SEO Best Practices in 2018 – Part 4 – The Rise of Voice Search and Long-Tail Searches – Voice searches are an integral focus for SEO.
SEO Best Practices in 2018 – Part 4
- In Part 1 we looked at how website performance plays an even bigger part in SEO in 2018.
- In Part 2 we listed many simple On Page SEO Tips.
- In Part 3 we took a look at how Structured Data can alter your Google Foot Print.
- Now in Part 4, we explore the growing trend of voice search.
Over 50% of Google searches are on a smartphone, so it makes sense that voice search technology presents a big opportunity for changing the way we communicate and process information. The rise of voice search and digital assistants has presented a growing market that can change the way search queries are performed. According to Google in mid 2017, 1 out of 5 searches already come from voice queries.
- 40% of adults perform at least one voice search every day
- 55% of teenagers perform a least one voice search a day
- Voice searches performed in Google are up 35X since 2008
- 20% of all searches on mobile are voice searches
There is no doubt that this changes the search market and we’re expecting to see an even bigger shift towards voice search in 2018. When it comes to setting up an SEO strategy, the rise of voice search brings out the need to focus on more long-tail search keywords and a natural language that matches the user’s conversational tone.
While it seemed surprising to many when mobile searches overtook desktop searches, and the next big shift is upon us already. Over 55% of teens and 40% of adults use voice search every single day. Voice searches now make up 20% of all searches on mobile devices.
SEO Best Practices in 2018 – Part 4 – Voice Searches and SEO
When you’re planning your online content strategy for 2018, think about how people use voice search versus a typed search. When you ask your phone something out loud, you probably don’t use “keywords” you have been using on your company website as well as your content marketing efforts. Instead, you ask a question or state a command in a full sentence. So, instead of typing “Charlotte weather” you’d say something like “What’s the weather forecast in Charlotte today?”
For businesses, that means you should shift away from focusing only on 1-3 word keywords only and introduce more Long-Tail Keywords. Your SEO efforts should begin to think in terms of conversational phrases and statements as well as keywords. Aim to create content that’s based around the kind of questions you expect your customers will ask using voice search. Additionally, you’ll also need to optimize your content to show up in one of the rich snippets in Google that we talked about in SEO Best Practices for 2018 – Part 3.
Remember the Featured Snippets we spoke about in the last segment? Google voice search (especially Google Home) tends to read you the text inside of the Featured Snippet.
SEO Best Practices in 2018 – Part 4 – Voice Search and Long-Tail
As accuracy improves in smartphones and digital assistants, there will be more people using voice search from their mobile devices, seeking quick and relevant answers to searches. It becomes important to research the voice user intent because that will provide more accurate results, helping the algorithms Google uses to provide the best answer, which may lead to your website (provided you are actively marketing it)..
Moreover, voice search is expected to grow even more with its integration in smart home hubs, helping companies access new data, while users enjoy a seamless experience through their everyday devices. As digital assistants begin to move beyond smartphones, there is a great opportunity both for SEO and content, taking advantage of a growing market that connects your small business with a user in a unique, relevant and useful way.
And that means more Long-Tail Keywords.
Start brainstorming what kind of natural language spoken questions might bring people to your website.
This is a different kind of long-tail — it’s less about keyword variations and more about speech.
Long-Tail Keyword have been around for awhile, but now factor in when positioning your SEO efforts in 2018. Traditionally, it’s long been understood that long-tail keyword searches are more active buyers and are much more likely to purchase.
Consider a friend that recently moved into a much bigger home. They needed to purchase a new sofa. Now “sofa” is a keyword (actually a “head” keyword). It’s very unlikely a search for the term “sofa” is going to produce both a click and a sale. However, when his wife searched for “Cherry Wood Veneer Black Sofa in Charlotte” (an obvious long-tail) you can bet the farm that search is very close to a sale.
That is a perfect example of a perfect long-tail. A specific item in a specific locality. It could just as easily be a particular service in a definitive area. Think “LED sign service in North Chicago”.
SEO Best Practices in 2018 – Part 4 – Voice, SEO and Content Marketing
Now as a small business, you simply can’t have somebody put up a website that address one, maybe two long-tail keywords. But you can hit as many long tails as your heart desires through effective Content Marketing right on your domain, adding authority to your website (it’s what we do here every day for years for a wide variety of clients).
As voice search gets more popular, it’s growing more important to use conversational, long-tail keywords to boost your SEO. These tend to be longer and involve very specific keyword phrases that are used by people closer to the point of purchasing something. Because of this, you should have keywords that describe your product features and benefits as detailed as possible and involve proper long-tail phrases or even complete sentences.
SEO Best Practices in 2018 – Part 4 – Voice, Long-Tail, SEO and Content Marketing
There is no doubt that the popularity of voice search is growing every day. It’s often easier and more convenient than typing out searches, and younger generation (and even some older folks) are attracted to its “cool factor.” Because of this, it’s important that business owners need to pay attention to how this may affect their SEO efforts in 2018 and beyond.
By researching the effects of voice search on search engine results, you can stay ahead of the competition in getting users to your web content.
What is useful to understand is that SEO is already always changing, because Google is always changing. And as search engines evolve, there are multiple opportunities to increase search traffic to your website.
The rise of rich snippets, rich cards, featured snippets, voice search and even local SEO can often yield better results than “an organic ranking for a keyword”. That’s why it’s useful to keep up with the latest trends and discover how your brand can maintain a successful SEO strategy for the year ahead by blending both established and growing trends.