Hello, Google? Voice Search, the Next Phase of SEO
Originally an Instagram post I’d published on Moss Marketing
Ever feel like your content is being pushed out into the world but not being found?! Search engine optimisation is of course important, and goes hand in hand with content creation and attracting (relevant) traffic to your site, however the standard practice is not the same anymore, but what are the trends and changes forecast for SEO for next year and beyond?
A big one to watch is - ‘Voice Search’ It's estimated that by 2020 half the searches on Google will be made by voice (ComScore) - while I tend to take these trend forecasting stats with a pinch of salt due to all of the variables that could influence this, it holds merit in behavioural trends, more so with the older generation of user (at the moment) who’ve gravitated to using the voice search tools and devices much more than younger users. Interesting! Currently, two in five adults use voice search in the US 🔊
Why the increase in this type of (voice) search?
It’s hard to define because a lot of the research is speculative, things to consider include;
An increase in voice device ownership (Amazon Echo, Google Home etc)
The normalisation of speaking out loud to a device in public now (from headset use, the popularity of vlogging, use of Facetime and voice notes)
These are my guesses, and it’s good for us to be aware of what may come down the line.
How do we prepare for this?!
One of the easier ways to influence voice search optimisation is the following;
When writing copy (wording) for your website - or, answering questions on site (and/or video) use snappy, clear sentences, no faff or fuss - wording that answers the typical questions that are typed into search - so Google crawlers can scan and easily find an answer for the voice request without clutter or confusion 🌟
e.g. let’s say a typical long phrase (long tail keyword) search term that's typed in to a search engine is: "Best places to stay for families in Donegal" - so then, your blog headline/website copy could preempt this by reading as: "Perfect place to stay in Donegal, 5 Family Holiday Ideas" 📣 Google will pick up on this headline and serve it back to the searcher, and if you've made a video on the topic, great! - put the transcript and subtitles into your video, to ensure you're found by those voice searchers.
Note: Donegal (most Irish) accents are hard for even the all-knowing Google to understand so write things down online, copywriting continues to be important but luckily for those who hate writing (you've gotta find some way to do it, I'm afraid, BUT -) voice search favours the short and sweet pieces of text - your bullet points and short sentences will register higher to be matched with a voice search term. Voice search doesn't require voice answers (i.e. you can verbally ask a question to your device, and be met with text or even an image in return) but as we know, it’s always good to have as much good/dynamic media content out there as possible.
Meanwhile, I still feel weird asking my phone a question - and, it rarely understands me! :)