Recently, our Cheshire web design agency published an article discussing our small business website trend predictions in 2017. However, one major factor we purposely didn’t want to include on that list was the emerging presence of ‘Voice Search’ and how it has become the fastest type of search which is set to shake-up local search rankings and how it could impact local businesses.
In addition to mobile voice search programs such as Siri, Google Voice and Cortana, voice recognition technology is becoming a part of our everyday lives with the introductions of smart watches and home voice assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. According to a study from Google, already 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search on a daily basis but you can’t deny that voice search will continue to grow as it’s easy, faster and hands-free.<
Join our Cheshire web design team as we explore 3 ways voice search will have an impact on local SEO rankings and how small businesses can look to prepare and optimise their websites for voice search.
Mobile search queries will continue to rise
With mobile surpassing desktop with over 50 percent of global search queries, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that almost all voice queries are made using a mobile phone so will largely contribute to those statistics. Last August, Google officially confirmed that 20% of all mobile queries are voice searches, with the ratio of voice search growing faster than type search. With Google now favouring websites with mobile-first indexing, it’s becoming essential that your small business website is fully responsive and indexed correctly to search engines or you could face a big decline in traffic and search engine positions.
Short and long focused keywords
Regardless of searching on a desktop or a mobile device, when searching we usually have the same mindset of searching using simplistic keywords as they are much quicker to type. For example, you would search for a ‘Cheshire Web Agency’. However, people will never search the same way when it comes to speaking to our phones and will tend use more natural language by asking questions such as “Where is the nearest Cheshire Web Agency to me!?”
With mobile search reportedly three times more likely to be a location specific search query, speech searchers are far more likely to contain anywhere from 5-9 words containing several keywords such as location, industry and products/services, where a text-based search is much more likely to consist of 1-3 words containing one keyword.
Why * SEO
How * Google
What * search engines
It’s all about location, location, location
Location plays a role in 80 percent of all searches, but voice searches are even more location-focused than typed queries. This means that setting up your site correctly for local search is crucial, especially if you run a local business. Here are the main things to pay attention to.
According to statistics, location plays a role in 80% of all search queries but voice searches are event more location-based focused than any typed query. This means that it is essential that your website is correctly optimised for local search, especially if you are a locally run business. Below our 4 tips show how every small business can optimise for voice search locally.
How every small business can optimise for voice search
Google My Business
Take advantage of the free, yet powerful Google My Business (GMB) profile and make sure you get your opening hours, phone number and directions includes so voice search queries can present users with the information on Google Search and Google Map. Look to also include data attributes specific to locations such as when you may close for holidays or if you have other locations and the best part of GMB is local businesses can reach new customers without even needing a website.
So you remember earlier when we discussed how a voice search query will be a more natural question containing several keywords? Look to take advantage of this by adding what frequently asked questions you think users would ask when they are searching for your website, services or industry. Look to add the content in an FAQ section and get the page indexed by Google so they have a better understanding of your content and boost local SEO.
Focus on longer, multiple keywords
Although Google Adwords and SEO strategies will always target competitive short keywords, they will become far less relevant when it comes to, natural longer sentences such as questions containing several keywords. By maintaining an SEO strategy, it’s also worth focusing attention on longer, multiple keywords in content.
Ensure schema markup is implemented
It’s probably worth reading up a little more on Schema Markup but essentially, this HTML code add-on helps search engines understand the context of your content which will not only help you rank better in normal search engines, but will also be more relevant in specific queries made through voice search.
Looking to implement your website for ‘Voice Search’ SEO?
Honestly, voice search looks set to change the dynamics of how local businesses will benefit from local search queries so it’s becoming increasingly important that any small business website is firstly responsive, then has a local SEO strategy in place. If you are looking for either service, why not get in touch your local cheshire web agency? Give us a call on 01565 653616 or send an email directly to me at [email protected] to discuss our services. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter!