When we were first introduced to virtual assistants like iPhone’s Siri, we had fun with it. We asked silly questions like “Siri, will I win the lottery?” just to see what humorous comeback we’d receive. Most of us treated it as a novelty.
Siri along with Windows 10’s Cortana and Google Now haven’t, however, drifted off into obscurity. Virtual assistants are thriving. In 2014, more than half of teens and 41% of adults in the United States used voice search daily according to a Google study organized by Northstar Research. With those rates showing steady increase according to Google and other SEO experts since then, voice search will become an important element of SEO success moving into the future.
Ways to Include Voice Search in Your SEO StrategiesTune up your mobile efforts – With nearly all voice search queries being executed on smartphones, it’s incredibly important that your website be mobile-friendly. Website owners should first ensure that their site is optimized for mobile using:
- The keyword difference – When people use voice search, they tend to do so with a question instead of the choppy keywords and keyword phrases used in traditional keyboard searches. Be proactive and research voice queries and incorporate them into your SEO marketing efforts. One great way to research is using voice search queries yourself.
Re-thinking content – Since voice search queries are more conversational, with an understanding of this and research, you can tailor your website’s content to match your customers' conversational style. You could also take some of the questions used in voice search queries pertaining to your site, for example, and create a FAQ section to incorporate them, along with the answers your customers are seeking, into your content.
Location is important – With nearly 80 percent of all searches involving location, and an even higher rate among voice searches, it will be critical to make sure your website is properly configured for local search. You’ll especially want to focus on your Google My Business Page, photos, and reviews. Keep a positive mindset about the changes voice search brings - Virtual assistants can do far more than basic searches and their skills will continue to develop over time. While having to make changes to your SEO strategies to accommodate this may seem like an annoyance now, keep in mind that voice search opens a new arena for SEO – one that may present you with the opportunity to grow your business and stand out among your competition.