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How Is Voice Search Changing The Nature Of SEO?

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There haven’t been many changes to the world of search marketing which have had such a powerful effect as the rise of voice search is currently doing. Google itself has given clear indications that the future of search is going to be targeted towards mobile devices, and technology like Siri and Cortana are really pushing the importance of mobile and long-tail keyword optimised pages.

It is going to be absolutely essential for digital marketers to consider these voice-search functions for their campaigns in the future, and those that fail to will really fall behind in terms of search engine optimisation and user-friendliness. One of the most effective ways to ensure that your website or online retail presence is optimised for the future of Google and other search engines is to take part in a professionally-run SEO Training Course.

The Rise Of Mobile And Voice Search

Of course, the development of SEO as a result of mobile devices can be traced all the way back to the first iPhone. With the massive sales it enjoyed, and customers all over the world enjoying the benefits of an internet-enabled, user-friendly device in their pocket, it was no surprise that user-focused companies like Google would take note.

Fast forward a few years and Mobilegeddon hit the internet. This Google update put huge emphasis on the importance of ensuring that your site is mobile-friendly in terms of SEO and actual web design. It really wasn’t that surprising; studies have discovered that more than half of teenagers use voice search on a daily basis, and a similar number of adults use it because it makes them feel “tech-savvy”.

Simply, when you’re in a rush and using such a small device, speaking is much easier than typing your question out. Rather than using the miniature touch screen, millennials and even users from Generation Z can use Google Now, Siri and Cortana to search for whatever they want, whenever they want.

The Importance Of Voice Search Friendliness

Google have always been open about their movement towards voice-searching and mobile friendliness. Several official blogs over the past few years have been focused on mobile search, and many digital marketing specialists knew about Mobilegeddon before it actually hit. Halfway through 2015, Google announced that mobile searching was more popular than traditional desktop searches on 10 countries, including the mass markets of the US and Japan.

Now, more than 87% of the world’s population owns a smartphone of some kind, and so why wouldn’t they rush to take advantage of the benefits that voice search can offer over traditional searching? 2015 was definitely the year of the mobile, and this trend will only continue throughout 2016 as well.

The Death Of The Traditional Website?

Although we’re nowhere near that point yet, the question has been raised as to whether Google’s increased focus on mobile-friendliness, which often involves providing answers to simple questions within the browser itself, will spell the end of websites as we know them. After all, if the answer to a question can be supplied directly in Google, why would the user then click through to another website for the same information?

According to released research, Google is providing a direct answer within its browser to around 20% of total search engine queries. That figure has risen by 4% over the past few months alone, and it continues to grow on an almost daily basis. Clearly then, Google is determined to increase user-friendliness by providing quick answers for users on the move.

As a digital marketing expert, or a modern business owner, there are three main questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to Google’s capitalisation on the rise of voice search:

1. If users don’t need to access my web page, will I see a decrease in organic search traffic?

2. How can I deliver text-based content and information via voice searching?

3. How can I possibly convey my brand’s unique personality and identity in natural language for voice search results?

The age of keyword stuffing and robotic-writing is most certainly over; today, we are in the age of the conversational search results.

Why Is Natural Language So Important?

Here’s the thing; the most practical methods of searching for something in the past, as we typed it out, was to use the least amount of words possible. For example, if we were looking for a cafe or coffee shop nearby, we’d type in Coffee Shop Reading – thanks to voice searching, however, we’re more likely to search for something like “where is the closest coffee shop?” and reap the benefits of effective local SEO.

Voice searching, unlike traditional search terms, address the “who, what, where, why and how” questions that we are more likely to use in natural conversations. This is supported by the fact that Google has learned from its past mistakes and is trying to lessen the importance of keyword-focuses content.

Why Are Google Paying Less Attention To Keywords?

Simply put; keyword-focused content is often guilty of being over-stuffed. Writers and content creators are so focused on creating content optimised for KWs, that the overall quality of their content drops. This is why a lot of Google’s algorithms are placing less of a focus on high KW densities but, instead, are focusing on the quality of the content itself.

By searching for the answers to questions, Google will present the most useful and relevant answers to interested searchers; rather than those which are optimised for archaic search requirements.

How Can You Prepare Your Website For The Inevitable Rise Of Voice Search?

Thankfully, there are a range of real, actionable steps that you can take today in order to optimise your site for the future of search engines. You cannot afford to have a website which is unprepared for voice-search, and making real changes to your content creation strategy today can help to prepare you for the inevitable evolution of Google’s service:

  • Swap To Long-Tail Keywords – As we said, voice searching promotes much longer queries than traditional searching. By creating content focused on more specific, long-tail keywords, you can get your site ready for this evolution of your audience.
  • The FAQ Strategy – You need to understand the questions that your users are likely to ask if you’re going to optimise your site for their needs. A great tactic is to treat every piece of content to the FAQ strategy, which means asking yourself:

o Who is this content going to be aimed at?

o What are they looking for?

o Where are they located, and will it affect the answer?

o Why are they looking for a specific item, service or product?

o How does this content help the reader?

Remember to address as many of these questions as possible in your content, including web pages, blog posts and your social media profile.

  • Natural-Sounding Content – Not only will your brand sound much more conversational and appealing, but you’ll be speaking the kind of language used by your customer in their search.

Of course, Google does not currently penalise websites for not being voice-friendly, but they do punish online platforms for not being designed responsively. The user-experience is the most important part of a website, and Google will only reward those sites which do everything in their power to appeal to users and provide an easy, friendly service.

In order to succeed in the hugely competitive, confusing world of digital marketing and search engine optimisation, you need to take part in an SEO training course, taught by the search marketing experts at SEO Junkies. For more information, or to enquire further about our industry-leading SEO training course from our offices in Berkshire, get in touch with our professional team today on 0845 373 0595. Alternatively, you can email any questions to sales@seojunkies.co, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

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