Voice Assistants and Search Engine Optimization

SEO Twitter

It is clear that the way we use search engines is changing. A rise in freely available voice assistants such as Cortana, Siri and Alexa means it is inevitable that we will become more and more dependent on voice searches. Google has been working diligently to improve it’s user experience, which means that voice searching is becoming more efficient, allowing it to become more popular.

We use a completely different sentence structure when searching via Siri or Alexa. When using a typed language we are more likely to use shorter words and phrases. A sort of Google shorthand. When we use Siri to find something, we are more likely to use a question and use the word ‘my’. This meant that Google has had to become smarter, identifying ‘my’ as the person who is speaking, the question or request itself and the context surrounding it.

One of Google’s improvements allows it to have access to your location so when you search for you’re nearest coffee shop, Google brings up your closest options. To avoid your website not ranking on Google in this way, include a detailed location page on your website, questions about your location on a FAQ’s page and an embedded Google maps on your location page.

Google now retains more personal information about users than ever before. It saves regular locations, i.e. your doctors, your work, hairdressers and home. In order to benefit from this, businesses need to make sure they become regular locations. Using social media ‘check in’s’ at your locations and making sure your locations page is up to date is a good start.

Google can link previous searches with current searches. If you are already showing your friend a Wikipedia page of Charlotte Church and you ask Alexa “Show me pictures of ‘Charlotte’”. Google can use your previous searches to determine which ‘Charlotte’ you are talking about.

The language used to search for our questions is constantly changing so the words and phrases in our strategy for typed searches are now at risk of becoming out of date. If we consider a few simple points we are able to make our SEO strategy voice search ready:

  • Add a more conversational tone to our websites, doing this allows the conversational tone to match up with the voice of your searchers.
  • Cater for both typed and vocal searches. Someone who types a question may be ready to do a little research on your businesses someone who voice searches may be after short, quick and easy answers, provide both types of answer. So that your website will come up no matter of the type of search being used.
  • Make sure your website is easily readable by Google, especially directions to locations are readable by search engines, this is one of the most common voice request searches.
  • Make sure your FAQ’s page includes ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ as these are extremely common in a voice search.Businesses work hard to create a pro-active SEO strategies, that will enhance their companies ranking on Google. By ensuring that your SEO strategy is voice search ready your SEO strategy will remain current for longer.