Giving Voice to Your Search: The Evolution of Local SEO

When most of us started using Siri, we acted like total kids asking random and irrelevant questions trying to play with it. “Hey Siri, Could you please call me Ironman?” – “Yeah, sure, Ironman.” –  “Ironman, do you want me to add last name to it?”

We genuinely believed at one point and time that voice search was an entirely useless thing and would phase out in no time. It was a good way to make fun of technology, and all see just how bad it’d work. We just wanted to be smarter than technology and asking weird random questions to prove it was slow and unevolved for the human brain.

But, to our utter surprise, it did not just vanish.

Voice search has evolved so much in the past years that it has become the trend to stay. Even though we might think it's a recent trend, voice search has been around for the past 15 years, May 20, 2002, was the original release date. Even said that we have to realize the rise of smartphones has popularized that voice search. Google has always been one step further to improve the user experience.

OK, Google… what is voice search?

Voice search is the use of “digital assistant” such as Siri, Cortana, Google Now or Alexa to give quicker results on a mobile platform. These digital assistants are rapidly changing the way we search for content.

Fun Fact - Humans can speak up to 150 words per minute whereas can only type at 40 words per minute,

Hence, it should come as not surprise that the convenience of hands-free voice search is changing the face of SEO content. It is still the beginning of voice search, but if this pattern picks up in the way it is, it will surpass our traditional keyboard type search in no time.

How Will Voice Search Forever Change The Way We See Seo

  1. Search has become smarter - You can search who Donald Trump is? Then go on to where does he stay or what is his height. Digital assistants connect your questions to the first search and keep giving you more and more information as you go forward.
  1. Easy on-the-go corrections - If you search by “Queen” it might show you results - the meaning of Queen, Queen of England, etc. You can immediately correct by saying “rock band Queen” and Voila! You get what you were exactly looking for without having to type it all.
  1. Location-based search - If you search for the Highest mountain in the world, it will also give you thing like how you till the top 10 mountains are or tallest mountain in the world underwater, etc. which might be interesting trivia.  
  1. Quicker useful suggestions - If you search for Highest mountain in the world, it will also give you thing like how you till the top 10 mountains are or tallest mountain in the world underwater etc. which might be interesting trivia.  
  1. More information about you - You can save information about yourself and use it later for example if you keep your office details you can easily just ask how much time will it take to reach work.

Hey, Siri! How will SEO change with voice search

With the advancement of voice search, it is becoming easy for people to ask questions and get repeated information as per search queries and results. It is becoming a more natural way interaction, and the human touch plays an upper hand.

The importance of natural language is unparalleled, and now with voice search, the conversational tone holds more weight. From finding restaurants to news and even to playing music on your phone voice search can control it all. Interconnectivity between devices has also risen with voice search.

The focus is changing and how!

  • The different types of keyword

Use of question phrases is on the rise; long tail keywords have gained more importance with voice search. The natural phrases used in voice searches are giving it more weight. From the perspective of SEO, Why, How and What are on the rise.

  • Mobile optimization is crucial

Voice search is easier than the typing process; this has increased with people owning a smartphone. People are becoming mobile with the passage of every day hence people are more likely to search on mobiles rather than desktops. We are getting tech-savvy by the day, for getting directions we keep using our phones.

  • Location is primary

Location plays a significant role in voice searches, especially if you run a local business. There are certain things you should pay particular attention to if you are running a local business.   

Business listings, reviews, photos become necessary for voice related searches in local SEO. These become critical for ranking in Google’s local search results. You have to register in the business listing; all details have to be up-to-date. Putting a unique description for your business is essential. You should also choose the right category that goes best with your business and uploads a few photos to make your business more secure.

  • The advancement of micro-data

Local SEO campaign emphasizes a lot on microdata such as the actual location, phone number, price of product or service and other details. Utilizing microdata helps boost search results in different categories to boost local rankings. Another important thing is to create a sitemap for your website. This is the best time to revamp your local SEO as per voice search results.

  • The conversational tone

The keywords used should be a conversational pattern that you need to do to help in optimizing for voice search. Your aim for best results in voice search is to imitate how people talk in a conversational tone and ask questions verbally. Documenting the exact phrases helps you rank faster.

  • Add FAQ’s

FAQ's help formulates long tail keywords that focus on conversational phrases. They should be natural sounding and conversation to relate to what exactly the search queries are. The flow of words has to be natural instead of well-known SEO-keyword phrases. It might be a daunting task to make several pages related to voice searches but creating individual pages and snippets centered around the content can help you reach voice search results at its optimum. You can also get appeared in a Google's “Featured Snippet" if you can hit the right keyword.

It’s a whole new world for local SEO!

Voice SEO is here to stay, so it is important to start tweaking or incorporating voice search in your content marketing strategy. Some subtle yet powerful changes can improve your page authority in the voice search world. Make your website as mobile-friendly as possible to lead the race.

You can take the help of SEO tools like answerthepublic.com, StoryBase or Question Samurai to include natural language keywords into your content. Another way would be to optimize your site using Google Analytics.

Apple is continually improving in smaller mobile devices like the Apple Watch; it shows the advancement of technology for better user experience in the future. Maybe in the future, the trend will shift to even smaller mobile devices.

Will voice search take over traditional ways of typed search by the next decade? Your thoughts?