“Search engine optimization” have been the magic words for going on twenty (20) years. Google, the antiquated Ask Jeeves, and even Yahoo have defined what “good result” has meant for online search. Just as we old folks are getting used to googling everything under the sun, new technology has emerged which allows us to simply ask our questions to Google Home, Alexa, or Siri. The question then becomes: how will this impact my brand visibility?
To understand this concept, we will first establish exactly how voice search works, the differences and similarities between voice search and text search SEO, how to optimize voice search results, and effective branding strategies moving forward.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search is essentially a voice activated search of the internet. However, unlike straight text searches, the devices with which we interface play more of a role in the resulting information. For a simple example: consider that a user asks his or her Google Home – “what is the weather today?” The device will use a few key pieces of information:
- What time of day is it? Devices are smart enough to give “today’s weather” differently at 11:59 p.m. and 8 a.m.
- Where is my user located?
- What are the local weather forecasts?
This simple search is more than just a call – response. Most voice search applications will have a relationship with the user and tailor the results accordingly. This puts an emphasis towards targeting the end user more than ever.
Voice Search vs. Text Search SEO
So what are the differences between voice search and text searches? There are a few key differences, including:
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More voice searches are “local”. Text searches will generally be run through a search engine which knows the user’s location, but it is more complex. VPN’s and other factors lead text searches to be more global by nature. Voice searches are nearly always through devices which know the user’s location. Additionally, the required information is more likely to be local, like “barber shops near me”. Localized keywords and phrases go even further when it comes to voice searches.
Voice Engine Optimization for 2019
As we have established, voice engine searches are similar yet slightly different than traditional text searches. Search Engine Journal recommends a five (5) point plan for optimizing voice search results:
- Provide full and accurate business details. Many brands fail to turn up on search results simply due to inaccurate or missing information such as addresses, phone numbers, and so forth.
- Optimize the speed of your business site. Google and other search engines will drop results based on underperforming load times.
- Cater to natural speech patterns. As per our previous section on voice vs. text search – the phrasing of voice searches is frequently longer and more natural as opposed to keyword searches.
- Consider FAQ sections. This is an extension of the previous point. With commonly asked questions, you may get lucky and hit an exact match with searches, leading your site to shoot to the top of the list.
- Follow up with real time results. Indexing does take time, but testing where your site lands after performing a variety of voice searches is a great way to test how you are performing.
Branding for Voice Search Visibility
Recent estimates place voice searches at about fifty (50) percent of the market share by 2020. This number is not going to diminish anytime soon. As users shift from typing to speaking, how can you adjust your branding strategy to stay ahead of the competition?
We believe that there is no one answer to this question. Industry trends, market share, and the type of searches your potential customers will be entering all play a major part. The key is to stay flexible and aware of market trends. Right now, FAQ and question – answer is a huge mover of search results.
In the future, branded deals with major search engines may take precedence. Whatever comes next for your brand, it is vital that your search engine optimization strategy includes voice search.
Make Your Brand Heard with Clock Tower Insight
At Clock Tower Insight, we turn data into business solutions. By maximizing brand positioning, CX management, moments of influence, and more, we help build our clients brands in the short and long term. Clock Tower Insight believes that happy customers equal a happy business. We work closely with clients to tailor their brand from top to bottom in order to maximize positive image, exposure, and sales.
To learn more about how we may be able to help your business grow, read about our 15 plus years of focused experience working with brands such as Starbucks, Kraft, McDonald’s, and much more.