Voice search and SEO ranking

Woman on mobile phone

Let's have a look at the changes, consequences and future of voice search.

Who? Why? What? Where? When?

The 5 Ws of voice search help us to form a bigger picture of what is happening and where the tech is going. By examining who is using it and why, what they are using it to search for, and where and when they search, we can start to figure out how it will impact on our rankings.

Initially, as with most tech trends, the younger demographic were the early adopters, but more and more adults are now using voice search – with recent statistics putting the figure at 40% of the adult population using it at least once a day. Teens still lead the charge with 55% daily usage. It seems, particularly as we age, we are not as fond of poking around on phones trying to type a search; we prefer to use our voices, which is leading to the increase of adult users. It comes more naturally to us to make an enquiry vocally.

Using voice technology to search for nearby restaurants, tracking down products we wish to buy, and so on, is becoming the norm – Google states that over 20% of mobile queries are now made this way. With the growth in popularity of products like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, voice tech is no longer just a search technique used while on the move – daily use is clearly on the up.

How does this affect SEO?

Generally speaking (pun intended) when we use our voice to request a search, it is more specific than when we are typing. We string the words together more fluidly when speaking, therefore we are more likely to use full sentences and longer phrases to search.

In the past, SEO would generally use keywords and short tail phrases to move up the ranking, but as we wish to capture the voice searching users, we need to think of how we would speak when searching. We need to become more organic, and to go back to our natural roots of how, if face to face with someone, we would request an item or information. This turns the short tail keyword metadata on its head somewhat.

Another aspect that makes things interesting and challenging for SEO experts is that when using voice, people are generally looking for a direct answer. Therefore, it is vital that answers are given. This may seem obvious, but now is not the time to tell them there are 10 different brands of cola when they have asked for orange juice. Give them the juice!

As voice search technology develops, becomes more precise and finds its feet in our mobile world, will the manner in which people search have an impact on your SEO ranking?

How to make it work for you

To give yourself a better chance of ranking highly in searches, you should:

  1. Use long tail keywords
  2. Make your keywords more conversational
  3. Add a good description or snippet, as the voice search application will read this to the user

By making your metadata more voice search friendly, you widen the audience and push your rankings up. By providing direct answers, you are more likely to not only rank higher but also to score the click-through of the user, which at the end of the day is what you want.

Essentially, whilst the impact of this growing trend will be huge, it is possible with minor adjustments to create keywords and metadata that will allow voice search engines to find you and present you to your potential customer.

If you require more help in creating effective SEO content or wish to avail of any of our other services, contact Alhaus and speak to one of our content management professionals