Voice search is rapidly gaining more and more recognition, especially now that it has been around for some time and technology has just about perfected it. The reason behind its rapid popularity is because it offers users a way to search by speaking up, without even having to tap or type their smartphones and tablets.
Apple’s Siri and Ok Google! have both become popular terms, and Android and Apple users – abundant as they are – are moving rapidly towards search via voice recognition.
What is Voice Search?
Before we get to its impact, let’s determine what exactly the technology of voice search is. Voice search uses word/sentence recognition to gather terms that you otherwise would have to type in. Before, there was the concern of voice search not recognizing accents but now people can choose from a list of different speaking accents according to (or as close to) as their regular accent and the search can recognize their voice better. Within seconds, the term you voiced out will feature results and answers for you to browse through. Extensive technology has also made it possible for Siri and Ok Google! to respond via voice in some search queries.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and heavily relies on keywords. Keywords are search terms that are used by popularity and companies and businesses implement them in their online marketing strategy to attain higher traffic on their sites. They use the keywords that have a lot of regular search ranking and use those terms in their website content so that when users search through those keywords, their website turns up in the search results.
How Can Voice Search Impact SEO?
The question arises that how can voice search have an effect on SEO – the terms and keywords typed in can easily be used via voice recognition too. But, the fact is that it DOES affect SEO, mainly because …
The entire concept and technology of voice search is that you ask your smartphone, tablet, or computer questions as if you are asking them to another person.
For example, the search term with keywords that previously would be, “travel places New York” now becomes, “Siri or Ok Google!, what are good places to see in New York?” thereby removing the entire keyword altogether.
This is how keyword use falls and voice search directly impacts SEO.
Additionally, Google has focused on making their search more semantic, taking away the focus from keywords and rather using the intention and context of the user to provide better user experience with voice search. This means that voice search does not just remove keywords in many searches, but also lowers their value when being used.
It is easy to imagine how websites and businesses using keywords lose their value and use altogether, SEO is impacted and so is the marketing strategy of many business and companies.
Updating Marketing Strategies and How to Win Customers
Whether the technology of voice search is positive or negative remains at a neutral – some will see it as negative while others will take it as an opportunity to bring change. However, claiming that voice search will “kill SEO” is a harsh and exaggerated statement. If companies and businesses only make the effort to update their online marketing strategies, they can easily use voice search to win customers just like they did with traditional search and SEO.
There are different impacts on SEO because of voice search but all of these can be adapted by business and online marketers to maintain traffic flow and potential online following of customers.
Changing the Definition of Keyword
SEO is not dying because of voice search and neither are keywords – rather, they are advancing and becoming changed due to voice search. Now, keywords don’t mean concise terms, they have become conversational queries and natural questions that people will likely ask. For example, previously a keyword would have been, “secondhand clothes London” – now, it will simply turn into a question-like keyword, such as “where are secondhand clothes shops in London?”
So how can this change of keywords be used by companies to win customers.
The answer is just like they used keywords. Now, businesses and companies will need to answer questions in their websites.
Rather than focusing on adding keywords in their website content, they will have to put in answers in their content.
Previously, they could shortly write, “find secondhand clothes London” – now, they will have to be a little more informative in the content and describe, “*name* offers secondhand clothes in London in great quality. We are located at *address*.”
This is how they properly cater to the “new” type of keywords.
Additionally, the concept of voice search is to make searching on the web easy and extensive, and just like there will be more key-phrases than keywords, the same way, the longer the questions and input terms are provided, the better the search results will be as the search engines will use all words to provide proper results.
This again makes it imperative for companies and businesses to focus on providing sufficient ANSWERS in their online websites and pages, and focus less on keywords. As long as they start focusing on answers as well as their regular keyword implementation (for the users who will not switch to voice search), these companies and businesses have nothing to worry about.
While yes, the entire concept of search and SEO is changing because of voice search, it still does not mean it is a negative and harmful change. As long as this technology is embraced and not shrunk away from, it will be pretty easy to adapt. While the concept is a vast change and not minimal at all, we still have all – consumers and retailers both – managed to adapt many technology changes in the past and it should not be hard to do so now too.
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