Can You Hear Me Now? The Impact of Voice Search on SEO


Have you noticed more and more young people are beginning to talk to their phones? Don’t worry, they’re not crazy – they’re just using voice search.

As smartphones and tablets continue to become the norm, voice-activated searching may become the preferred way to conduct an online search. Mobile voice assistants such as Siri, Cortana, and Google Now are making voice search increasingly popular because of their ability to give concise results quickly.

For the person conducting the search, this new tool is easy and convenient. But how will this affect small businesses? Voice search presents a few differences from traditional text searches, which could potentially have implications for SEO. As this technology continues to grow, small business owners should know the differences between voice and text searches, and how it can affect their web presence.


Differences Between Text and Voice Search

voice search
Traditional text searches are typically short and to the point. Most of the time they only consist of 2 or 3 words. Often times this strategy may take a few attempts, using different words in different orders, in attempts to find what you are searching for.

With a voice-activated search it is more like you are having a conversation with your search engine, rather than the trial and error ways of typing in different keywords. Instead of Googling, “Italian restaurant,” you may ask, “What are the best Italian restaurants in my area?”

This does not mean that keywords are becoming obsolete. It just means that businesses should focus on both the text search and voice search options.

Voice-activated searches are completely different than text searches and should be treated as such. The difference between the two is that a text searcher is willing to do a little more research, while a voice searcher is most likely looking for a quick answer to a specific question. Because of this, implementing a voice search strategy into your website is key to having a strong web presence.


SEO for Voice Search

voice search

In order to gain exposure to voice-activated searches, you should fill your website with valuable, relevant content that has a conversational tone to it. Short keywords are never completely going away, but focusing on long tail keywords will be more relevant to the conversational phrases used in voice searching.

When voice searchers ask a question, they tend to start with “What,” “Who,” “Where,” “When,” “Why,” and “How.” These people are usually asking these questions in hopes to receive a specific answer. To appeal to these searches, you should consider adding a FAQ page to your website with questions that begin with these adverbs. Your answers should be written in a conversational tone so that they appeal to a voice search.

It is three times more likely that a voice search will produce local results than it is for a text search. Many consumers use the ‘near me’ function when conducting a voice search. Include nearby landmarks or neighborhoods in your keywords. Figure out how people describe your area in normal conversation and try to incorporate those descriptions into your keywords.


Adapting to New SEO Strategies

With new technologies constantly changing how people do things, it will become increasingly important to adapt to the changes. SEO started with text searches but will continue to adapt as voice searches become more prevalent in today’s world.

This new technology may seem daunting, but it’s important to stay up-to-date on new trends for your small business. Luckily, we understand the need to innovate and progress alongside new technology, and can help your business create and keep a strong web presence using all SEO strategies. Contact us today to find out how we can optimize your SEO to better fit the new voice-activated search.

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