Marketing   |   August 31, 2017

Voice Search; What is it Doing to SEO?

A 2 minute read by Erin Hill, Search Marketing Specialist

Have you talked to Siri, Alexa, or Cortana lately? You probably have, and you wouldn’t be alone. According to Google, more than half of teens and 41% of adults are using voice search daily. For users, voice search is basically the best thing since sliced bread and now marketers are racing to optimize their content for it.

Why is voice search hailed as the next big opportunity? Let’s break down what voice search is, how it’s impacting search, and some quick tips on how to optimize for these new types of queries.

What is Voice Search?

People tend to use voice search when they are multi-tasking, like asking for directions, dictating texts, and getting quick information. And because voice search is a drastic new medium to perform searches, the types of queries and ways in which people are searching are changing immensely.

What’s Its Impact?

Voice search is making long tail, colloquial keywords more relevant. People are now having conversations with their devices, whether it’s a smartphone or voice assistant, so preparing for longer, more descriptive terms is imperative. Also, searchers are using more interrogative words within their searches. Imagine you’re driving around town, jamming to your favorite song and realize that your gas light just turned on - chances are you might quickly ask Siri, “where’s the closest gas station?,” and voila! In a couple of minutes your tank is full, you’re back on the road downing a Coke and pretending to be Britney Spears.

How Do I Optimize For It?

Okay, so I’ve sold you on voice search being important and how it works, but now what? An easy way to begin optimizing your site’s pages is making sure you’re tracking voice terms, which include long tail keywords and searches with question terms attached - like who, what, where, when and so on. Once you have a benchmark, you’ll be able to track your improvements.

Next, create or update an existing FAQ page predicting relevant voice searches. This page can include questions like, “how much is shipping” or “how does it work,” so when people are searching questions that might relate to your business, you have a page ready for them to land on.

And lastly, make sure your site passes the mobile-friendliness test. People using voice search want quick answers to their pressing questions, so if your landing page doesn’t load fast enough, your user might bounce right off your site and get answers from elsewhere.