The short answer: Make your keywords conversational.
- Identify the keywords you want to use
- Use them conversationally throughout your website
- Answer the questions your customers are asking by using your keywords
Why Do Keywords Need to be Conversational?
Comscore predicts 50% of all searches will be implemented through voice by the year 2020. Forbes Magazine states that according to a Google study conducted by Northstar Research, over half of U.S. teens and 41% of U.S. adults use voice search on a daily basis, with its use continuing to grow every day. Voice search is here to stay. Tech companies and search engines have recognized the continued increase in the use of digital assistants (Cortana, Siri, Alexa) for voice search queries, and are adjusting the algorithms to make voice searches more and more user friendly.
How Do People Voice Search?
By asking questions in a conversational way. When you want to know something, you don’t say “Hey Siri: London Bridge, height?” You say “Hey Siri, how high is the London Bridge?” And the search engines find the answer, and Siri tells you. Or you tell your home assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa, to “turn on the lights in the living room”, and the lights turn on. It’s amazing.
How Does It Really Work?
When searches happen within Google, their team of web experts analyzes the searches, the devices being used, and even the time of day that people are searching. They use all the data collected to increase the accuracy of what you are looking for using something called an algorithm. An algorithm can be summed up as a computer program setup to identify patterns and offer you what you want based on previous trends.
Their goal is to predict to the best of their ability, based on your individual search history, paired it with other searches looking for the same thing, to offer up websites that will be the most beneficial to what you are looking for. Because so many news searches are done with mobile devices, the Google algorithm for text searches and voice searches is pretty much the same. Every change Google has made to adapt to voice searches affects EVERY search, voice or text.
However, the increase in voice searches has changed the algorithm dramatically. The technology is continually evolving to adapt for this change. And Google has done a pretty good job so far, by recognizing the plural form and different verb tenses are essentially the same word (ie. ran, run, running or knife and knives).
Here’s an example: If a consumer had an accident he could search for “auto body shops near me” or “collision repair near me.” Based on his location, previous searches, and search data from other people who have used the same or similar words, Google will try to serve him the most relevant results. He will probably get a map with pins of the closest auto body shops in the area. The websites that have the best keywords and Google business listing information (such as address) will be shown higher in the search results after the map listing as viable options for him to choose.
The more he searches for specific things regarding his accident, such his insurance company phone number, etc. Google puts the two together and starts to serve up more accurate results getting a better understanding that he has recently been in an accident based on the subjects he has been searching for.
This allows Google to show even more accurate results. The next time he does a search for car repair services, Google will know to show specifically collision repair results over oil changes. The algorithm learns as people interact with it and uses the words that are entered to deliver better results.
What Does This Mean for Your SEO and Keywords?
Technology is evolving to figure out the user’s INTENT of the search rather than focusing on the single words. Because voice searches can be highly different than text searches, keyword research has to evolve to include phrases rather than individual words. Think about the questions you get when people call you on the phone to inquire about you and your services, and document those questions to answer later on in your website content.
Providing the content that answers these questions with an FAQ page or a blog can help you to utilize the words naturally and be found by search engines because you are providing helpful information. You can use a short summary answer at the top (like we did in this blog), and break it down below to get more traction. These tactics will also increase the chances you’ll get a “featured snippet” in Google, which ALWAYS shows up in the #1 position.
In the Collision Repair world that would mean changing a keyword from “window repair” to “places to repair my car window near me”, or changing “collision repair” to “places to fix my car”.
Note: We don’t want you to completely throw out your original keywords. They are necessary for your site. We do, however, want you to have different variations of those keywords placed in conversational English to get picked up by voice searches across the web.
The morale of the story: Think of the words and phrases that customers use every day when conversing with you, and your keywords will have a competitive search advantage.
Looking to develop your keywords and SEO to the next level? Connect with Art Unlimited for a free consultation!