4 reasons why voice search means it’s business as usual for SEO

08 Dec 2016

4 reasons why voice search means it’s business as usual for SEO

The impact of voice search on the world of SEO has been a hot topic for some time – the phrase generates an impressive 1,010,000 results in an “old-fashioned” Google search – but how should ecommerce businesses adapt their search strategies to this brave new world?

With the high-profile launch of Amazon’s Echo voice-activated home assistant making the issue all the more urgent, here are four reasons why we think voice search will mean evolution – not revolution – for SEO teams.

1. Long-tail search is still king

Thanks to successive Google algorithm updates, the ever-expanding page space afforded to local results in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), and the increasing prominence of Google Shopping, long-tail search has become one of the only real organic search opportunities that can generate a meaningful ROI.

The mass adoption of voice search will only make capitalising on this opportunity more critical. As devices like Google Assistant, Home & Amazon Echo popularise voice search, short-tail results will become decreasingly important – the vision is for users to have human-like conversations with their devices, rather than conversing in disjointed keywords.

To stay relevant, ecommerce brands will need to continue down the path of long-tail, investing more in creating content that is optimised to longer, more natural searches that can lead potential customers directly to the products that they’re looking for.

2. Natural keyword integration remains critical

Over the last 18 months, brands have started to warm to the fact that natural keyword integration is the only way to achieve the holy trinity of increased search rankings, positive customer experience and conversion.

Voice search will only heighten the importance of this. Very few high-intent searches consist of terms like “women’s jeans UK” – even fewer potential customers will utter these words to their virtual assistant. Integrating keywords more naturally into on-site copy, including the use of keyword synonyms and other varied phrases, will ensure that brands perform well in both traditional and voice search.

3. Genuinely useful information is still important

featured_snippetEnsuring search results are actually answering users’ queries has always been Google’s aim, and recent algorithm updates have made this crystal clear. It’s no longer enough to optimise a category page for a keyword – the content provided must contain genuinely useful information or advice, and engage the reader in some way.

As top search results are read out in full by virtual assistants, the value of ensuring the information provided is useful becomes even more obvious.

If a brand finds themselves in the fortuitous position of being Google’s featured snippet for a search term – and therefore being read out to an inquisitive customer – all the hard work to get there will unravel if the customer isn’t given targeted, useful information to take the next step towards a purchase or greater exploration of the brand.

4. Reaching position 1 is as crucial as ever

For the exact same reasons that are driving the push towards long-tail search (local results, Google shopping, etc.), reaching position 1 on Google remains the primary goal for brands looking to drive significant organic traffic volumes.

With voice search, this objective remains unchanged. The brands that win will be those that successfully manage to score position 1 and the coveted featured snippet spot in search results – by establishing their authority and helpfulness to the user, through quality content.

Quill creates high-impact, search-optimised content that drives organic traffic and conversions for ecommerce websites. Get in touch to find out more about our SEO services. 

Dan Taylor @ Quill ContentSenior Business Development Manager at Quill.

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