In the past, search engine optimisation (SEO) was mainly referring to words on your website, now though, the audience wants more. They are looking for audio, video and images all of which need to rank if they are to be shown among search results.
Even if you have written great content and optimised it perfectly, it still might not be what some people are looking for, so the chance of earning conversions are slim.
It’s important then to know what your audience is looking for. Are they happy reading about what you have to offer, or would an instructional video, or maybe a podcast be better suited?
Maybe now is the time to branch out and offer more types of content on your site to put you in a better position to reach a wider audience?
We already know that the search engines love video, so it would definitely tick a lot of boxes if you decided to add them to your site.
Narrow it down
The assumption that getting your website seen by more people will result in more sales, is an outdated one.
With time at a premium and competition at an all-time high, people want to find exactly what they’re looking for as soon as they land on a website, from the search engine, or they will navigate elsewhere.
So rather than ranking for vague terms, or for the wrong search terms, you should be narrowing your SEO search terms so you can appeal to more of the right visitors.
Sometimes less really is more and if you try to be everything to everyone, you run the risk of missing the target completely and being nothing to anyone.
When it comes to search terms the less focused you are, with your search rankings, the more likely you are to attract less focussed customers – or people at the beginning of their search journey.
So, with that in mind, the more focussed your SEO campaign is the more likely you are to convert those visitors into sales.
So how does your business website rank for more targeted phrases? Check now using a 30-day free trial of Moz Pro.
It’s no longer now just about Google
In the past Google was the only real search engine that seemed to matter, so it was all about making sure you ranked on page one but now things are changing and Apple and Amazon are leading the charge as their smart devices are being used more than ever to conduct searches.
Last year two in five adults used voice searches at least once a day but by 2020 Comscore believe that 50% of all searches will be done using technology such as Siri and Alexa. They also predict that 30% of searches will be done using technology without a screen so Google Home and the Amazon Echo.
So how seriously are you taking voice searches?
Does your SEO strategy take into account the differences in the way we write and speak?
It seems that despite all the warning and information out there most businesses and search engine optimisation experts aren’t yet prepared for the changes. Instead, they are continuing to focus on the more traditional SEO strategies so this could provide a great opportunity for you to get ahead of your competitors.
Most voice searches use the 5 W’s as people ask their questions in full, as they would if they were speaking to another human, unlike when they are typing more random keywords in a search box online.
So, it’s important to factor in the following: –
And not forgetting the how!
These all provide the start of conversational key phrases and longtail keywords, which should be playing a key role in your current and future SEO strategy.
One quick way to improve your longtail keyword ranking is to add an FAQ page to your website which includes all of the main search terms. The search engines will then use these answers to provide a more relevant response to your voice searches.
If you want to improve your search results, even more, you should take a look at Schema, which will help improve the way search engines read and represent your page in search engine results pages also known as SERPS.
Search engines will use the structured data to understand the content of your page better, which will help with more specific searches.
This data might not ultimately improve your SEO ranking, but it will make your website a better match for those searching for relevant content.
Optimise your site
Making sure your website is optimised for mobile and tablet use comes up in almost every blog we write so hopefully now you are all completely sure just how important this is, especially as non-computer technology use continues to grow.
So now is as good a time as ever to check how your site works across the full range of mobile devices including all phones and tablets.
It’s not just about whether it displays on these devices though, the aesthetics are hugely important, as we want the same slick user experience as we would get on a desktop.
How to be ‘featured’
Featured snippets are playing a more prominent role than ever as we ask more direct questions.
For example, if you Google how to change a plug the featured snipped is a video from YouTube titled – How to change a plug & fuse, hardly surprising this tops the search results when it ticks all the boxes.
If the top result answers your question, why would you look any further?
So how can you make sure your website is considered for the featured snippets section?
This is not something you can choose to do, instead, Google programmatically determines that a page contains a likely answer to the user’s question and displays the result as a featured snippet.
But strangely you can opt out of featured snippets by preventing snippets on your page using the <meta name=”googlebot” content=”nosnippet”> tag on your page.
To give your website the best chance to earn the right to be a featured snippet it’s all about considering what are your most frequently asked questions.
We’ve already talked about adding an FAQ page but for a bigger impact, it is best to add the answers to your top-ranking pages which already rank highly for the given query.
You should also consider creating a list of related queries to the questions and create more content which answers them – including images, videos and audio options.
But the key is remembering that the information needs to be easy to find, for both visitors and Google.
With the growth of voice searches, it’s now no longer about searching for change + lightbulb and instead, we want to know how to change a lightbulb – which means the results thrown up are very different.
When we Google change + lightbulb, the top result is a written step-by-step guide to changing a light bulb, whereas the how to change a lightbulb search throws up a carousel of videos showing exactly how to do it. So, it’s essential to make sure you are providing exactly what people want and that might mean a move away from the traditional written content,
With voice searches to continue to grow at a rapid pace, it’s now more important than ever to assess your SEO strategy to make sure you don’t slip behind your rivals. Missing out on the thousands of searches taking place every hour using the likes of Alexa and Siri could be costly.