Voice-activated, human-computer interaction will only become more prominent in the SEO world, causing marketers everywhere to adapt to the effects. The convenience and quickness of speaking rather than typing has always been an appealing quality of voice search; however, the innovation has yet to fully deliver a completely functional user experience. There have been issues with the searches being too slow or the device not being able to understand the words being spoken to it, struggling with certain accents and languages more than others.
Those days, however, may soon be over. Accuracy and speed is only getting better for voice-activated devices. See this annual trends report from internet and new technologies expert, Mary Seeker.
Have no doubt that the inevitable mastery of this technology will one day have a profound effect on digital marketers. That day may even be sooner than you think. Here’s how you can prepare for it today:
Voice-activated search-engine bots are being updated to understand and respond to natural human language, usually answering questions on the go. As a result, Google search engines are starting to respond better to keywords that are structured as answers to questions.
To optimize for this, frame your content so it answers questions relevant to the product you are trying to sell.
Google is starting to understand the context of your content, so if you are not presenting context to them, they will have a lesser chance of understanding how you can help a potential customer. Start to think in terms of questions – what would the consumer be asking right now?
Optimize Your Mobile Experience
Voice commands are especially great for the world of mobile marketing where the consumer is constantly on the move. Mobile is already a huge part of marketing, but voice-activated search only adds to the impact it will have on SEO. Sites that can deliver a better experience on the mobile platform will have a better chance of ranking higher, because the better experience is more useful to potential customers, and search engines recognize that. Start working on your layouts sooner than later.
Structure Your Content for Scanning Eyes
People usually won’t engage in the content of a page unless they can generally understand what’s going to be the subject of that page quickly, and without having to critically think. This needs to be an effortless process or they will not even give the content a chance for their undivided attention.
How you structure your content for Google to read is just as important as how you structure it for the reader. Since search engines are adapting to the way humans naturally speak, Google is ranking search results based on how well you’ve laid your page out for the consumer to scan.
To take advantage of this, try to fit words that have similar meaning near each other. This way, the search engine will read the context and fill your headlines with question-answering phrases and related words. This type of response to the evolution of human-computer interaction should help you rank higher in the search pages.
Another Tip: Carefully structure the first paragraphs of your text, specifically tailoring the first sentences of not only the first paragraph, but the first sentence of every paragraph throughout the content.
To close: the ways in which we communicate with technology are starting to become essential factors to be aware of for all marketers. Now is time to start optimizing for the age of voice-activated questions and answers.
About The Author: Kevin Watts
Kevin Watts is the founder of Raincross, a premier web design, development and digital marketing agency headquartered in Riverside, CA.
Kevin got his start in online marketing and website design by working for some of the most prominent names in online retail. He's most recognized for helping to start e-commerce retailer Organize.com in 1998, and spent 12 years running the company's e-commerce and online marketing operations. He has been recognized and has received several online retail, marketing and merchandising awards throughout his career.
Kevin grew up in Riverside, CA and graduated from the University of Wyoming. In his spare time, Kevin is an avid fly-fisherman, college football fan, and enjoys spending time with his son Matthew, daughter Kate and wife Lindsey.
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