Voice Search & SEO - Why you shouldn't ignore it

So what’s this all about?

Due to advancements in technology, and the ever-evolving way in which us users search, ‘voice search’ has become a popular concept. Virtual assistants are on hand to answer our questions as and when we need them. Whether you’re talking to Siri, Cortana or Alexa, they’ve got your back. What will the weather be like today? What’s the best restaurant in Cambridge? How much does a skydive cost? Whatever your question may be, technology has the answer. So with that in mind, it’s about time we begin to pay more attention to voice search.

As highlighted by Search Engine Journal, with voice search, online businesses will begin to see search take on a more ‘natural and conversational; approach’, longer-tail keywords will become more relevant, digital assistants will be able to share data on search queries and sentences and phrases will begin to take centre stage and we’ll see less ‘keywords’ as such.

Voice search differs greatly from the way in which we users search for what we are looking for online. If we’re tapping away on our smart phones or keyboards, we’re more than likely going to enter the quickest shorthand we can to find our answer. For example ‘restaurants Cambridge’ or ‘best restaurant Cambridge’ whereas voice search queries tend to be a lot longer and more of a fully formed sentence such as ‘what are the best restaurants in Cambridge’. You can see how this clearly differs, and the queries become less about keywords and more about a natural conversation.

So what does this mean for the future?

Potentially a major shift among the search engines, and a heavier SEO focus on voice search, with more natural language coming into play. Whilst there’s no penalty for having a website that isn’t optimised for voice search, there are ways in which you can prepare yourself for the inevitable growth of voice search and shift in search! And it’s always good to be prepared, isn’t it?

Implement long-tail keywords to your SEO, which are more in line with how a user may ‘naturally’ search using their voice rather than fingertips.

Add an FAQ’s page to your website! A simple but effective tactic as this allows you to emulate the queries that are likely to be voice searched by users. For example, if you’re a skydiving company then you could add ‘How long does a skydive take’ to your FAQ’s, ensuring you’re present in the search engines when this query comes up.

Adjust your copy to ensure it has a more ‘conversational’ tone. Try and think about the language your customers will use when they search.

Take these pointers on board and you’ll be ahead of the game!