The story of SEO is one of new technologies. As Apple, Microsoft, and other tech companies develop new digital tools for users to search with, Google and other search engines must change the way they rank searches. New developments in search ranking, in turn, influence the devices and software consumers want, forcing tech companies to develop new technologies to meet this demand. Thus as a company trying to promote yourself through search engine marketing, you’re obligated to pay attention to new technological developments.
Few technological developments have had a more powerful impact on SEO than voice search. With the rise of smartphones and smart homes, it’s easier than ever for people to surf the web through audible commands. This changes the terms that consumers use, leading search engines to adjust their algorithms. If you want to reach or remain at the top of search rankings, you must master voice search SEO.
Navigating Voice Search Nuances
In re-calibrating their search rank algorithms in response to the rise of voice search, Google and other engines are giving priority to certain types of queries, particularly those that:
- Cater to Context – Voice searches are far more likely to contain information that reflects the specific context under which the searches are conducted. Marketers must thus use contextual voice search keywords, such as “near me” or “open now,” to remain at the top of these searches.
- Have Long Tails – Consumers tend to enter longer queries during a voice search than they would ever type. These often take the form of full sentences. For example, whereas a user might type “Mexican restaurant downtown Raleigh,” with voice search, they’ll say something like “What Mexican restaurants are near me?”
- Natural Phrasings– Voice searches tend to reflect natural speech patterns more than typed searches do. For example, someone who wants to know how hot the weather gets in Raleigh might type “average high Raleigh.” But with voice search, they’ll say “how hot does it get in Raleigh?”
Voice search SEO is all about making your content read like a casual conversation. The better you are at matching your keywords and phrases to the way people speak, the more prepared you will be for the rise of this search method.
In addition to its direct impact on keywords, voice search is having a powerful indirect effect: making mobile search more important. Mobile devices have already redefined SEO. As early as 2016, 60 percent of all searches were conducted on these devices, making it essential for marketers to tailor their SEO strategies toward them.
Voice search is likely to further reinforce the importance of mobile devices. Given that it is so much easier to perform audible searches on such devices than on desktop computers, consumers who rely on voice search will come to associate their searches exclusively with phones and tablets. Thus even when they want to type out their queries, they’ll be more likely to turn to those devices instead of desktops. Mobile will account for more and more of online searches, meaning marketers must plan their SEO campaigns around appealing to phone and tablet users.
Voice search is dramatically changing the nature of search engine optimization, notably by:
- Making it important to use contextual keywords like “near me” or “right now”
- Leading to a preference for long-tail key phrases that contain entire sentences
- Giving priority to content that resembles the way that people talk naturally
- Reinforcing the growing importance of mobile devices
Ballantine pays close attention to all new technological developments that affect digital marketing. For more information on publicizing your company through search engines, social media, print marketing, and countless other methods, visit our website today.
I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!