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Voice Search and the impact of the spoken word on SEO

Remember, back in the distant past, when we spoke about longer tailed search queries and how search was adapting to deal more efficiently with sentences rather than just staccato phrases or words? Remember when we heralded Google’s Hummingbird update and salivated at the thought of the juicy information we would receive in our Google Analytics accounts? We couldn’t wait to get our hands on the exact phraseology used by the people out there who were looking for exactly what we offer.  Of course, we were thwarted quite dastardly in this plan by Google’s perfect timing to make keywords for organic data ‘not provided’ by switching all search to HTTPS.  But it was the start of a quite interesting new chapter…

We then all trundled along, finding other ways to dig deeper into the customer search journey and help identify (and of course reach) our ideal target audiences. All the while, voice search was growing bigger and stronger until, BAM! We find ourselves very much in the middle of marketing shift towards the spoken word.

voice search

The Growth in Voice Search

Voice search is by no means a new concept.  Google launched its voice search capabilities in 2008, but since then, voice search queries have grown by thirty-five times!  And this growth is set to continue.

If you are lucky enough to own a teenager (or pre-teen) then you’ll be only too aware of the idle fingers of the current generation – why spend time typing a search enquiry on your mobile phone (even though the keyboard size is designed for your smaller, adolescent hands) when you can just ask Alexa?  Today’s youth are preoccupied with mobile devices of various sizes and capabilities and when it’s too much effort to use those idle fingers to find the nearest pizza joint, voice search is very much their ‘go-to’ facility.

voice search on mobile phone

It all boils down to this – we can speak much faster than we can type and today that means a lot, because today we are all busy, short of time and overworked.  Shaving off precious seconds here and there all adds up so step up voice search in its modern state, with around 90% word accuracy.

What does this explosion in voice search mean for search?

Well, for starters, there will be more natural language used and even as we speak Google is developing its algorithms to respond to follow-up questions without the searcher having to again state the context.

Secondly, more searches will be performed on a mobile device.  Lets’ face it you’d look pretty ridiculous asking your PC at work to find you a dry cleaner’s to drop your suit off on the way home, but pick up your mobile during your lunch break and it’s easy to keep your dirty laundry private rather than air it in public.

Finally, search will become more local.  Statistics tell us that the majority of people who use voice search are using it to find a local product, service or information, so now is the time to ensure that your website can be found in the local area you wish to target.

Voice Search and SEO

What do you need to do to ensure you don’t miss out on vital traffic from voice search queries?

  1. Make sure your website is optimised using natural language and answers the kinds of questions your prospective customers might be asking – an FAQs page is a great way to include this information
  2. Make your website mobile friendly – this is an absolute must now that so many people use mobile devices to access the internet. If your website isn’t mobile friendly not only will it be less likely to figure in Google’s search results but it will also be off-putting to visitors due to the difficult navigation and small typeface.
  3. Improve your local SEO – so that you can be found in the search and map listings for the services you offer in the local area.

 

Voice search is here and it is the future.  There is no doubting that, so don’t ignore the power of the spoken word, make sure your marketing strategy is catering for voice search queries.  Speak to SEO it Right today on 0121 308 0219 to devise a plan to get your business where it needs to be.