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4 Key Ways Voice Search Is Going to Transform SEO

Queen Bee. That’s what I have directed Siri to call me. That decision stemmed from a combination of my inherent human need to express dominance over my digital personal assistant and my love of Beyonce. Siri and I have a mostly positive relationship. She’s very efficient in texting for me while I don’t have the use of my hands or searching something for me on the web. I don’t have some weirdly personal relationship with her like in the Joaquin Phoenix movie, but she’s really there for me when I need her most. She’s my “old reliable.” I talk to her like she’s an actual human, even though I would like to make clear that I possess the ability to differentiate her from an actual intelligent sentient. Many people are like me in that they are speaking to their Siris, Alexas, Googles, or Cortanas in a conversational way. As an Orlando SEO expert, I have noticed how this is going to have a profound effect on how search results are chosen and delivered to users, and we’re going to explore those implications.

Don’t Forget About Mobile.

The use of these virtual personal assistants throughout our devices is going to place an even BIGGER (yes, I said bigger) emphasis on mobile optimization. Regardless of the device you’re using, the results are going to be served to you as they would on a mobile phone. Currently, almost 60 percent of all voice searches actually occur on a mobile phone.

How to Adapt: Rather than focusing primarily on desktop and then adapting for mobile, design the user experience and optimization of the website for mobile, and then focus on adapting for desktop. Mobile should be your primary focus, and if your website doesn’t pass the test, then your website won’t show up in mobile at all. Here are some quick takeaways for what you should focus on in optimizing your website for mobile:

  • Ensure that all of the content on your website is crawlable and that your mobile version of the site isn’t blocking things like CSS, Javascript, etc.
  • Don’t use flash. It’s dated and cannot be used on any mobile devices.
  • Make sure your load time is quick and optimized.

Anticipate Those Long-Tailed Keywords.

As I said before, people search conversationally through voice search, so that’s going to change the way people approach SEO from a keyword standpoint. Typically, people focus on short, precise phrases that they want to be found under in the search engines, and while an element of focus still needs to remain on that strategy, those long-tailed, conversational phrases will need to be anticipated and optimized as well.

How to Adapt: Content. Content is going to be the answer to your keyword prayers here. You can use a tool like Rank Tracker to research Google Autocomplete phrases based on your original core keywords to search for content topics that you can title and optimize for long-tailed conversational keywords. If you don’t want to sign up for this tool, you can Google a short keyword phrase and see what Google suggests in the autocomplete or related searches at the bottom of the search page.

Google’s Moments of Truth.

Google has done some extensive research as to how users operate with the search engine and what they’re looking for. They define four specific times in which voice searches have a need for accurate and immediate results as micro-moments. They are divided into these four categories:

  • I Want to Know Moments
    • Research mode, not purchase mode
    • Looking for useful information
  • I Want to Go Moments
    • Looking for a local store to purchase something from. Typically, searching “near me.”
  • I Want to Do Moments
    • “How to” searches or trying something new searches
  • I Want to Buy Moments
    • Looking to make a purchase and need help deciding what or how to buy.


How to Adapt: Find out how you can show up in one of the Google’s micro-moments to capitalize on providing the answer these users are searching for. You should be generating content to help answer these questions in the form of articles, FAQs, social media posts, Q&A sessions, etc.

Local SEO.

Location and proximity play a role in almost 80 percent of all searches, according to Google. Voice searches are even more focused on location. If your business is a local brick and mortar or provides local services to people at their location, you need to ensure you have all of your ducks in a row as it pertains to local search and SEO.

How to Adapt: Results for local businesses have several additional factors that marketers and business owners should consider including:

  • Reputation Management: The more reviews you have around your business, the more credibility you provide to users. Ensure that you’re maintaining a positive reputation online, though, because negative reviews aren’t going to help. Responding to reviews and doing what’s right are the easiest solutions.
  • Google My Business: Google Maps provides local results based on reputation and location, and your business cannot show up here unless you have a Google My Business page. Make sure you add photos, a profile picture, hours, a website, and all of the necessary information to fully optimize this page.
  • Local Schema Markup:

 

I know this can be a bit overwhelming for everyone, but as an Orlando SEO expert, I have found that Google’s algorithm modifications over the years have been to best serve its users, and who can argue with that? If you need help on preparing your website and business’s online presence for voice search so that you can continue to be found or be found in the future, contact us, and we’ll get you on the right path to visibility.

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