Welcome to 2019! Smart marketers are focusing on the future, and nothing is more pressing than Voice Search. Mobile assistants like Siri and Cortana and smartphones and tablets have come a long way in recognizing human speech But the next big wave is smart speakers, which according to Forbes, “spiked in sales in 2017 and drove the voice search trend even further into the mainstream.”
Some sources like ComScore estimate that by 2020, more than half of all searches will be done by voice search. You may have noticed more and more people jumping on the bandwagon. With Amazon Alexa, Google and echo dots making great Christmas gifts – it’s easier than ever.
But today’s digital assistants are doing far more than understanding voice input, they are now being programed to understand user intent and behaviors through available data gathered across platforms and the Internet of Things, and are no longer solely tethered to mobile devices and applications.
Using voice search and digital personal assistants is becoming almost necessary – as they are integrated into products we use every day. For example, it’s common to use voice search in your car with most auto makers integrating the technology into new vehicles. You can send a text message while driving, or add an appointment to calendar calendar. Even at home you can speak to your Xbox to navigate between my favorite TV channel and Netflix, and then during the movie, ask Echo to add items to your Amazon shopping cart. We have dove head first into the future!
With voice search and the adoption of personal assistants coming on strong, the real question for marketers is: how can you take advantage of this rise in voice search volume for your own campaigns?
LONG TAIL KEYWORDS
Using more long-tail keywords should be the first line of attack in your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. That means using longer phrases, with several words, usually in a conversational sentence structure. These are not the same as “head” keywords, which are shorter, with usually 1-2 words, and target a broad topic or category.
For example, a head keyword might be something like “oil change” while a long-tail keyword might be something like “where can I get a cheap oil change near me?” And since the majority of voice searches tend to be conversational; optimizing for long-tail like this increases the likelihood that you’ll appear in voice searches.
You will need to create articles that contain the conversational long-tail keyword phrases, instead of just using the head keywords. It’s best if you know what people are already searching for and then use those words in different phrase variations. We have used Moz’s Keyword Explorer tool to identify banks of high-volume keyword phrases. We then use those phrases to write up a variety of questions. This is the type of content that will have you showing up for more voice searches.
WRITE THE WAY HUMANS NATURALLY SPEAK
Write in a more natural, conversational voice. Avoid trying to stuff as many keywords into your content as possible and just write like you would speak. Without even trying, you’ll be optimizing for keyword phrases that your readers will likely be voicing.
USE FAQs TO WRITE NATURALLY
A great tip is to create a section of your site for frequently asked questions (FAQs), or developing a full-scale knowledge base. These information based sections tend to address many common user questions, which naturally positions you for future user searches.
LEARN WHY YOUR USERS SEARCH
Do you know the types of queries your audience is making? and why they’re making them? Understanding search intent is vital now that queries are becoming more common and more specific.
The user is only looking for information. Very common, but don’t often lead to a transaction.
Where a user is looking for a specific product or destination on the site.
This is a very important one because the user is ready to buy a product or engage with you.
LOCAL SEO PRIORITIZATION
Voice searches aren’t inherently more likely to be local searches, but a significant percentage of local searches are done with voice; Why? because when people are on-the-go, or looking for fast answers, they’re often seeking an immediate fix for something, such as a restaurant recommendation or a nearby store. You can boost your chances of getting featured here by following basic tenets of local SEO.
Use Local Keywords
Try to incorporate more local keyword queries, such as using your city, state, or region. This could add a boost to your searchability.
User Reviews and Ratings Matter.
Be sure you are listed in multiple third-party apps and local directories, especially those in your category. The more reviews you get, and the better those reviews are, the higher you’re going to rank in local results. Be sure to also optimize your presence within those third-party apps; users may search through these as they would straightforward SERPs.
Don’t Forget Traditional SEO Tactics
You’ll also need to make sure you have plenty of ammunition from a traditional SEO campaign and have good optimization with plenty of high quality inbound links to support your content and boost your authority. This is key to ranking in local searches.
Voice search is disrupting the marketing world in huge ways right now, and the good news is that can mean significant opportunities for those that jump on quickly. Beat your competitors to the punch and start now!
If you are looking for a VOICE SEARCH STRATEGY for your company, give AM Strategies a call and let’s discuss the future!