In recent times we have seen huge developments in voice activation technology, with the explosion of AI and chatbots and the exponential growth in the use of Siri, Alexa and other similar tools. This has a knock-on effect in how people search for information online, after years of perfecting the art of conducting succinct searches to find the exact they want as quickly as possible. Understanding the impact this has on your SEO is crucial in ensuring your business isn’t left behind and stays high in the page rankings.
WHAT MAKES VOICE SEARCHING DIFFERENT?
Whereas traditional typed searches involve short, precise sentences, voice searching is often much more natural and conversational. In the same way that chatbots have a harder job with natural language processing to try to decipher correctly what a free-typing user wants, it’s more difficult to tailor your website to an SEO strategy when you can’t predict the exact sentences a searcher will use, especially as they’ll likely be much longer.
Rather than “window washer Brighton”, you might get something along the lines of “can you find me a window washer in Brighton?” Another thing to note is that often voice searches will be more localised and conducted through mobile devices. Local businesses therefore have a great opportunity to boost their reach with a well-crafted SEO approach aimed at catching these potential customers.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY BUSINESS’ SEO?
We have a couple of tips that can help you prepare your website or app for this continued growth in voice searching:
1) Make sure you get your Google My Business listing
It’s really important to have your Google My Business listing claimed and up-to-date, because, as we alluded to above, a lot of voice searches (more than one in five) are local, as people use the convenience of voice activation to search for quick business solutions. Give yourself the best chance of getting found in results about your location or business category.
2) Craft Conversation-friendly keywords
SEO keywords have evolved in the sphere of voice searching and activation into something called ‘longtail+’ where the ‘+’ relates to those groups of words or phrases that characterise these more ‘conversational’ voice searches. Basically, you need to think how actual people speak and even try to collect data on this, especially over the phone when you take business enquiries.
If your customer calls you up with a question along the lines of “I’m looking for a window washer to wash my windows while I’m at work” then note this down and try to incorporate the more colloquial phrases (normally missing from traditional searches) into your page content, e.g. “I’m looking for a window washer”. The more data you can collect and factor into your website and app, the better!