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How To Adapt Your Content & SEO Strategy For Voice Search

SEO for voice search

2 years ago

By Jen Fitzpatrick

You’ve spent significant time and resources designing your content marketing strategy to help increase your search engine ranking and improve your brand’s visibility across a wide range of platforms. You’ve built up your content library and ensured a wide range of keywords were included in evergreen and topical pieces, and your well-crafted system is delivering you positive page ranks.

Ready to take on something new? Enter, voice search.

Voice search is already transforming the way you should approach your content marketing — and savvy marketers are quickly moving to stay on top of its evolution. By 2016, voice search accounted for around 20 percent of searches on Google’s app–and those numbers continue to grow as voice recognition technology improves and smart home devices become more common. Fifty-five percent of teens and 41 percent of adults now use voice search on a daily basis, and with a 92 percent accuracy rating for those voice searches, it’s becoming increasingly popular.

As a result of this emerging technology, it’s essential to shift your content marketing strategy to consider these key changes.

MUENSTER - JANUARY 27, 2018: White Amazon Echo Plus, Alexa Voice Service activated recognition system photographed on wooden table in living room, Packshot showing Amazon Logo

Voice Searches are More Likely to Use Full Sentences

 

When you design your content library for traditional searches, you’re able to use strings of keywords that might not, at first glance, appear to be related to one another. But when users perform voice searches, they’re more likely to issue those searches in a full sentence format because they interact with voice search platforms in a way that is akin to interacting with actual people. For example, they would likely say “Ok Google, where is the best bike repair shop in Knoxville?” instead of simply typing, “bike repair Knoxville” as their search parameters. Teen users, in particular, are more likely to use natural phrasing with a voice search than they would use to make the same search from a keyboard.

Savvy Content Marketers Focus More on User Needs

 

Content marketers are quickly discovering that voice search is less about high-volume keywords and more about the information that users are actually looking for on their devices. Voice search queries want to answer key questions: “How can I fix my washing machine?” “Where’s the best seafood restaurant in Miami?” Most often, voice queries are highly specific. When you target these highly specific keywords as a content marketer, you’re providing critical information for the initial stages of the sales funnel–the stages that users are most likely to explore through voice search.

As users move into the details of their purchase, they may be more likely to turn to traditional searches to perform more in-depth research. By shifting the focus to the actual needs of your customers, rather than the needs of your keywords, you can transform the way your customers view your business and increase your odds of reaching customers where they are in the sales funnel. In this case, focusing on long-tail conversational keywords is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience, since those are the terms that they’re most likely to use through voice search.

Buyer Personas Help Shape Your Content for the Right Searchers

 

Google’s algorithm–along with other, similar voice search platforms–is also designed to help provide results based on what they believe the user actually wants from the question they’re asking. They survey things like grammar, correct pronunciation, and how specific the user’s question was, then deliver search results that are geared toward providing the level of answer that the user needs. For example, they might provide different search results for an individual who speaks in highly educated English than they do for an individual who appears to be a young teenager. When adapting your strategy for voice search, consider the types of people who would likely be using it and if they differ from people who use more traditional search methods to find you. There is probably a significant difference, and you should be creating content that is aligned with both types of searchers.

Voice Search Enhances the Importance of Featured Snippets

 

Many of the results users get from their voice search results come from the featured snippet on a Google search, especially when they’re asking an information-based query. If you’re hoping to significantly increase your SEO and raise brand awareness, being featured in that box is a critical part of your strategy. Keyword research can go a long way toward helping you understand what questions users are asking–and knowing what questions they’re asking will help you provide the right content. For this reason, FAQ pages are on the rise. These little pages can be treasure troves of keywords, key questions, and the information your business needs to provide to users in order to rise through the voice search engine ranks.

featured snippet

Voice Search Relies More Heavily on Local SEO

 

Local SEO is a critical part of your content marketing strategy for any local business–but when it comes to voice search, it’s even more important. Many users will simply request a search that is “near them”–for example, “Siri, what are the best Italian restaurants near me?” In order to raise your ranking for these search terms, it’s critical that you focus on local SEO: claiming your listing from Google My Business, building local keywords into your search terms, using local structured data markup, and increasing your locally-based information.

Just like there’s no surefire strategy for regular content marketing, there’s no one solution that will ensure that your business is recognized by voice search. However, acknowledging the way voice search has changed the way users interact with search engines and with your business can significantly improve your ability to reach them.

If you’re interested in speaking with our content strategy experts about this topic or anything else that crosses your mind, please reach out to us using the “contact” form.

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