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Wednesday, 08 November 2017 03:00

Voice Search Means Changes For SEO

Voice-activated technology has become a staple in our cell phones, our laptops, and our vehicles. It is changing the way we set our alarms, make phone calls and find information. From Siri on the iPhone to Alexa for Amazon, voice-activated “assistants” are a new way that consumers are getting things done. The new capabilities of voice search are changing consumer behaviors and it's forcing SEO marketers to change their tactics as well.

How Voice Search Changes SEO

A study done by Thrive Analytics shows that even the boomer generation is onboard with voice-activated tools, a consumer category that other technological advancements have failed to penetrate. It makes sense - the quick press of a button to search for something, just as you would ask a friend, is easy.

As the technology has evolved, making voice commands more and more accurate, we have also seen the search queries evolve. Rather than fragmented thoughts that are common when typed into a search-engine, people are using complete phrases that are more natural to human language.

Google’s Director of Conversational Search, Behshad Behzadi, says that the future of search is to be able to provide the ultimate digital assistant that can help people in their day-to-day lives. In the age of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, this is one more step towards technology’s seamless integration into human life.

Voice Search As An SEO Marketer

Early research based on Cortana and Windows 10 shows that, initially, shorter search queries offered better results for both text and voice searches. However, younger generations show long-tail, highly-specific search queries via voice search that parallel their natural speech patterns.

This leads researchers to believe that marketers will have to evolve in order to optimize their content for text queries and for voice searches. The long-tail keywords that often get ruled out when determining the high volume keywords are becoming important again.

In addition to complete sentences, questions are also being factored back into the equation. When typing in computer language, we avoid question marks or even questioning phrases, however, asking questions is more natural to a voice searcher.

Stronger Intent, More Specific Results

As noted with younger consumers using more specific search queries, the intention of all voice searchers are more direct than that of text searchers. The question phrases that are used provide a distinction in what kind of search a user is trying to execute. The fragmented thought of “tennis shoes” that may be used in a text query will include more direction in a voice search, dictating whether the searcher wanted new shoes, to sell shoes, to have their tennis shoes repaired, or something else entirely.

Local Matters

As voice searching becomes more common, the local optimization becomes more important than ever. Voice search is 3 times more likely to require a local result than a text search. Not only that, but voice search is also more likely to result in an immediate decision. Maximizing your local optimization will help drive you to the top of the voice search results pages.

Technology will continue to evolve and it will become more common to interact with various inanimate objects verbally, so we as marketers have to adapt. We are no longer optimizing our digital assets for text search only. We must consider how consumers are finding us, and change our strategies to meet those efforts.


If you're ready to optimize your online presence, contact us today.

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