Voice Search Optimization: The Next SEO

Many in the marketing realm assumed that voice SEO (allows users to speak into their device to acquire the information they seek as opposed to manually inputting a query into a search box) was simply a trend, not to be taken seriously, but as time progressed we’ve seen technologies such as Google Home/ Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Amazons Alexa sink deeper into the lives of consumers. Since the inception of these technologies, terms such as, “Ok Google,” and “Hey Alexa!” have grown in popularity due to the expedited manner in which information can be acquired.

According to Econsultancy, over 30% of website sessions will be conducted without the use of a screen by the year 2020. This means that users are making the decision to opt-out of manual searches (i.e., manually inputting information into a search bar and browsing a site), as they instead opt in to voice-only searches, which, for the user increases efficiency in regard to their search, while forcing marketing managers and directors at firms ranging from corporations to small businesses to update their SEO practices if they hope to not only survive but thrive in the ever-changing climate.

Platforms like Google are also pushing companies to adjust their SEO strategies, by steadily refining their algorithm to put more emphasis on finding better solutions to user’s voice search queries. Analysts have been predicting the evolution of online searches for quite some time, most notably Chief Scientist at Baidu, Andrew Ng. In September of 2014 he famously stated, “In five years’ time, at least 50% of all searches are going to be either through images or speech.”

It’s now 2019 and his predictions are coming to fruition as our mobile devices continue to evolve with better microphones and AI to better understand questions, for the purpose of finding better answers. In regards to voice-enabled device interactions, they are increasing rapidly. According to information gathered from PwC:

  • 65% of people ages 25-49 interact with their voice-enabled devices at least once per day.
  • 61% of 25-64 years old state that they’ll increase the rate in which they use voice devices in the future.
  • 71% of wearable device owners predict they’ll utilize voice searches more in the future.

As marketing departments account for the evolution of online searches, many are beginning to take steps to fine tune their SEO strategy. Some of these steps include:

  • Write The Way You Speak – This is extremely important if you hope to increase your SERP (search engine rankings page) ranking. Search engines such as Google are constructing their algorithms to function how people do. When we want to know where the closest pizza parlor is, we’d ask, “where is the closest pizza parlor?” A method to attaining success in your SEO strategy is by creating content, optimized for voice search, which includes using keywords that sound natural as opposed to keywords that possess an almost robotic tone (i.e., keywords that perform well in desktop SEO).
  • Implement featured Blocks Of Content – Creating snippets of larger blocks of content can also help you perform better on online. Featured snippets usually appear below paid ads and before regular search results in search engines. A way to optimize your content would be to create a concise summary (under 29 words), containing essential information that users want to know about the products or services you provide.
  • Focus on Local SEO – According to Search Engine Land, 22% of voice search queries are location-based. So, including relevant keywords in your content, such as the city in which your business resides or, “near me,” could help increase your SERP ranking.

As the marketing world evolves, it is important that your strategies develop along with it. The professionals at Go Getter Marketing Group, Inc. are committed to working alongside you to help create future proof strategies, designed to keep your business competitive in the marketplace. To learn how we can help your business create a sound SEO strategy, accounting for the advances made in voice SEO, contact us for a free consultation today.