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How Will Voice Search Affect SEO Results?

Do Apps Like Alexa Have an Impact on Campaign Performance?

The change has been coming for some time now, but last year it seemed to break big: voice control is the new “it” thing in technology. Smart home manufacturers like Crestron and Control4 have realized it, and they’ve made their systems compatible with apps like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. But the changes include more than just the relatively small smart home market. Thanks to Cortana, Siri and others, voice control is quickly becoming the norm for everyone. So how will this affect your content marketing performance? Read on to find out.

SEE ALSO: Top 4 Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

The Difference a Voice Makes

It’s no shock that the days of sitting in front of a PC and typing a query into Google are long gone. Today you’re just as likely to use a smartphone to find out answers. Google addressed this last year with the Mobilegeddon. And now that voice control has become so intuitive, we’re seeing a shift in how the search engine giant handles results.
In a blog over on Moz, Purna Virji breaks down how voice search is changing the industry. Essentially, it comes down to the simple truth: the way we speak and the way we type are different.

If you’re typing, a search might look like “coffee shops near me.” If you’re speaking aloud, you might say “where can I get some coffee?”

As you can see, the terms of the search are different, but the intent is the same. Virji goes on to illustrate that the length of each phrase is different and that the appearance of question words like “where” can drastically change the way Google interprets it, thus affecting the results.

Paying Attention to Intent

If you’re a student of SEO, the comparison above may elicit memories of long-tail and short-tail key phrases. An example of the former is “discount high-top Converse sneakers,” while the latter could look like “discount shoes.” From a marketing standpoint, the long-tail keyword may gain fewer clicks, but each click will likely be more valuable and result in a conversion.

A similar thing is happening thanks to voice search, but this time Google is changing to provide more accurate answers based on what the searcher intends, rather than specific keywords. While this doesn’t negate keywords, it does emphasize the importance of regularly updating your site with relevant, long form and comprehensive content to better serve your client base.

Exactly how you approach an SEO campaign based on the changing nature of how we search is up to you, but keeping in mind a few key factors will help boost your results. Here are some good places to start:

  • Capture intent and be specific: Instead of targeting “pizza places,” elect for something like “brick oven pizza places.”
  • Consider geography: Google is more likely to provide results based on current location, especially when users search on their smartphone.
  • Listen: how do your customers speak? There’s no better indication of how you can optimize for voice search than knowing how to talk like your base.

With that in mind, there’s still a long way to go to building an effective SEO strategy. If you want to learn more about One Firefly’s content marketing services, contact us today.


author cody mcgowan small

Author:  Cody McGowan

Title:  Content Manager

About:  As a Content Manager at One Firefly, Cody is responsible for supporting One Firefly clients by producing engaging web content in the form of blogs, press releases, social media updates, newsletters and case studies. After graduating from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in Multimedia Studies, he spent time serving coffee and writing for various lifestyle blogs across the web. An avid reader, movie buff and TV nerd, he found his calling as a marketing copywriter because it combines his passions for both visual media and the written word.




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