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July 8, 2016

Voice Search: The Next Big Thing in SEO

“Real search is about providing valuable information when it’s really needed to those who are actually looking for it.”

David Amerland, Author of SEO Help: 20 Semantic Search Steps that Will Help Your Business Grow

Smartphone devices have altered the SEO scene in more ways than could have been predicted. Voice search has now been implemented on millions of mobile phones across the world, causing things in the world of SEO to drastically shift.

Believe the hype and hearsay that voice search will soon transcend typing queries into a box for answers. The old form of search will soon be archaic for many types of queries. While desktop-typed search will remain as the primary mode of conducting in-depth research, all else will soon fall under the dominion of voice search.

This shift is currently underway as personal assistants like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Now are integrated into a variety of portable and at-home products.

According to a late 2015 study by MindMeld, 61 percent of respondents adopted voice assistants within the 12 months leading up to the October survey and 55 percent of these users leverage the digital companions daily or weekly. This is a steep hike from the previous quarter where only 49 percent of respondents claimed to use the services regularly. Along with this increase, 48 percent claimed to be satisfied with their voice assistant. And while growth is slow, Amazon Echo adoption did raise by an additional two percent from the last quarter.

As these devices become more sophisticated and prevalent in nature, the use of voice search and intelligent personal assistants will reach a fever pitch, revolutionizing SEO once again.

A SEO Facelift

On-page SEO has always prioritized and relied upon the use of keywords relevant to any given search. Google’s Panda algorithm has banished engine-cheating tactics like keyword stuffing to make way for a better user experience. Keywords, on the other hand, are just as relevant and imperative as they ever were; and there is likely nothing that will ever change that. There is a transition, however, in the types of keywords that are taking up the lion’s share of voice searches.

With text-based searches, you might Google something like, ‘Pizza Hut’ and click on the location nearest you. With voice search, however, you are far more likely to ask, ‘Where is the closest Pizza Hut?’ When it comes to voice search, users most typically will ask a casually phrased, long-tailed question that begins with who, what, when, where, why, or how. Each of these key questions will indicate a different level of interest and user intent. And these are the very terms that are going to change SEO.

As voice search incorporates these questions so often, search engines will naturally look for content that will answer such a query.

How to Prepare for the Voice-Led SEO Revolution

The five Ws (and one H) listed above are going to become a massive driving factor for SEO, beginning this year. To optimize your site for these types of vocal searches, you need to address these questions starting with:

  • Who owns your business?
  • What does your business sell?
  • What is your business’s phone number?
  • When is your business open?
  • Where is your business located?
  • And other comparable searches

A great way to address these questions, outside of a Google My Business page, is to create a substantial Q&A section on your website. In addition to this information, list common questions asked by your customers and any others that you think they might ask or be interested in.

Once you have generated this section, you can move on to one of the single most important aspects of SEO: Content.

Putting Context to Content

As always, content needs to be a top priority and must focus on the user. In this case, users will be asking specific questions that need to be heavily explored by your copy. When crafting content for your site, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What questions will visitors be looking to answer on this page? Does it currently meet those needs?
  • Is the information found here comprehensive and complete or will visitors have to return to the search results for more material?
  • In what context will a user search for a page like this?
  • Is this page (and site) optimized for mobile search?
  • Can visitors scan this content and easily ascertain what the page is about?
  • Does the page’s first impression reel in visitors or send them packing?

You can answer all of these questions by simply asking them of employees, friends, family, and various site-evaluation websites.

And, of course, do make sure to continue to incorporate relevant keywords to help search engines find your content and site when applicable queries are entered. Additionally, long-form content will rank better than most pieces less than 1,000 words. Again, make sure the information detailed is in-depth, comprehensive, and dives into many, many questions that could be asked on the topic at hand.

Don’t forget the power of visuals, either. Adding photos, videos, infographics, and other engaging elements will help to retain visitors longer, and will assist search engines in understanding your content.

The old SEO checklist of including keywords, incorporating title tags, building links, and so forth is now just the tip of the iceberg. As users continue to access search engines through the means of voice search, SEOs and business owners must adjust their strategies and optimize their pages accordingly.

If you don’t already, begin to use voice search and see how this alters your search patterns. Learning from first-hand experience could be your greatest ally in getting a leg up in the new world of voice-driven SEO.

What changes have you made to make room for this new mode of search? How long do you think it will be before voice search overthrows text-based queries?


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Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

14 Responses to “Voice Search: The Next Big Thing in SEO

    Very good insight in the future of voice search however I still think the technology has still got a long way to go it never really works that well for me personally. I think I am quite a well spoken Englishman yet whenever I try a voice search I’d say 4 times out of 10 it’s way off what I asked. The Google search is better than Siri I’d have to say though and seems to be more consistent.

    The other issue I also find is that I still feel a bit silly speaking to my phone asking it to do a search especially when someone else is listening and the results the device comes back with is nothing like what I asked. Maybe I’m expecting too much?

    Hello dear,
    It’s really next big thing for SEO.
    Thanks
    sagar ganatra

    avatar indomoto says:

    My phone has the voice search feature, but I have not tried it yet. And I think there are thousand people is just like me 😀

    Awesome information. Thanks for sharing.

    avatar srikanth says:

    yes, voice search is the next big thing. thanks for the info.

    this is awesome article thanks for sharing.

    great post
    i am learning a lot about seo from this site

    avatar Aventura12 says:

    Thanks for sharing a great article.

    avatar WeDigTech says:

    Hi Tina,

    Thank you for sharing such a latest buzz with us. It is very difficult to target site for voice search as every user has its own accent and in between Google bot does not get properly what use is actually searching for.

    Thanks again.

    avatar Pyare says:

    wow, this is so interesting feature about SEO that i have never seen sand never experienced before, thanks for sharing such an effective post.!

    avatar Mike Simmons says:

    Voice search is what I concentrate on when doing keyword research, it’s only getting more important for SEO.

    avatar Valentino says:

    Thanks for sharing this post about the Next Big Thing in SEO. This awesome post inspired me a lot in doing my SEO work and also I got the useful idea about how to grow a new small business.
    Thanks a lot once again.

    avatar Rankaroo says:

    perfect post about voice search in SEO.

    avatar Jagadish says:

    Voice search is really gonna trend for next few year. I personally use Google Speech to Write and Call my friend. Good to see Voice in SEO too.

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