Change is the only constant in our modern, digital world. Methods of communication are changing more rapidly than ever before, with businesses and consumerism driving the way, we’ve come a long way from hieroglyphics and smoke signals!
Two things that stand the test of time are the written word and the spoken word. We will forever be communicating using speech and through writing – what changes is our method of delivery.
There are subtle differences between written and spoken: the written word allows the reader some breathing room and time to think, the spoken word is more immediate and elicits quick, emotional responses.
Getting ready for the Spoken Word
In the age of Digitisation, where we are communicating mainly through our phones, written words are the currently the dominating factor. The next frontier is Voice.
Why is voice taking off? It’s quicker, and as a culture, we value our time enormously.
Consider a Google Search; we could speak out a search to our phone, or type it out…
The few seconds saved by from taking your phone from your pocket, unlocking it, finding your favourite search app, tapping the search box – AND THEN thinking of, and typing out, your search query, is invaluable.
Is your website ready for Voice Search?
Voice is flourishing with Search Engines. More and more people are searching using voice. ComScore predicts that by 2020, 50% of Google Searches will be performed by Voice.
Since the way in which we use Search Engines is changing, Search Engine Practices will change too. It won’t be as simple as ranking at the top of Google, there is more competition.
For example, I’m searching for an office space in Newcastle. I could type out “best office newcastle”. Alternatively, I could speak this into a Search Engine – where I’m more likely to say something like “I need to rent an office in Newcastle”, because that is more natural to say.
“Best office Newcastle” and “I need to rent an office in Newcastle” are different Keywords which require different optimisation.
So what’s different about Voice Search?
It dramatically affects your keyword research.
There is more opportunity as there are a larger variety of keywords to optimise for.
How much website traffic will you achieve optimising for “Best Office Newcastle” vs “I need to rent an office in Newcastle”?
Are you better off with a smaller percentage of the type-search results or a larger percentage of voice-search results?
The Key Separator with Voice
The key difference with voice is that the initial search result, rather than be displayed on a page of search results, will be SPOKEN OUT LOUD to you.
This is MUCH different from what we have had before.
Let’s consider for a second what it’s like to have a search result spoken back to you. One day the technology will allow an answer such as “There is well priced, modern office space 5 miles from Newcastle with free parking which has rooms available!”
If that works for you, you’re not going to go anywhere else!
You pay attention to the result
You are more attentive to the result of your voice search than you are a typed search. You are listening carefully, so that you can make an informed decision whether that would be a good office for you!
When results are displayed in list format, you scan over the results quickly. The space is highly competitive and the attention you earn is actual quite fleeting in comparison.
The value of having a potential customer paying attention to you is incredible. If your offer is compelling enough, the customer would have no reason to consider any other options. Hey, presto – you have yourself another customer – magic.
What are the search engines going to do?
Google, Apple and Amazon both have well-functioning, efficient voice search engines built in (as long as you speak clearly!).
Naturally, there will be a few teething problems, just as there was with SEO and PPC in the early years. It is the responsibility of the search engines to deliver to you the results that you desire. If any search engine stops doing that – you aren’t going to use them. It’s their business!
How any search engine chooses to do this is entirely at their discretion. Do they award this ‘voice result’ to the top organic search results? Do they let advertisers pay for the right to this space? Or will there be an entirely new mechanism for this? The decision made here will be massive for thousands of competing businesses.
Voice is fast becoming a key part of our marketing strategies and will be considered alongside website design, email marketing, classic SEO and PPC, as well as social media before too long.
Sleeky Web Design and Print is working closely with Metropolitan House Business Centre in Gateshead on their Search Engine Optimisation, ensuring they are at the top of the search results for highly relevant, targeted keywords. Sleeky will continue to optimise their pages for increased voice search when that becomes a financially sound option.