SMX Highlights Importance of Voice Search in SEO


The Search Marketing Expo is an annual event featuring the country’s most elite marketing experts. The goal of SMX is to showcase cutting-edge changes in search engine optimization (SEO) through expert-led conferences and training sessions. Steve Guberman of Detroit Internet Marketing was among the experts in attendance at SMX. Here are some key takeaways from his experience.

Smart Speakers Are Transforming Search Terms

As we pointed out earlier this year, smart devices are changing the way people conduct searches online. Voice search now accounts for one in five internet queries, and by 2020, approximately 75% of American homes will have smart speakers. Users are becoming more accustomed to asking questions, rather than just completing tasks with their smart devices. This creates a shift in the structure of search inquiries.

Moreover, these devices are becoming ‘smarter’ with increased usage. Google’s answers are now 95% accurate. People know that when they ask a question to a smart speaker, they are most likely going to get a correct response. The increased confidence leads to increase searches, and the cycle continues. 

With regards to keyword structures, voice searches are mostly question based. Instead of typing “Mexican restaurants Troy MI” into a search engine, a user may say, “Alexa, what are some Mexican restaurants near me?” The core keywords are the same, but their structures are more conversational. This significantly impacts SEO strategies.

Google Is Focusing on the Mobile Experience

Another key takeaway from SMX is Google’s focus on the mobile experience. If you conduct a search on your phone, you’re likely to get different results than you would with the same search on a computer. Google is honing in on the fact that mobile searches are highly actionable. People search for information and act on it right away, like searching for a local business or comparing product reviews in store.

SEO strategists must have a grasp on mobile search and computer search trends. Google has already changed its algorithm to encourage mobile compatibility. Websites with responsive mobile design rank higher than slow mobile websites (typically non-responsive web design). Here at Detroit Internet Marketing, we ensure all of our clients have dynamic, mobile-friendly websites that transition fluidly between devices.

Changes in SEO Strategies for the Coming Year

This upcoming year will include a push toward voice search in SEO. Consumers are asking questions. Content creators must answer them. Strategies may include short FAQ-style answers, less than 100 words in length. These may be picked up as Featured Snippets on Google, otherwise known as ‘Position 0.’ At Detroit Internet Marketing, we remain up-to-date about current search trends and Google algorithm changes. We will continue to optimize our SEO techniques to accommodate these transitions.