Voice: The future of search

Posted on August 2, 2019

SEO helps organizations reach the right customers and clients in a rapidly changing market. Relying on the wrong keywords can cost a company hundreds or even thousands of dollars in lost sales. Further, the algorithms used to generate search results change repeatedly, as do customers’ wants and needs. And If you aren’t using SEO in your digital marketing strategy, you’ve fallen behind. How will you get ahead of your competitors?

Start by thinking practically. Doing simple keyword research is better than doing none at all. Map your user journeys and determine the quickest routes to conversion. Increasingly, those routes involve voice search. Talking to a virtual assistant instead of typing out search queries can save time and aggravation, especially if your customers don’t want to be tethered to laptops or even desktops. Voice search can be the ideal solution for clients who are on the go.

What is voice search?

Voice search is built on the principle of the automated phone tree—but without the frustration. Instead of being offered a limited number of menu selections that might or might not help them reach a human, site visitors who perform a voice search have the entirety of the Web at their disposal. Small wonder that tools like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Siri, and Microsoft Cortana are growing in popularity.

How to incorporate voice search in your digital marketing strategy

Voice searches yield their best results when answering questions that sound like they’re coming from a human rather than a machine. For example, if Atlanta-based customers use Google Assistant to perform a voice search for graphic designers in the metro area, they might ask, “Who are the top graphic designers in Atlanta?” or “Find a graphic designer near me.” They probably won’t say, “Graphic designers metro Atlanta.” Use data analytics to determine the most popular questions asked, and structure your use of keywords accordingly. Also include long-tail keywords that are specific to your business and the audience you want to reach. Graphic designers might work with everything from print materials to websites to commercial signage, and it’s a good idea to be specific when you’re analyzing search trends. Researching long-tail keywords has the added advantage of making your FAQ and product/service copy easier to write.

From an IT standpoint, make sure that voice search tools are enabled and responsive on all devices. Results should load quickly, which means providing images and videos that won’t increase browser load times. Also, if you can, tweak your voice search applications to account for regional accents and personal quirks (think “Atlanna” versus “Atlanta” or “to-MAY-to” versus “to-MAH-to”).

In a landscape where SEO is constantly evolving, the same keyword may have a different level of relevance and usefulness when it’s spoken rather than typed. To learn more about optimizing your website for voice search, please contact us.





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