Is 2017 the year of Voice Search?
One of the most exciting and interesting things about the internet, and SEO in particular, is the ever changing landscape. The internet is in a constant state of flux, which is why we must always be flexible and prepare ourselves to change strategy at the drop of a hat. Anyone that engages in SEO will never complain of monotonous boring work, or say they need a career change.
Voice search has crossed over from a novel party trick feature to the accepted mainstream. Although Google may have been keen to publicize this fact, it still remains interesting and critically important knowledge. 20 percent of searches via its mobile app and on Android devices are now conducted via voice search.
This does not even take into consideration the popularity of Siri and Cortana. Moreover, when you learn that Amazon had their best sales period ever for Alexa, nobody can deny the growing importance of voice-driven searches.
Voice Recognition Technology
One of the reasons why voice searches are gaining traction is the accuracy of their understanding. According to this article, voice recognition is now as accurate as humans. As technology improves and advances, this is only likely to improve further. This makes it vital for website owners and SEO operatives to voice-enable their sites.
Naturally Speaking Content
It was barely a few years ago the SEO courses were teaching keyword stuffing, or to write content for bots. Ladies and Gentlemen, in 2017 that is no longer a good idea. Firstly, you should make absolutely sure you post well written and engaging content for your readers. Secondly, but just as crucially, adding natural language to your site will reap amazing dividends in the future.
When people use voice search, they are naturally more inclined to talk in everyday language. Your content and FAQ’s need to reflect this in order to respond more accurately to the way people speak. This comes in contrast to what they might type into a search box. For example, when performing a search, the usual way we do it is typing “best podcast software iPhone” into a search engine. But nobody talks like that. When using voice search they are most likely to say “What is the best podcast software on the market?” The two requests are effectively looking for answers to the same question, but the end results could vary dramatically.
Schema, Microdata, and Small Snippets
When dealing with search engines, the key is to give them as much information as possible about your website to improve their knowledge. By going the extra mile, and adding these extra pieces of code, you are doing everything possible to improve your rankings. This should help your site show up higher in any voice search question. Although this may seem like a minefield and can be quite daunting, Google provides a helpful tool to guide you.
This can not only assist you in your efforts but may actually give you some inspiration for other pieces of information you can add to your site.
Claim Your Business
Perhaps the most important thing here when considering this element and local business is to claim your business on Google My Business, or Google Maps. The reason for this is that it crosses over into voice search and the increased use of mobile devices. If you have ever been on vacation, you might ask your phone via voice where the nearest Pizza Restaurant is. If you have not claimed your business, your store might be losing on visibility. It also means you are losing out on potential business. Make sure there is a consistency in all the instances where your business address is mentioned in places like Yelp, Bing, Google Maps etc. You do not want to give the search engines anything to be confused about, or provide the wrong answers about your business.
It is important to understand that these changes are more subtle than major SEO changes. Long-Tail keywords will increase in importance, so visit sites such as AnswerThePublic.com to gather information about the sort of questions people are asking. Answer those questions properly and you will be well on your way to SERPS success.
Here at Overthetopseo we are constantly testing and evaluating the latest SEO and digital marketing strategies. Make sure to visit regularly to keep yourself up to date with the latest developments.