“Alexa, search for web designers in the Scottish Borders”
Yes, we’ve all seen the advert.
Voice search is an emerging trend which is starting to become commonplace in homes up and down the country. Technologies such as Apple’s Siri and products like Google Home and Amazon Alexa have transformed the way we perform web searches.
Voice search has huge applications to websites and it is changing the way SEO works. Webmasters should be keeping on top of the latest voice search trends so that their websites can stay ahead of the curve.
Today, over one-quarter of all Google searches are performed through the use of voice search. In only three years, it has grown from something rarely used to something which many of us rely on each day. Whenever you ask Siri what the weather’s like or ask your Amazon Echo to search for a store’s opening times, you are performing a voice search.
Right now, Siri and Google’s Cortana dominate voice search. However, other products are hitting the market fast and many companies are beginning to develop their own voice solutions. Because of this, SEO must change and adapt. Voice searches are not the same as traditional searches. They are conversational, more casual, and often not as clear as typed searches. Optimising your website’s content for voice search should, therefore, be one of your main SEO focuses.
Here are five key ways voice search has already affected SEO – and how you can optimise your site.
#1: Content Needs to be Casual
All your site’s copy and content need to be written in a more conversational and casual way. You should avoid being too corporate in tone and use a range of casual phrases. To do this, think about how you might chat with one of your friends about your company, brand or service, and then turn that into written content.
Remember: voice AI carefully analyses the end user’s speech so that it can perform a relevant search. Content which is more casual will be prioritised by Google, as it will almost always match a voice query more closely than conservative content.
#2: It Targets Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are very specific phrases – longer than a typical search query – which many sites overlook. Websites tend to prioritise shorter keywords as this has always worked best for SEO, but with voice search, use of long-tail keywords is better and can make your website more competitive and rank higher.
Again, it comes down to how conversational voice searches are. Targeting long-tail keywords puts you in a better position ranking-wise because they more closely match the conversational tone of a typical voice search query.
#3: Optimise Your Site for Mobile Devices
This is something which you should have already done; it’s no longer optional. Your website must be optimised for mobile, and the growth of voice search has made this much more important than it has ever been. Google has announced its “mobile-first search index”. Because voice assistants fall under the “mobile” device category, you will not rank in voice-based search results if your site is not optimised for them.
Mobile optimisation has been around for a while and many web developers produce mobile optimised sites as standard, especially if you’re using a content management system such as WordPress.
#4: Answer Questions with Your Content
The majority of voice-based searches are questions. As a result, you should either answer specific questions relating to your company in your content or have a section of your website dedicated to answering queries, such as a FAQs section.
FAQs and content which addresses queries do not just satisfy voice-based searches and help with your SEO, but it satisfies your customers who are seeking answers. Again, this is another way you can remain competitive within your industry and stay ahead of everybody else.
#5: Prioritise Local Search
Voice search is used for local searches more than any other, such as where the end-user is searching for local restaurants or stores and any information available about them. If you are a company which operates from a physical location, then you should be prioritising local search, so you can draw in as much local footfall as possible.
Ensuring that your “Google My Business” information is accurate and that your website has pages for specific locations is a great way to optimise voice search for local SEO.
The large role that voice assistants now play in our day-to-day lives has brought about a dramatic change in SEO. Something which had remained largely the same for many years has suddenly undergone a seismic shift towards a new method for performing internet searches, which is in every way different to the ways we are accustomed to. Because of this, it is important to optimise your website for the growth of voice search so that you can remain competitive and rank highly alongside the continued growth of this modern technology.
If you need help optimising your website for voice search, get in touch with us here at Border Webworks Ltd today. We’re one of the best web design firms on the England/Scotland border, and are waiting for your call.