The growth of voice-controlled devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa is changing the way that people search the internet. Nearly one in five adults in America have access to a smart speaker in their home or office, and a whopping 40% use voice search on Siri, Cortana, Alexa, or Google Home daily. Search engine optimization (SEO) professionals need to shift tactics to remain successful.
This dramatic shift in the use of voice search could cause quite a shakeup in the ranking of premier SEO companies by BestSEOCompanies.com. SEO professionals need to pivot quickly to take advantage of the changing landscape for content and SEO. Adapting to voice search will require learning all new methods of optimizing content.
Voice assistants use different search engines
While Google dominates the text search engine market, Amazon Alexa owners make up about 72% of smart speaker users. Since the technology giants approach searches differently, companies vying for a share of voice search results will see the industry change dramatically.
In the past, most SEO techniques were centered on gaming Google’s algorithm to raise your profile in organic search results. Going forward, incorporating voice search means getting to know more about Bing, Alexa’s go-to engine.
Spoken queries are longer and more specific
Voice searches are longer than text searches, and hyper-specific questions are more popular on voice. So while you might optimize your SEO around “swimsuit store” for text searches, your voice search content should read more like, “what is the closest store that sells competition swimsuits?”
In the past, SEO focused on producing content with multiple keyword placements. In the future, SEO professionals will generate content that reflects natural conversations.
Relevance boosts results
One significant change for SEO professionals is that voice assistants only deliver one response. A text query on a mobile device returns three results, while a search engine results page on a computer returns as many as ten links. While a top ten result used to be acceptable, the goal for voice searches is to be the sole right answer.
Google and Bing both personalize their search based on your location and search history, so more weight is given to the relevance of the answer.
Recent changes help ease transition
Google replaced the traditional top ten organic search results with what the company calls a search engine results page (SERP). The new format combines a featured snippet, Twitter mentions, news articles, and a few organic search results. Featured snippets are selected search results that are featured above organic results but below the ads.
Many SEO methods have already shifted to optimizing results to appear in snippets. Google Home uses featured snippets to answer a majority of voice searches, so this should ease the transition to voice on Google Home.
Don’t wait to capitalize on voice trend
With the rise in voice search, people who work in SEO will see content take on a more natural conversational tone while answering hyper-specific questions. Optimizing for voice requires learning more about Bing and how to optimize content to be first in results. Successful SEO firms are already in the process of changing tactics to optimize voice searches, so don’t wait to deploy new methods to capitalize on this growing trend.