The power of Voice Search in SEO / Digital Marketing
Voice search is on the rise. Think how often you have sat with a friend or in a restaurant and you’ve heard them Ask Siri, Ask Google or use Amazon Echo or Microsoft Cortana. It is pretty easy to pick up your phone and ask where the closest restaurant is or how to fix your car tyre. More than half of Millenials use voice search and the number of adults using voice search is growing daily.
Voice search is quick. You push a button and ask a question. You can do it from anywhere, at any time, as long as you have a smart phone. And you do not need to be overly tech-savvy to do it.
So does voice search detract from SEO? Or is it a different kind of SEO to focus on?
The answer to both of these questions is yes. Search Engine Optimisation, Google Ads, Keywords and Key Phrases and Content will always be important and are still probably the most important, but voice search should not be dismissed. Google is starting to transform voice search into a ‘mobile assistant’ that will work like a secretary for you. Your ‘mobile assistant’ can say ‘New York coffee shop’ instead of typing in ‘Where is the closest New York coffee shop’ and an answer, or a few answers will pop up to the Voice question.
This means that SEO can learn to interpret commonly used phrases. Where is, what is, how do I, I am looking for - are common phrases. Once the voice search understands these phrases it needs to be able to identify the actual product or thing in question (coffee shop) and be able to give your answer as well as photographs of it, a contact number and directions.
Voice Search is growing quickly. So as a Search Engine Optimisation and as technology grows, you should think about building it in to your website. Or, to know that your website will respond if Siri or Google is asked a question. If you are selling pizza, Voice Search could identify your pizza with avodado and mushroom as the BEST pizza in the neighborhood. You therefore need to incorporate Voice Search into your website. It may well be the future of Search Engine Optimization. It also means you need to double down on long form content. Have your brilliant content and write it in a conversational tone. Or have both. Long form and conversational too. The more you have, the better for SEO.
Will keywords disappear?
No. Short tail keywords wil never go but they do become less important if we look at the natural phrases in voice searches. But more than ever, we need to focus on long tail keywords that are also conversational.
Until I did an online Digital Marketing course I had no idea what Schema Markup is. It is an HTML add-on that change the way Search Engines understand your content. If you can provide context using Schema Markup you will rank better in normal searches. Schema Markup means you will be important and your content will become more relevant thorugh Voice Search queries.
Take a look at your website. You are going to keep updating your information and work on your content regularly, to ensure SEO. But you are also going to make it more interactive. Have someone on the other side who can answer questions. Or take questions. On your
FAQ’s make the questions all start with a Who, What, Where or How. And answer each question in a conversational manner.
Note that Voice Search is growing quickly. Don’t let this trend slip you by. Stop thinking in such a straightforward manner about the SEO industry and text based queries. Start thinking about voice searches too. People are not scared to pick up their phones and ask a question. Be the one to answer!