Voice search

How Voice Search Is Changing How People Do SEO

People love to put terms on what will be coming down the line with the new year. In the early days of 2017, we welcomed the year of the fire rooster, sustainable tourism, and voice search.

Wait, what?

Yep, Forbes Magazine named 2017 the year of search-engine speaking, setting off a course of marketing and business management a couple of years in the making. You are probably already participating in some aspect of this type of search at least minimally already.

Read on to find out how the particular way of searching is changing how people do SEO and rise to the top of the ranks.

Putting Your SEO Plans to Work

It’s pretty hard to avoid hearing about SEO these days.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the best ways to get your site to the top of Google’s search results page, and who doesn’t want to rise to the top?

But SEO isn’t just stuffing some keywords throughout the existing text of your site. Don’t ever do that! It was once called keyword stuffing, but we’ve also heard the term “keyword density” and it can get your site banished, not promoted.

Instead, you will benefit by creating an entire strategy around SEO, including:

  • Performing a site audit to check your analytics, traffic, and penalties.
  • Research your keywords deeply.
  • Optimize older blog posts but…
  • Do not over-optimize anchor text.
  • Make your voice heard with strong and robust social media profiles and pages.
  • Get Google local page(s).

Are you still there?

It may sound like there is so much to think about, plan, and do that it’s easier to just rely on some really poor, out-of-date practices.

The internet used to be much more accepting of black hat techniques, where website builders and marketers used just incredibly poor choices to grab attention. These unsavory ways include bait and switch, freezing pages to not let you out, secretly placing tracking cookies and spiders on your system, squatting on web addresses, and more.

Thankfully, light has eclipsed dark and white hat practices – which includes voice search, hooray! – have helped to erase many of those unsavory techniques.

It’s really true.

You can have incredible website success without taking advantage of anyone.

Make Your Voice Heard

Searching by typing terms into an online search field is so 2016!

Search Engine Journal called voice search “the fastest growing type of search,” with 41% of adults using it every day!

Think about it.

We’re already conditioned to talk into our devices, “OK Google” and “OK Siri.” These types of talking tablets and phones are called conversational search assistants.

You may have even gotten a remote you can talk into to select your favorite television show.

Comcast/Xfinity, a major television, phone, and internet conglomerate, has offered its voice-controlled TV remote to its X1 platform users.

Users press the small microphone button and can search for shows, record shows, and actually ask the television for recommendations on what to watch based off of previous showings and preferences they’ve already set.

The remote even recognizes familiar phrases. Tell your remote to “Show me the money” and you’ll be watching “Jerry Maguire” in no time.

This is how voice search on the internet works, too.

You can speak “Show me the money” into a search engine and see clips from “Jerry Maguire,” read the actors’ biographies, view picture stills, look up other quotes, and more.

Of course, you can also get fancy. Say “Show me the money pictures” and instead of Tom Cruise, you can look at clip art and photographs of dollar bills!

More Voice Search for the Win

It may make you cringe to think about more and more people shifting into shouting search terms into their phones as they break the silence of your favorite quiet coffee shop or library.

Think of it, though, this way (and let’s hope for common courtesy winning the day!).

Voice search relieves the hideous possibility of falling into the fat-finger trap.

Why do phones and their on-screen keyboards keep getting smaller and smaller if our hands are just getting bigger and bigger?

Arthritic hands, hands with a bit more heft to them, super long nails all contribute to potential typing errors.

And when you really, really need to search for something quickly, such as directions while you’re on the road (pulled over, of course, as you always drive hands-free, right?), being able to search by speaking is going to help a lot.

Plus, voice search eliminates some of the fluff we’ve gotten used to typing when we do our searches. You can target what you want to say as well as what you want to get back.

Survive Mobilegeddon

Yes, it’s mostly just a very finely-honed marketing term to get peoples’ nerves frayed so they take some action.

But “Mobilegeddon” really is a thing, and it’s something speak-searching and SEO can help you survive.

In the past, website owners had to battle Penguins and Pandas to outlast, outwit, and outrank Google’s search updates.

With Mobilegeddon, websites that are not optimized and ones that do not have strong support for mobile-favoring features (such as – you guessed it – voice search) get penalized.

They may be pushed down in the results or even labeled/punished by Google.

You do not want to be put in Google jail.

Voice Search and Rescue

You know how sometimes you talk into your phone to send a text, click send, and then realize what your phone thought you said – and sent to your recipient – was not at all what you really said?

There are whole websites devoted to the idea of speech to text fail. No device is going to ever get things absolutely perfectly with the millions of different accents, dialects, and shortcuts people use when they talk.

But vocalized searching already has plans in effect to combat those prospective issues.

For example, homonyms are going to be problematic for a while.

Let’s say you want your voice search engine to bring up ways to help you “grin and bear it,” a little bit of self-motivation.

Until the search engine can record some “cookies” and get to know your preferences, you’re going to possibly get pages of results on “how to grin and bare it,” which may have results you do not want to open at work or in public!

Big Benefits

Implementing voice search on your website or looking to use it for your own search purposes has many benefits, including:

  • The ability to keep things in context. If your location geotag is on and you ask to search for a Starbucks, your results should bring up the closest one without you having to ask it to.
  • The search will be able to sync with your current context. If you’re browsing something on the web such as Maine Coon cats, you could ask “Show me breeders” and get breeders of Maine Coon cats without having to do multiple specifications of “cat breeders,” “fluffy high fur cat breeders,” and “breeders of Maine Coons.”

The Teen Trend

It can sometimes feel like a stereotype that teenagers jump on all the tech bandwagons before anyone else, but with voice search, the stats are in.

Remember that statistic from Search Engine Land about the 41% of adults who already use it?

The kids are alright.

The 18 and under age group are up to 55% use of voice search at least once a day.

Teens who have their phones on at least 11 hours a day (seriously?) are in the 75% use bracket.

And the kids are much less likely to care about talking into their phones in public. They’re asking their phones:

  • To call a friend
  • To check listings for movies and television shows
  • To turn on a favorite song
  • To look up homework answers and help
  • To take turns playing games

Is Big Brother Watching?

Does it make you feel like voice search is something that gets a little too close to home?

Don’t think of it that way.

Much like the personal vocal assistants like Siri and Cortana, when you talk to a vocal search engine, you’re not really giving away anything more than you would if you typed into that search engine.

Voice Hassled? Ask the HOTH

Ready to give voice search a try but not quite sure how it meshes with the SEO you already know, love, and use?

Let us help!

We are experts in all things SEO, and that includes how speech-to-search-engine can really amplify all those optimization efforts.

Start by getting in touch with us here. And guess what?

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