How Voice Command Is Changing SEO

February 21st, 2019 by Leslie Williams

iPhone with its screen displaying Google search at Search Influence in New Orleans, LA

Most marketers are familiar with the shift from laptop and desktop computers searches to mobile searches. Statista reports that searches performed on mobile devices have continued to grow in recent years, with mobile devices making up 55 percent of all organic search engine visits in the United States in the second quarter of 2018, up from 46 percent in the second quarter of 2016. In fact, the number of mobile search users is expected to increase to 221 million by 2020.

The shift to mobile search comes at a time when most smartphones are equipped with some sort of voice-assisted search capability, such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Artificial intelligence (AI) assisted voice search has effectively changed the way users are searching for the information, products, and services that they need, with searches now taking place with nothing more than the sound of your voice. As mobile and voice searches continue to increase, marketers should be mindful of the impact these search trends will have on their SEO strategies and plan accordingly to remain competitive and continue to stand out in search engine results.

Mobile Optimizations Are Key

As most voice searches are done on some type of smartphone or mobile device, having a mobile-friendly site is critical to ensure your business or brand appears for valuable voice searches that are taking place on mobile phones. Marketers should take steps to make sure their websites are mobile-friendly. Luckily, Google offers a free tool that can assist in determining how mobile-friendly your website is.

In addition to researching and implementing Google’s suggested mobile optimizations for your site, the layout of your content on a mobile device is also very important. Try breaking content up into shorter paragraphs, utilizing lists and bullet points, and including images to help make your content more mobile-friendly and keep readers engaged.

Optimizing Content for Voice Search

One of the most important factors to keep in mind when considering voice searches and SEO is the fundamental difference in the way people type versus the way people actually speak. Search Engine Watch notes that searchers using voice-assisted search are more likely to use full sentences and grammatically correct language, compared to using a non-sentence when typing a phrase or question into Google.

For example, a voice-assisted query about the importance of voice search and SEO could be:

“Why is Voice Search important to SEO?”

Whereas a typed query would be more informal and broken up:

“Voice search SEO”

Marketers looking to optimize content for voice search should utilize clear, conversational language that answers specific questions.

The Impact on Local SEO

A large percentage of all voice searches are location-based queries, making it more important than ever to make claiming and optimizing your business listings and Google My Business listing a priority in your SEO strategies. Due to the inherently mobile nature of smartphone use, a large portion of voice requests through Alexa, Siri, and similar AI technologies also deal with navigation and location.

What exactly does this mean for local business owners? This means that now, more than ever, utilizing well-thought-out local SEO tactics will be especially important for your business to appear at the top of local search engine results.

Local businesses should look for ways to creatively include local information in their SEO strategies to capitalize on local search intent via voice-assisted search queries. Try including both long tail and short keywords within your content that mention local landmarks and places in your neighborhood.

Woman on a laptop at Search Influence in New Orleans, LA

Keep It Simple

While the thought of another technological trend impacting your SEO strategy and results can be intimidating, keep in mind that many of the tactics one would use to optimize for voice searches are also ones that would be used when optimizing for traditional searches as well. Optimized content is the foundation of any SEO strategy, regardless of whether or not you’re optimizing your content for a traditional or voice-assisted search.

Other SEO building blocks that positively impact search engine results for traditional search queries include mobile-friendliness and mobile site speed. Again, the good news is that if you continuously focus on optimizing your site as well as your site’s content for traditional search queries, chances are that you’ll be in a good position when it comes to optimizing your site for voice assisted searches as well.

As voice search continues to grow, it will be up to marketers to adapt to capture the benefits of this new type of search. By continuing to employ tried-and-tested SEO tactics and staying up to date on how new trends can impact your SEO, you can stay ahead of the competition and keep potential customers engaged. Our team of experts thrives on staying on top of new trends in the digital marketing landscape. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help your business stay up to date as well.


iPhone on Google search

Woman on laptop