Voice Search and SEO
Voice search is growing by leaps and bounds – and for good reason. Voice search is fast, easy and hands free. As more and more people are searching on the go, they are using voice search rather than typing in a search term on a tiny screen. Already, 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search on a daily basis. And the technology continues to improve at a rapid rate. Just a couple years ago, the word error rate was 20%, and now speech recognition word error rate is below 5% in some cases!
And whether they’re using Siri, Google voice search, Amazon Echo, Alexa or some other app or device, when people use voice search, they search in a different way than they do when searching on the desktop or laptop. For example, a desktop user might type in “ac repair” and Google will show them results for auto repair shops and HVAC places near them. (Pretty much everyone allows Google to know their location).
But with voice search, people are more likely to use natural voice patterns and phrase their search in the form of a question or a command, such as “find car ac repair places near me”. Or “why is my ac not working?” You get the idea.
How does voice search fit into your SEO strategy? First of all, you may want to consider revamping your content to answer some questions in Q and A form. Start each question with Who, How, What, Where, Why and answer them in a conversational tone. A FAQs page is wonderful for this, and so is a blog. This ties in directly with having informative, useful content on your website. Hopefully, your content already has a conversational tone to it, but if it’s stiff and formal, get a rewrite, pronto!
Long tail keywords
Another thing to consider with voice search and SEO is changing up your keywords. If you have a good SEO company, they’ve already been doing some of this. For example, instead of the generic phrase “plumber” you might want to use “emergency plumber near me” These longer phrases are called long tail keywords.
Mobile-friendly is key
Of course, you need to have a mobile-friendly site to come up high in the search results on a mobile device. Is your website mobile-friendly? An easy way to check is to call it up on your smartphone. Is it easy to see and navigate, or do you have to pinch and swipe to see everything? If you have to pinch and swipe, you need to update to a responsive web design ASAP. Studies show most mobile users will immediately back out of a non- mobile-friendly site and go back to the search results to find a website that’s easier to navigate.
To get an even better idea, take Google’s mobile-friendly test. It will let you know if your web page will rank in mobile search (hint: it won’t unless you pass the test). It will give you detailed results about any issues, which you can get to work on fixing. You should also sure all of your pages are crawlable, avoid Flash since it isn’t supported by most mobile browsers, and speed up your page load time by compressing images. Slow load time is another reason mobile users (and desktop users) will back out of your site and go back to the SERPs. And slow load time means more than 2 or 3 seconds!
Bottom line is that voice search is gaining ground every day. As a smart business owner, that means you need to seriously incorporate voice search strategies into your SEO strategy. That means doubling down on quality content, written in a conversational tone.
If you’re ready to invest in your business, call Coastal Web Services at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form to schedule a free SEO analysis of your website. Find out why our clients say we’re the best Maryland search engine optimization providers.
While we’re based in Maryland, we also provide SEO consulting services in Mobile AL and surrounding areas, Washington DC, Delaware, Virginia and southern Pennsylvania.