What the Rise of Voice Search Tells Us About the Future of SEO

With voice search on smartphones, Siri, Amazon Echo, and the soon-to-be-released Google Home, we officially spend more time than ever speaking our queries to our digital devices instead of typing them out.

In fact, according Tech Times, a recent Google study found that 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults use hands-free voice search on a daily basis.

This leaves companies and marketers wondering one thing: if nearly half of adults and more than half of teens are using voice search, what does that mean for the future of search and search engine optimization (SEO)?

The Future of SEO

SEO contains so many elements – listing them out would take an eternity (okay, not an eternity, but it would take a long time). One of the key pieces to how “search” works, though, is semantic search. Semantic search refers to the way a search engine determines the context or user intent of a search request. This is something that has evolved and played out across different search engines throughout the years (with Google leading the pack in terms of innovation and success).

The long and short of it is that all digital search has improved, but Google got better and better and eventually outgrew simple keyword searches. Have you ever noticed that when you start to type a Google search, you almost always find a relevant suggested keyword or sentence on the same topic?

As technology improves, so does each device’s ability to understand our search context. Voice search is no different – words are processed the same way whether asked aloud or typed out. The difference between Siri, Amazon Echo and Google Home is that Google platforms can leverage all the data the company has collected over the years to make huge improvements in its service (and that’s a lot of data…in case you were wondering, Google has about 10 to 15 exabytes of data it can use, and an exabyte equals one million terabytes).

The SEO Bottom Line

What does this mean for business? It means we need to remember that digital search—whether vocal or written—is an evolving field with constant changes to what works and what doesn’t. SEO changes regularly, and what worked for you for the past two to three years (or even in the last year or six months) might not work anymore. (For the record, though, any of those best practices focusing on creating content to interest your users still remain in place.) Additionally, in this evolving world, there are ways to manage your website’s SEO tactics to leverage contextual information and pull traffic toward your site. Your SEO expert can help you with that.

It can seem daunting to keep up with all the changes in the world of SEO. Don’t get overwhelmed and don’t go it alone with SEO. Find a valued marketing partner (a consultant or an agency) to help you wade the murky waters. Then, when you have a question about something like how voice search will affect your SEO, you’ll have someone to go to.

Actually, we want to be that valued marketing partner. Contact us to set up a chat to discuss your current marketing strategy and how we can help double your quality leads. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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