What is Voice Search SEO and how can you optimise it?

A whole new SEO…

We’ve all been there, asking our phones, ‘What will the weather be like today?’ or ‘Remind me to finish my uni essay’, but just how much more are we using voice search in our everyday lives? Apparently, a lot! According to Google, the ratio of voice search is growing significantly more than typed searches. As sceptical as we were when digital assistants such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google assist became a thing, we’ve grown to love them and not only can we ask them questions about where is the best place to get a blow-dry, they can help us out with day-to-day tasks such as setting alarms and reminders. Their skill set is only going to expand. In June 2015 Siri handled more than one billion requests per week all conducted through speech. Whether you’re a small local business or a global success, voice searches have become a huge social trend. There is a whole new world of searching today that doesn’t always start with words being typed into a search engine. So just what does this mean for SEO?

How changing keywords can keep you up to date…

Keyword research is an extremely valuable and high return activity in the search marketing field, rather than considering keywords that people will type into a search engine, you need to consider what people would say. Keywords need to be the conversational phrases that your customers would say when asking a question. You almost need to mimic how people speak to be able to come up with keywords that will send potential customers your way. Anticipating our users wants and needs will be paramount to ensure that we answer their questions

Another way in which you can think of new keywords is to consider the questions that customers frequently ask you when calling up to ask about your business. What better way to create new keywords than by looking back at what customers have said in the past to see how their mind works and what words they say/ ask their devices. Answer boxes are a SERP feature typically displayed above all organic results that directly answers a search query. Many people are unaware that home assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo pull these results for answers to queries, by knowing what is commonly asked and doing a little research around queries that relate back to that is a clever way of optimising new and existing content.


Location, Location, location.

Location plays a role in 80% of all searches and voice searches happen to be more location focused than typed search queries. There are ways in which you can put your business on the map so to speak and ensure that it is up there at the top when people are using voice searches. This emphasises the importance of local SEO and here are some ways in which local businesses can thrive with SEO…

Ensure that if you’re not already, you register with Google my Business, this will allow you to check that all your details are up to date for example the category of business you’re in, your address, business hours, phone number etc. As well as checking your information why not add a unique description of your business and upload a minimum of 5 photos. The number of reviews is critical for ranking in Google’s local pack, why not encourage your customers to leave reviews, not only will it help with your SEO but it gives customers a chance to hear other people’s opinions. When a modern internet user is making a snap decision on where to have dinner, 5 stars certainly looks more appealing than 2. A tip with reviews is to always make sure that you respond to any negative reviews, of course in an ideal world there would be no negative reviews but there’s just no pleasing some people!

How this can help Local SEO…

More and more searches, especially ones on mobile devices are looking for local businesses, local SEO can help your business stand out in the SERPs, for those that don’t know SERP means, Search engine results page, which is the page displayed by a search engine in response to a query by a searcher. A huge 22% of smart phone users consult their phone whilst in a store, this can work to your advantage.

Just when you thought mobile couldn’t get any bigger!

Imagine your customers using a mobile phone to access your website and the page not working because it’s not mobile friendly, now that is a terrifying thought! Over half of search queries globally come from mobile, some marketers think that mobile should come before desktop. Evidently desktop will always be important but it’s vital that your sites are able to be accessed by mobile devices. An easy way to do this is to take Google’s mobile friendly test, this test pretty much does what it says on the tin, if your website does not pass the test it will not rank in mobile search at all.

Another tip is to ensure you are keeping your resources crawlable; make sure that it does not block JavaScript, images, videos etc. One to avoid is Flash, it is not supported by most mobile and browsers, to make sure that Google and mobile users can access all the content on your site it’s best to avoid flash altogether! 40% of mobile searchers will only wait no longer than 3 seconds before abandoning a site, to avoid this, try to optimise lead time, compressing images is one of the simplest methods to improve.

Some final thoughts…

Social media: Not only is SEO being affected by voice search, social media is also. Quick tip, consider all common queries and incorporate them into content, from this you can expect to see more engagement and traffic when pushing it through your social media channels.

Content is key: Rethink your content, ensure that it aligns with your keywords, this allows the robots to link it all together. After all the effort put into changing keywords it would be pointless if they didn’t match the content you display!

What about your business?

Looking for any help and support regarding marketing techniques or SEO? At boxChilli we specialise this and offer an extensive range of services including digital marketing, SEO services, social media and Google services. We’d love to work with you and create a personalised plan tailored to your business on how you can generate more business.

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