Considering how a lot of users have a smartphone with an in-built AI, things like voice search may in fact be something that will change how content is ranked. Typing something and searching for something with a voice command often does not give the same search results. After all, there is a different kind of keyword demand, hence the results are different as well. However, what does this mean for the world of SEO, and is it going to impact its strategy?
To answer the question immediately, no, or better put, not yet. This, however, does not mean that there aren’t going to be any changes in the future. There are a few things that warrant our attention here, and the following article is going to explore them.
Since these voice queries tend to be longer and more specific, the machine usually searches for pages that provide direct and instant answers to these queries. Of course, the queries must not be too challenging. Machines are doing a good job at discerning voice queries, but it’s wrong to assume there is no room from improvement.
Considering how machines can understand your question and can find an instant answer, it is perfectly natural for these results to rise. However, this does not imply that traditional search query results are going to disappear. In other words, you do not need to drop what you are doing and start focusing on a completely different approach in order to provide instant answers. These trends are additive, meaning that they do not impact your site negatively, so you can still continue with a traditional approach.
You can also view this as a new opportunity. Basically, it’s another fresh start or another playing field that you can use to your advantage. If your competitors are not creating content that targets voice search quarries, it is a good chance for you to jump in and beat them to it.
Again, no solid proof to back this up, but it kind of seems logical. If you only use content that is too simple to answer a particular query, people may leave immediately, which always results in negative conversions. Meaning, if you answer queries only with “yes” and “no”, for example, you shouldn’t hope to see a significant rise in traffic, despite the fact that you technically gave a direct and instant answer to a particular question.
Another risk that is posed by optimizing for this type of search is source irrelevance. If the search engine is smart enough to answer a particular query, then you get no conversion at all. The simplicity of the answer itself makes you redundant, so it’s just useless to try ranking for some queries. So, let’s go over some of these safe and danger zones.
The best way to illustrate this is by examples.
Cooking – It’s safe for you if you want to rank for recipes, since a machine can’t say: “Oh, here are the ingredients, here are the instructions with some pictures, and I will guide you through the process.” There are specific apps for this. However, it would be dangerous for you to rank for something like – “How many grams of sugar equals one cup?” This is something a machine can answer without leading people to your website.
Sports – It’s safe for you to have sports analysis content, because current machines cannot give accurate suggestions; they can only calculate win rate, for example. However, relying on sports scores would be a danger zone, considering how simple it is to answer such queries.
Products – In depth product comparison is still a safe zone, however, a simple price comparison would be a bad move.
Coding – Code tutorials are still useful, still considered quality content, whereas a quick function look would be a danger zone.
Well, basically this is all you need to know. You do not have to be alarmed by these changes, your old strategy still works, simply look at it as another opportunity. Don’t try to rank for something too simple though, since it’s not going to do you any good.
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