Voice Search: The Future of The SEO Landscape

Did you know Google updates it's search algorithm at least once per day? Crazy, right?

Usually, these are minor updates and don't have a major impact to your online ranking. Either way, it's still important to be in the know with the ever changing SEO landscape out there today. Especially, since having a proper SEO strategy can mean the difference between life and death for your business.

One major SEO trend to start acting on immediately is Voice Queries. If you think about it, we not only use virtual search assistance for voice queries on our mobile devices, but also in our homes and offices!

If you're not living under a rock, you know that devices such as Amazon's Alexa and Google's Home assistant is getting ready for world domination (Sorry, Apple...you're quite there yet in this department. It's okay, Siri...one day).

Think about it...

We live in an on-demand world. People want answers to their questions as quickly as possible.

Who has time to unlock their phone, search through their apps for a browser and then type out an entire question?

Who has thumbs faster than the spoken word? (actually, I think my wife might...a story for another time.)

My point is that it is much more convenient and efficient for us to use voice search with our mobile devices and home assistants than it is to physically type something out on our phone or laptop. And, voice search is becoming much more widely adopted at an accelerated pace.

So what can you do to keep up with the voice query SEO trend? Well, here's are opinion based on our own research and studies:

  • HTTPS Adoption: HTTPS comes equipped with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to monitor and transfer data safely between two points, which is why search engines prefer HTTPS clients. In fact, 70.4% of voice search result URLs have adopted HTTPS (compared to only 50% of Google desktop results).
  • Faster Load Times: The average website takes about 2.6s to lead. Most voice queries are delivered within .5-.6s. This means that you need to ensure your website is optimized for speed (yes, were going back to the basics). Images need to be compressed, Use asynchronous loading for CSS and JavaScript files, Defer JavaScript loading, Reduce server response time, etc.
  • Snippets: A snipper is a description of or an excerpt from the webpage that follows the title and precedes the URL and cached link. Voice search results tend to be very concise. The average voice search result is only 29 words long. Make sure you are optimizing for voice search SEO - Am for shorter snippets (no longer than 20-30 words)
  • Backlinks: These play a major role in SEO in general these days and are playing an even greater role for voice queries. When search engines calculate the relevancy of a site to a keyword, they consider the amount of QUALITY inbound links to that site. 

    In a traditional search from your desktop or mobile device you get a list of 10 blue links. Device such as Alexa and Google Home gives you a single answer to your question. This means that these devices need to be extremely confident that they’re giving you accurate information.

  • Social Media: While social media does not "directly" effect SEO rankings, it does still play a major role (you can read more on this here). Highly sharable content on social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter can act as organic referral sources. Therefore, publishing valuable and engaging content can improve your chances of ranking as a voice search. 

Now, these are just a few basic strategies you can start implementing right now. Bottom line is that voice is taking over and companies focused on a digital marketing strategy (which should be everyone...if you're not, we need to talk ASAP) need to take note of this and start taking action now.

What's your #1 takeaway from this article?

If you'd like to learn more about voice queries and how it impacts your current SEO and digital marketing strategies, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or drop me a note at ccaruana@thecaruanagroup.com.