Be Heard: Optimize Your SEO for Voice Search

January 11, 2018 Digital Media Solutions

Consumers have been heard loud and clear, and the future of search is vocal. If you haven’t already started tailoring your SEO strategies for voice search, now is the time to start. According to Google, 20% of all Google searches were conducted by voice in 2016. Some industry experts predict voice search could make up 50% of all queries by 2020. With the rise in popularity and quantity of search bots (like Alexa and Cortana) in the marketplace, marketers should explore new approaches for keyword optimization that shift toward long-tail keywords and enhancing web pages for instant answers. 

Finish Your Sentence

Natural phrases often do not resemble the short-tail keywords most marketers have used for search optimization. In short, your audience probably does not type the way they speak. To achieve a potential SEO boost, consider revising your SEO strategy around more conversational keywords. Detailed phrases and sentences that more thoroughly describe your products and services are likely to cater to spoken search. Does your site provide in-depth product description or simple product price comparison? Curt, single-word keywords may not be the best way to connect with your audience. 

The Future is Our Children & Our Children Are Vocal 

Users of voice search seem to have embraced the ease of Q&A in a “cool” format; typing is so yesterday. According to a research report by BI Intelligence, 46% of consumers age 14-34 regularly use voice search for their online queries.

This age demographic appears to have more awareness and access to artificial intelligence compared to their older counterparts. Now, imagine a four-year-old who cannot yet write asking Google a question. This child is learning the convenience of voice search at an early age and could ultimately use voice search as her only query format for years to come. To that point, it’s possible the largest segment of voice search users has not yet even entered the marketplace. 

We Hear You: Go Mobile 

As of March 2017, 80% of websites recommended most often by Alexa were mobile adaptive, according to Mobiforge. During Google’s I/O (an annual developer conference) in May 2017, it was announced that 20% of Google mobile searches were made via voice, with anticipation of growth. And if you need one more reason to add mobile optimization to your content and design, 48% of consumers start research with a search engine via a mobile device according to Smart Insights. 

Instant Answers Drive the Search Conversation

Voice search often results in an “instant answer” via search engines like Google. Remember, even in written form, this is a great position on a results page because it ranks above the number one listing (including ads). Onsite content structure should be optimized toward format engines that will leverage for their instant answers. One approach is to employ long lists (9 steps or more) or bullets within your website so Google can truncate your list and give the searcher a preview. This encourages a user to click through to the site. In addition, marketers can help Google better understand the importance of their content by utilizing header formatting (H1, H2, etc.). 

The Evolution of Understanding Your Customers

Adapting to voice search is not a shift away from traditional typed queries. It is the evolution toward a more holistic approach to serving the needs of your prospective customers. Anticipating the wants and needs of target audiences will be paramount to provide them with answers faster than your competition, no matter the format. 

The SEO experts at DMS recommend the prioritization of keyword targeting. Calculate your click-through opportunity and the keyword value, then determine which keywords should be the focus for content generation and other voice-search optimization techniques. 

Want a free SEO audit?

Contact our team and find your win. 





About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: DMS) is a leading provider of technology and digital performance marketing solutions leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers. DMS proprietary technology solutions, significant proprietary media distribution and data-driven processes help large brands steadily acquire more customers. For more information visit https://digitalmediasolutions.com.

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