Sound is here! It’s like when the talkies first arrived to cinema. Sound was a game changer for movies, and it might have similar effects on the world of search engine optimization.
We know, right now it seems that voice search may just be a fad, with more people choosing to continue using the traditional text box. However, any respectable NJ SEO expert should see the writing on the wall, and that all we know may soon change.
Technological advancements are slowly taking voice search from a quirky novelty to an important, practical, timesaving tool. Once it gets to the point where the technology is proven to be reliable, then who wouldn’t want to be able to just communicate their search orally rather than have to type it in?
It’s no secret; people are demanding convenience in every facet of life now. Soon, having to type a search in a box may feel like having to locate a pay phone to make a call. Why go through the hassle when there’s an easy alternative?
The big shots can see what’s coming.
No one’s really sure, at the moment, where voice search stands pertaining to the whole SEO thing. Up until now, it’s been so unreliable that people simply don’t trust the technology. Most feel they’ll end up having to repeat themselves, so they continue searching the way they always have.
Again, though, the technology is getting better by the minute, and some of the industry giants are beginning to prepare for what could be the perfect storm when it takes off.
Google, always at the forefront of the evolution of search, already offers a voice search button. There are other tools like Apple’s Siri, which has evolved since it first debuted, now helping store information and organize tasks in addition to performing searches.
It’s not just surface adjustments either. As we all know, Google likes to update their algorithms periodically to ensure the search process continues to get closer to the ultimate goal: Giving users what they want before they even have to search for it.
Google’s ongoing evolution and what it means for voice search.
The reason for Google’s updates and stance against keyword stuffing is simple. Too many companies figured out how to use Google’s old indexing methods against them, stuffing their pages with incoherent content solely for the purpose of dropping as many keywords as possible.
So, Google adjusted and tried to cater to a more conversational tone. That is the part of voice search that will push keywords even further down the back burner. Users don’t type their queries in at all, they speak them, so, of course the tone is entirely conversational.
This creates a new kind of query for the search engines to process. Soon, it’ll be about returning content that most closely falls in line with the request, not content with the most keywords stuffed inside it.
It’s context over keywords now, and you don’t need to be an NJ SEO expert to see that. They’ve implemented changes in their strategy, like semantic context, to try to determine the meaning of the search rather than dissecting the search itself.
User intent differs with voice search.
Yes, Google continues to adjust their direction. Presently, though, the search algorithm is basically the same for both traditional and voice searches. The actual user behavior and intention, on the other hand, is not, and the search query types usually differ in traditional and voice searches.
Mobile devices, for instance, have made it so that, now, people can easily search on the go. At one time, people had to go to a certain place to perform a search, so they were more inclined to play by that place’s rules.
Now, they can search anywhere, anytime, and voice search’s convenience has proven to be very valuable in this context. Content that answers specific questions or gives advice that can be applied immediately, on the spot, may become increasingly valuable as voice search gains steam.
Second screens, too, lend voice search added value and result in different intentions. People, particularly young people, are shifting to voice searches when they’re multitasking, like while watching TV.
Hands-free technology, like Apple’s iWatch, should serve as another indicator that this kind of capability and experience will probably be increasingly sought-after as time goes on, and that methods must be implemented to cater to these new user intentions.
That’s the lay of the land, now let’s see how to navigate.
You’re probably now asking yourself, what does all this mean for my SEO strategy?
It means that you need to start to familiarize yourself with the differences in user intent so that when voice search really takes off, you’ll be prepared for the members of your target audience who prefer to search like this, and you’ll be equipped to accommodate their needs.
It means there’ll be more value in creating content about specific topics or answering specific questions. It means trying to include more long-tail keyword phrases in it, or those more detailed phrases that users tend to use when they’re close to the point of purchasing something.
It also means that, once again, creating relevant content is fundamental. As keywords lose their significance and search engines begin to respond to more conversational tones, the focus will need to be on providing the audience with meaningful information that truly speaks to them.
A good tip: Start an online forum. As NJ SEO experts, we at Climb The Search can tell you that this is a good way to take advantage of the newly-desired conversational tones, and will also allow for relevant topics to organically emerge.
Have no fear, SEO will still be here.
The bottom line: As context continues to take precedence over keyword matches, a more conversational tone will be the norm. Also, voice searches being increasingly performed on mobile devices means that content providing an immediate function or answer will become increasingly important.
Don’t worry though. Even if a simple Q&A format takes hold and there are no more search results pages at all, SEO will surely adapt. It’s like a cockroach. No matter how many Google updates and other seemingly apocalyptic events the SEO world has experienced, it always remains alive and kicking.
SEO’s value never changes, just the ways in which you or your NJ SEO expert can bring that value to your company and cause.
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