New devices mean New Ways to Search
Recently, the rest of the Zelst team and I attended the Leeds Digital Festival 2017, where we had the opportunity meet with like-minded people, listen to some great talks and unleash our inner nerd. The talks got me thinking about the future of our industry, what the future holds for digital marketing and what we need to do to keep our clients ranking on that ever important first page.
According to a study of 39 SEO experts by Alameda, the impact of voice search is expected to be huge. In fact, the experts rated it as the third biggest industry trend in 2017. This is due to the increasing popularity of technologies such as Siri and Cortana, as well as innovative new devices such as Google Home and augmented reality glasses which could potentially offer new methods of search and advertising.
Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of internet browsing sessions will be done without using a screen. This highlights just how important voice search optimisation is in order to adapt and change practices to achieve continued visibility and conversions, allowing them to stay ahead of the curve.
Voice Search is Vital
According to Business Insider, Amazon has sold over 5 million Echo devices since its launch in 2014, and with this technology becoming more and more widely used, it is clear that voice recognition technology is here to stay.
The impact of voice search is undeniable. In fact, it is currently the fastest growing search type. A recent study has shown that 55% of teens and 41% of adults are already using voice search on a daily basis, for everything from checking the time to finding nearby restaurants. Understanding the huge reach and impact that this type of search, and how businesses can use it to their advantage is vital to the future success of both small and large companies.
Voice Search Optimisation Techniques
When using voice search, users are more likely to use natural, long tail phrases than if they were to input search terms manually. Blog posts which target queries with a significant amount of searches are a great way to achieve this, helping to establish you as an authority in your field. Direct answers to popular questions are also a clear way to get featured snippets on Google, which can massively improve visibility and brand awareness.
Additionally, well-written FAQs can include and respond to these long tail queries as they fit well within the content, helping to drive traffic to your site.
Your human…Write like it!
Adopting a conversational tone is an important factor in voice search optimisation. Google is constantly trying to make its voice technology sound more human to improve user experience, and so writing your content in a way which is informative but conversational is likely to have a positive impact on your site’s visibility as they will be more likely to use it in voice search results.
Of course, this has a time and a place, and always relate your tone to the image you want people to have of your brand. For example, a chatty tone might not be suitable for a legal firm or a medical company.
Make it easy for customers to find you
If the company owns a brick and mortar store or wants to drive calls, then you should take the time to update and cross-check business listings as well as your company’s contact information. Location-based queries such as “find cafes nearby” are a very common occurrence when using personal assistant technologies like Cortana, Siri and Google. By spending some time and effort on checking these, you can make it easier for customers to reach you, helping to maximise conversions and climb search engine rankings.
Optimise your Site for Mobile
The majority of voice searches take place on smartphones, and if you’re ranking highly for something which is relevant to their query, it can lead to people clicking through to your website. Improving the experience of those reaching your site via these devices is important to ensure you’re receiving the maximum traffic. Google now indexes pages specifically for mobile devices, meaning that by failing to respond to this change in demand, you could potentially be losing business.
Some quick tips:
- It is important to ensure there is a reasonable distance between buttons for mobile visitors to avoid frustration, and that content is easy for users to scan as they’re often on the go. Breaking up long paragraphs and keeping information relevant is a great way of achieving this.
- Speed in particular is a really important aspect of searches on mobile devices. According to a study by Google Canada and Nielsen, “79% of mobile searches are driven by speed, convenience or urgency.” This suggests that increasing site speed will lead to lower bounce rates and a better overall experience. Luckily Google have provided a useful tool so that you can test how mobile friendly your site is. Making a mobile version of you site is one way of removing clutter which is unnecessary for a smaller screen, or consider using accelerated mobile pages (AMP) to boost your site speed without compromising on your content.
How can we help?
Whether you’re looking to improve your content, improve your SEO or invest in PPC, our dedicated team are experts in optimising your website to help you reach your business goals. Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve digital success.