Okay so your business is going well, and according to your sales figures, (and quite possibly some SEO analysis), your website is well optimised and getting plenty of traffic. Customers are buying your products… Hurrayyy, you can relax a little, put your feet up and be pleased you are keeping up to date with technology and business practice in the 21st Century.
Or can you? Have you heard of Voice Search and do you use it? Are customers using it to find you? In this ever changing digital age, Voice Search is the fastest growing search type worldwide, and could put some serious pressure on to the Google search model for the first time since it’s launch in 1997. Want to find out more? Read on!
How Has SEO Evolved?
In the early days of SEO, marketing guru’s of the time would literally try anything to gain traffic from competitors. Using excessive tagging or billions of keywords, (well not quite billions, but you get my drift), in order to achieve higher ranking web sites was common practise, and content was not seen as valuable as it is in today’s more sophisticated and digitally advanced age.
Google however, decided to take some control of these unethical methods, and fortunately, saw the benefits to improving web site content. This made SEO much more of a level playing field and the upshot was that better quality, less spammy web sites could climb the rankings, improving information for customers and the relevancy of your search.
Good quality content became vital to the success of your website, and displaying knowledge on your service or products that met the requirements of google algorithms, quickly helped to rank the better sites. Another way of raising your kudos on the web was to achieve links to other, more established websites, all of which google has to some extent, been the controller of for the past two decades, and it is their intelligence that has shaped SEO.
What is Voice Search?
Fast Forward 20 years and probably the latest piece of technology everybody is talking about is Voice Search.
However, even though Google have always been at the forefront of the technological changes for searching for the web, including launching it’s very first Voice Search facility in 2002, it was Apple who introduced Siri back in 2011 for the iPhone 4S which lead to the latest mini revolution in SEO.
This clever App allowed fast moving people to search on their Smartphones and meant that you could truly search for stuff on the move, imagine the delight, talking in to your Smartphone to ask it for directions whilst on your Gap Year, or checking the latest Stock Market changes whilst hurrying down Wall Street in NYC!!
Google very quickly caught up however, and in 2012 introduced a new Google Search App for IOS; the operating system used for mobile devices and, manufactured by Apple.
In addition, Google had the advantage of being so far advanced in SEO, that the Google Voice Search App they created was given very positive reviews compared to Siri, due to it offering more in depth and relevant information for users who wanted very specific results.
Now, in 2018, when almost everybody has a mobile phone, and with Virtual Assistants such as Alexa from Amazon, and other voice recognition gadgets such as Alaska, or Dragon, it seems that every international bright young thing (Jesus Jones, have a listen!) sees voice recognition technology as the obvious way to search the web, start a phone call, play music, get directions, set an alarm, check the weather, access ingredients… the list simply goes on, and on.
How Does Voice Search Affect My Business?
SO, whilst you are sitting there, thinking sales are not doing too bad, you have optimised your website to the max, think again. Voice Search recognition IS the future of SEO and this is why.
Humans can speak up to 150 words per minute, yet can type only 40 words per minute. Basically, it is easier, and a more natural way to communicate when speaking rather than typing, especially if the object we are speaking to can understand us and speak back to us!
Search Engines such as Google have become even more revolutionary in the way they use content to rank websites.
To put this in to some sort of context, when people ask a question, they simply do not speak as they would type. For example, if you were looking for a restaurant in Manchester, you would probably type in to a Search Engine ‘Restaurants Manchester’, yet if you were speaking, you would ask in a more conversational tone, such as ‘hey Siri, where are the best restaurants in Manchester?’
So to keep up with this subtle, yet importantly differing request, and to maintain a high ranking website, content now has to have a conversational tone, and incorporate every day phrases that you would ask in a conversation.
Another reason it is important to understand Voice Search SEO is because as we have already said, everybody, and I mean everybody has a smartphone and wants to search for things on the move. So, make sure your website is optimised for mobiles.
And don’t forget, it is really important to ensure your location settings are up to date, as these play a crucial role in Voice Search SEO. People will always ask ‘where is a great restaurant near me?’
Speaking of questions, why not have a FAQ page? (Frequently Asked Questions).
In today’s modern society, there are four key moments that we all connect to at some part of our journey as a consumer. These are known as micro-moments and involve four key questions.
“I want to know…”
“I want to do…”
“I want to buy…”
“I want to go…”
Imagine those questions as something your customer could be saying in to their mobiles when searching for your products or services and you get the picture.
If these questions feature on your website, the algorithms will pick this up, hence ranking your website as knowledgeable and authoritative and pushing it up the listings.
The upshot of these latest SEO advances is that Voice Search is here to stay. It’s a more personable way to search the web, and its a FASTER way to search, which in a 24/7 global arena, is what people want.
To make sure your website is optimised for people on the move and who want to use Voice Search, then don’t hesitate to contact us here. We offer SEO training and we can develop your website to meet the requirements of SEO in 2018 and beyond.