Everyone knows that virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa have taken the world by storm. But what you might not realize is the SEO implications of these assistants. As people become more accustomed to using their voice — as opposed to their fingers — to get what they want, voice search will become even more important for businesses. Therefore, it’s imperative that you start optimizing your content for voice search.
The Popularity of Voice Search
Siri made its debut into our lives in 2011. The Amazon Echo introduced the world to Alexa in 2014. Google Home followed in 2016. These interfaces are less than a decade old, and yet they’ve quite literally become household names. This proves the popularity of voice search. But the ubiquity of in-home assistants don’t tell the whole story.
It’s estimated that half of all Web searches will be done via voice search by the year 2020. What’s more, 40 percent of adults currently use voice search at least once every day. And here’s something really crucial for marketers — voice searches on mobile devices are three times more likely to be location-based than text searches. Needless to say, if a business were to be the go-to result for Siri or Alexa when someone conducts a voice search, it would mean very good things for that company. Let’s see how you can accomplish this.
The way you write is different than the way you talk. That means shifting the traditional SEO paradigm a bit. Whereas you’ve typically optimized your content based on a handful of short, to-the-point keywords, you now have to think about how a voice searcher might phrase their query.
For instance, if you’re an Italian restaurant advertising in New York City, your text search keyword might be something along the lines of “italian restaurant nyc”. Now, though, you’ll want to phrase it a way that someone might actually speak. So instead of “italian restaurant nyc”, you might now go with “What’s a good Italian restaurant in New York City?” Understanding the difference between traditional search and voice search — and finding ways to incorporate the latter into your site — will help you tremendously as you optimize for voice search.
Create a FAQ
The conversational phrases that people might speak into their in-home assistants are obviously desirable, but they don’t always fit into your typical ad copy. To get around this, create a FAQ page on your site that includes all of these conversational phrasings. Understand that this is not keyword stuffing. Instead, you’re just trying to hit on specific phrases that voice searchers might use, and giving out relevant information based on those phrases.
What’s key here is predicting what people might search for, and providing authoritative answers to those queries. You can use your regular SEO strategy to inform the choices you make on your FAQ page. People might not search in the same manner via voice search and text search, but people generally want to know the same things. Incorporate your usual keyword research into your voice SEO strategy and it’ll pay off over time.
As stated earlier, voice searches are three times more likely to be localized than text searches. This is a fact that you can use in all of your content, not just your FAQ page. Just as you used keyword research to inform your FAQ page, you can now create individualized pieces of content around the keywords people search for, and you can and should use conversational keyword phrases in this content. This will help you in both voice search and text search — the more quality content you have, the more favorably the search engines will look upon your site.
It’s also important to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row in terms of static content. Your Facebook profile and Google My Business listening need to have updated business names, hours of operation and contact information. These types of queries are too important to leave to chance. If the searcher doesn’t find what they want immediately via voice search, they’ll move onto the next business they think of.
Maintain the Principles of SEO
Google’s algorithms are constantly changing, which can send marketers into a perpetual tizzy. However, although the particulars of what the search engines prefer can often change, the core values of search engine optimization are constant. Focus on providing top-notch, informative and relevant content that’s optimized for all devices — including mobile phones and voice search devices. If you keep your focus on quality content, and incorporate these voice search tips along the way, you’ll be well-prepared for the voice search revolution that continues to emerge.
WriterAccess is always looking for ways to help its partners to improve their content strategy. With webinars, blogs and an endless stream of tools and tips, it’s easy for content marketers to stay up to date on the latest trends. To learn more about how WriterAccess can help you win the content game, contact us today!
Bryan B. is a freelance writer who specializes in marketing and marketing-related topics. He writes both marketing materials and articles about marketing, consistently pleasing his loyal clients. His success in these areas has led him to consistently rank among the top WriterAccess marketing writers. In addition to writing about marketing, Bryan also writes about personal finance, parenting, sports and business topics. His status as a full-time working professional gives him unique insight into the corporate world and how his articles translate into reality.