According to Google, 27% of the global online population uses voice search on their mobile devices. Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant are just a few of the many voice assistant platforms that billions of people use daily to perform internet searches.
What exactly does this mean for search engine optimization (SEO)?
Read on to learn more about how voice search affects SEO and how businesses should prepare and react.
Local search is going to increase ten-fold as voice becomes more and more popular. Consider the average person who went out to buy groceries and realized they needed to pick up a new baseball glove for their kid. They would pull out their cell phone and ask for directions to the “nearest sporting goods store.”
It’s a safe bet to assume that local businesses will be one of the biggest groups that are affected by voice search. Whether it’s a local dry cleaner, pizzeria, or other shops, local businesses will need to focus heavily on their Local SEO to ensure that they remain competitive—and are easily found by people using voice search on their cell phones.
To optimize for voice, ensure that your Google My Business profile is completely filled out and up to date. Then, take a good hard look at your on-site SEO to ensure there are no technical errors that could have a negative effect on your rankings. Finally, build high-quality citations to your website via Local SEO best practices. Over time, you should see an increase in traffic.
Length of Keywords
People tend to type in shorter sentences and words than they speak. As such, voice queries will be much longer than the current three to four keywords used by people searching from their desktop or laptop computers.
This means you’ll need to optimize your website for much longer long-tail keywords—anywhere from 10 to 25, on average. Be sure to optimize for queries that run the gamut of who, what, when, why, where, and how—as these are some of the first long-tail keywords that people tend to use.
People tend to use voice search when looking for products to buy. However, this most likely will only affect consumer products and regularly recurring purchases, such as toilet paper, dish soap, and countless other home goods.
If someone is looking to buy a product for their business, such as new computer equipment, there’s very little chance they’re going to ask Siri to “buy 20 new office computers.”
However, when people are in the research phase of the buying process, voice search can be very helpful. This is why eCommerce companies should create FAQs and informational guides as stand-alone web pages about their products. The search engines can pick up this information and offer it via voice search.
Schema markup and structured data can help provide valuable information about a web page to the search engines. In addition to appearing in the rich snippets (aka “Position #0) in the search results, the information they provide (and a brand mention) can be used for voice search results.
To check if your website’s structured data is correct (or if it even exists), head on over to the free Schema Markup Testing Tool provided by Google. Once there, enter the URL of your website, and in a few minutes, Google will provide the results and recommended actions to ensure your website has valid schema markup.
Local Search and Marketing Help in Dallas
While voice search currently is and will continue to impact search engine optimization, it’s not going to eliminate the need for optimizing your website for improved organic traffic. In fact, it will only increase the demand for high-quality websites with valuable content.
The Witmer Group has been helping businesses with their marketing for well over ten years. We offer a wide range of digital marketing solutions and can create a customized marketing strategy to help your business remain competitive.
Give us a call today at (214) 865-9484, or contact us via our website to learn more about the various marketing and data analytics services we offer our Dallas clients.