Alexa, will voice search change the world of SEO?

Conor Clarke - 13/11/2018 - SEO

It’s a well-known fact that voice controlled devices are taking over the world, but does this mean that the way that we have been applying SEO is wrong? Maybe now we will need to apply new methods of SEO to websites so that we can be detected by Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home Hub.

We want to help shine some light on this topic and make sure that everyone is prepared for these future changes. There is no guarantee that SEO search algorithms will change for these devices but it’s always good to be prepared for the worst!

The Facts

If you don’t already know what a smart speaker is, Wikipedia defines it as the following: ‘A voice command device is a device controlled by means of the human voice. By removing the need to use buttons, dials and switches, consumers can easily operate appliances with their hands full or while doing other tasks’. You most likely recognise the name of Amazon’s Alexa as a prime example of voice command smart speaker.

According to LocationWorld, 40% of adults use Voice Search at least once per day which means it’s becoming easier and more accessible for people to use and understand.

These adults and children are getting even more intergraded with these devices because 65% of people that already own an Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home Smart Speaker have said that they couldn’t imagine going back to the day before they had the smart speaker (https://geomarketing.com/what-do-people-use-smart-speakers-for).

How will voice search affect SEO?

These smart speakers are certainly a big deal in today’s interest, and they get used for a variety of different queries. I believe that this is the first place that we need to look, because we need to know what people are searching before we can optimise for it. Below are some of the top questions asked to Alexa in 2017 from Forbes:

Ordering products “Alexa, order more laundry detergent”

Playing music “Alexa, play Green Day.”

Turn on lights“Alexa, turn on living room lights”

Ordering food“Alexa, order a cheese pizza from Dominos.”

Make a call “Alexa, call Mom.”

These key questions are continuously changing as people develop shorter, smarter and simpler ways to speak to these devices.

Local Search is going to be a huge influence that we will see move forward in voice search optimisation, as people are asking for ‘what’s the nearest place for lunch’ or ‘what’s our closest launderette’. These general and localised queries will require your business to be found first for people to hear your business name.

An example of this will be Google’s Home Smart Speakers will use Google Maps Listing and Google Business Listings to determine what ‘restaurant’ to tell you about depending on its ratings, quality and location.

For you guys new to SEO, you can learn more about what it is and why businesses need it here.

How to improve rankings

Neil Patel is one of the leading marketing voices in the industry and has already performed the research for improving a website for voice search, he has a great video that explains how you can help improve your chances of getting found on voice search.

See below:

We are going to go through some of the tips talked about the video and explain how you can perform these.

Tip 1: Making your website is secure

Making sure that your website is secure should be the top of the list when it comes to SEO, Google’s Algorithms will give priority to websites that contain an SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer). An SSL is a protective barrier for you, your customers and your website that keeps you secure whilst browsing, purchasing products and sharing information via an online connection.

We have a great article on SSL certificates, why you need to have one on your website and how to install one, check it out here. We also explain why website security is very important for you and your users here.

Tip 2: Improve domain authority

Improving domain authority is the process of improving website links, content, social shares and user experience in a way that search engines approve of. You might think that these are everyday SEO improvements, which they are, but doing them the right way can help to improve your voice search rankings in the long run.

Tip 3: Good Site Speed

Having good site speed is very important to Google because it wants its users to have the best service possible and if your website is slow then you are not classed as the best service!  As stated in the video, website load speed should be 4.6 seconds or faster for optimal results in voice search.

Improving website speed can be performed in a number of ways some of the easiest is making sure that images are optimised in size, making sure that website files are minified so that can be loaded faster and by activating caching on your website so that people that have seen it before don’t need to load all of the information all over again.

Tip 4: Strong content

As Neil explains in the video, content is king when it comes to SEO and online marketing. Using short passages and answering questions is a good way to be found for questions asked on these smart speakers. It’s good to note that website pages with over 2000 words tend to rank better than websites with less so having more content on your website could help to put you above the rest!

We have a guide which contains tips to improve your creative writing here which will help you to improve your website content and improve your traffic and conversion rates.

How we can help

We are always looking to improve our knowledge about online marketing and SEO so that we can help to improve our client’s performance as well as helping you understand how you can improve your website conversions and traffic. Hopefully, with this new information about improving your website for voice search, you can help your website rank better.

We can help you get a head-start with your SEO and online marketing, we work with a number of clients in a variety of different industries!

Get in touch and see if we can help you in any way. Call us on 01925 563 960, email us on info@mosaicdigitalmedia.co.uk or contact us here.

Conor Clarke

Blog By Conor Clarke

The one who does SEO and pretends to know Googles Algorithms, but in actual fact, i'm just as clueless as to what I'm doing as the rest of you SEO Specialists :)

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