Hey Google… How is Voice Search Affecting SEO?
The Rise of Voice Search Technology
Voice search is changing the way we browse the internet and is quickly becoming the go-to search mode for consumers around the world. In fact, according to Global Web Index, 27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile and stats released from voicebot.ai show that Google’s voice assistant is now powering over a billion devices.
Image Source: Voicebot.ai
As technology such as artificial intelligence develops, digital assistants are going far beyond providing simple information in response to simple voice input, such as questions like “Where is the nearest coffee shop?” They are evolving to understand user intent and behaviours through the content they are searching and can provide information that quickly and conveniently allows the user to act. For instance, asking Siri to send a text message whilst driving, or instructing Alexa to add an item to your Amazon shopping cart.
Due to the voice assistant’s ability to pick up on conversational topics, questions and instructions, the format in which we are searching for information has changed and tech giants such as Google have reacted to this to improve user-friendliness and offer more functionality in their services.
Google ‘Hummingbird’ Update
Google’s long-term algorithm alteration nicknamed the ‘Hummingbird Update’ was implemented mainly to emphasise semantic search, which aims to create more accurate results through understanding the intent of a user’s search inquiry. Google has successfully shifted its focus over to more meaningful search queries which are structured in sentences or phrases as opposed to short keywords.
Therefore, for your business to tap into those consumers utilising voice assistants and to continually rank highly on Google, you will need to adapt your SEO strategy accordingly.
Take Advantage of Voice Search with These SEO Tips:
1. Research and identify what people are using voice search for.
Find out exactly what type of questions people are asking their voice assistant, popular keywords and phrases for your industry and keywords unique to your business. This will help you create targeted, informative content that will boost your SEO. Here is a helpful blog from Google which reveals what users are searching through voice commands.
2. Create pages on your website that answer common questions.
A FAQ page is the easiest way to do this. Make sure you cover a range of questions regarding your business offering, contact details and link to help articles if necessary.
3. Incorporate long-tail keywords and question phrases into your SEO strategy.
Despite generating less traffic, long-tail keywords have a better conversation rate and will provide the user with detailed, relevant answers. They are called ‘long-tail’ because they are nearing the end of the demand curve and are phrases or questions only certain people or businesses can solve. You will also benefit from optimizing your local SEO by incorporating your local area into key phrases and sentences on your webpage. This will give you the edge over the local competition and reach those asking voice assistants for local services.
’Kitchen Extension Building Services in Manningtree.’
As opposed to ’Building Services Essex’
4. Improve your mobile platform.
With Google’s move to a mobile-first index, your mobile page is now your main page, so you need to make sure it is extremely user-friendly. The first step you should take to improve navigation on your mobile site is to apply a responsive design. This will automatically adapt your website to suit the smaller screen and format of a mobile page.
5. Create more video content.
According to Cisco research, by 2020, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic as people continue to favour watching videos over reading online. Do some research into what your target audience is watching, write a list of keywords you want to include in the video and create video content that your consumers will engage with.
‘Hey, Google… Direct me to a friendly, local marketing and PR agency with expertise in copywriting and digital marketing to help me improve the SEO of my business website...