Voice Search – Is It the Future of SEO?

The advent of internet has made living an easy affair. Quick access to practically everything has not only connected people from miles apart but also connected their lifestyles. We use a few keywords in search engines to get what we are looking for.

The preface of Android technology enabled with speech recognition services has created a paradigm shift from looking for few keywords to conversing with a device. This naturally changes the way devices search. For example, one would generally type “restaurant in Mumbai west” now we ask the devices “Where can I find a Maharashtrian restaurant in Mumbai West?”

As digital marketing firms, it is this change we need to accept and modify our strategy accordingly. Some pointers for providing better results even through speech recognition could be:

  1. Long tail keywords will now gain importance for search become more conversational. Instead of few key words, there would be sentences like talking to someone. Search engines have to comprehend through the data to get the right results. Long tail keywords could be used as a tool to make search more approachable and relevant.
  1. More conversational form of data is uploaded on websites. This would track the words better and continue generating good traffic. ‘What, where, when, how, why’ be used frequently so that words are caught better. It is also thus necessary to alter the tone and flow of the language. Just like people would search using speech, they may even have the content read out by the device. It should create an equally good impact when it is being read out.
  1. Context related searches will be the prime searches. Google, microsoft store search histories on respective devices. New searches pertaining to the same can be extracted from the history and used as per the current requirement. Voice search would enable search in continuation with previous searches. For example, “Who is the richest cricket player in India?” “When is his birthday?” Hence, it is essential to connect some concepts while writing or putting up data so as to search as per the context.
  1. Schema– Schema “describes” what data is displayed on your website in a way search engines can understand. But how will this help in voice search? These little pieces of code helps Google understand the context of the website and ultimately, assisting in your query. Therefore, implementing schema will definitely increase your visibility in the eyes of search engines!
  1. Since most voice searches happen through mobile phones, it is likely that access to websites would also be from the same devices. The number of persons accessing with mobiles is only increasing with each day. That’s why, it is important that images are compressed, blogs are crisp and time a website takes to load is not more than 3-5 seconds. Mobile oriented websites are likely to gain more traffic than the ones accessed from desktop. This is a change one has to be prepared for without fail.
  1. More like a journalist than marketer – The idea of marketing is to convince a person to buy a product/ service. Journalists portray a situation highlighting one aspect which seems the best to them. With this shift in the SEO industry, one should provide content like a journalist emphasizing on their own product/service rather than ranting like a marketing person. It would also ensure connectivity between the audience and the firms.
  1. Google now, Siri, Cortana are like personal assistants who carry out tasks. Not only speech but also accent as per the region would affect the understanding by the device. One should provide multiple references and especially local ones to optimize search results. This would hold true especially in finding directions, restaurants, multiplexes, stores or other things which have to be sought physically.

We can, hence, conclude that voice search is indeed the future of SEO. Only the businesses that can accept the change and alter accordingly are for here to stay.

Ashish Dalia

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