbally ask for information online. It’s convenient, fast and becoming more accurate than ever and with small screens on smartphones with small buttons which can be difficult to navigate — voice search is simply easier.

The introduction of voice search and ‘digital personal assistants’ has and will continue to change how we search and how we need to deliver search engine optimisation (SEO) in the future.

How is Voice Search Different

Voice search is different from how we input text as when we talk we use a much more natural language with longer query length and often use questions. This is why when we search by typing text, our request differs to speaking it. Although we automatically do this without even thinking about it. So how is this going to affect SEO in the future?

Voice Search Impact on SEO

To start with we can optimise more naturally and use longer key phrases which mimic conversation search. Traditionally SEO has focused on two or three keywords and search engines have return results for what they think you want, they usually don’t have enough information to accurately know whether the user wants to buy a product or read a review for example.

Naturally when we speak, our language has more intent and we use more questions, therefore voice search should answer the “who, what, where, why and how” questions. SEO for voice search can have longer queries and can target long tail keywords. You can also think about what “who, what, where, why and how” questions your customers are asking and then respond and answer these with the pages of your website, blog and social media posts.

Whilst there’s not an urgent need to rewrite your entire website content in a natural voice, start using more natural language when you create new content or blogs.

Local Voice Search

Mobile voice search is three times more likely to be local based when compared with a text search. Although this isn’t surprising as the majority of smartphone searches are also local. This means the impact of local SEO is even more important and it’s essential to become smarter with your local relevant keywords.

With local search, customers often want something right now, so it’s imperative to keep details up-to-date including your address and postcode. Other essential information to include are opening hours, telephone numbers and email which should all be easily located on your site.

So next time you need to search for something, there’s no need to feel self-conscious when you’re talking to your phone after all, speaking is a lot easier and quicker than typing.  If you would like to know more about voice search and the impact on SEO, contact us for a chat.

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