Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and other voice assistants are changing the way we interact with technology. They add a layer of convenience to the busy, chaotic structure of modern life. Amazon alone has sold over 100 million Alexa devices, and nearly all smartphones now feature some form of voice-activated technology.
What does this mean for the future of SEO? How can marketers adjust their SEO strategies to accommodate the prevalence of voice searches? Moreover, what can the search trends of today tell us about the trends of the future?
The Evolution of Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords were once a staple of internet searches. In the early 2000’s, users were familiarizing themselves with how to use the internet, searching full sentences to find the information they wanted. Over time, those sentences turned into shortened phrases and eventually became the concise keywords they are today. Example: “Who wrote the Hobbit series?” turned into “Hobbit author.”
The nature of internet searches changed as well. Browsers were no longer using the internet for research alone. Local SEO boomed as users began to forgo their phone books and rely on search engines for local business information. Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in “near me” and ratings-driven keywords, such as “best restaurant” or “top dentist near me.”
As we look toward the future, long-tail keywords are projected to make a comeback. The popularity of voice searches has once again changed the structure of internet searches. Users are reverting back to the searching in full sentences, but local SEO is still prevalent. Example: “Alexa, who wrote The Hobbit?” and “Hey Google, what is the best rated restaurant near me?”
Keywords are becoming more conversational as a reflection of a voice-driven world.
How Voice Searches Will Affect SEO Strategies
According to the Remote Payments Study from PYMNTS, voice commerce has made tremendous growth over the last year. This refers to purchases made using a voice assistant. As of December 2018, 28% of consumers own a voice-activated device, and 27% use them to make purchases. Over two-thirds of users (67.7%) said they were satisfied with making payments through a voice device. This leaves room for improvement but indicates a positive projection for the future.
If consumers are actively using voice devices to make purchases, find businesses, and answer questions, companies must adapt to that. SEO strategies may include:
- Incorporating questions and answers into ads
- Optimizing long-tail keywords within content
- Ensuring that local citations are consistent on all platforms
- Creating local SEO campaigns that correspond to voice searches
Voice devices may never replace standard search platforms, but their growth is one to prepare for. Companies that are able to implement strong local SEO campaigns and question/answer ads will be able to capitalize on voice searches, while still remaining on Google’s good side.
Detroit Internet Marketing is a local SEO company with world-class resources. Our keyword strategists, PPC advertisers, web developers, professional content writers and social media experts remain at the forefront of search engine marketing. To schedule an SEO consultation for your business, call us at (248) 234-4830.