Voice Search, Speed, and AMP
There is a lot going on right now in the world of SEO. What you’ll notice, if you look at it from a high level, is that it’s all very closely related. But first, some raw statistics:
- 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, per comScore.
• There are over 1 BILLION voice searches per month, as of this writing.
• According to Google, nearly 40% of people use ONLY their mobile device to search during the day (source).
- According to Adobe, “Nearly 8 in 10 of consumers would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device.“
Bonus point if you can recognize how all of these statistics are related.
Hint: They all revolves around optimizing content.
Internet usage among mobile users is exploding. On many of our clients’ websites, it comprises literally 50% of the overall traffic. That change in behavior necessitates a change in approach to website design, SEO, and marketing in general.
Google wants to connect the searcher to the correct content as quickly as possible. That’s always been true. To accomplish this, Google is approaching the challenge from multiple angles.
Starting in July, 2018 Google will be officially using site load speed as a ranking factor, with emphasis on mobile. Learn more about Google mobile-first initiative here. There are many ways to decrease load time. We’ll cover that in other blog posts. Suffice to say that if you have never tested your site load speed, you need to do it. You can test it for free here.
If you’d like a more in-depth “waterfall” load speed analysis, you can perform a free test here.
After doing some real-world testing and analysis, here is our take on SEO strategy for voice search:
- Voice SEO is largely the same as SEO for desktop. The real difference is in the level of optimization given to voice search, because if you don’t optimize for voice, you’ll never have any success. On the plus side, if you optimize properly for voice, your entire online presence and site authority will undoubtedly benefit (a lot) from it.
- 40% of search queries are comprised of local request. Voice search is most critical for businesses that have brick-and-mortar locations; think local shops, organizations, events, skills, etc. If you’re driving around somewhere looking for a carwash, a place to eat, or a beer distributor, you’re much more likely to be using voice search.
- No clear path to victory exists yet in the voice assistant war, because each one is pulling data from a variety of sources.
- Microdata (Schema) needs to be in place and properly configured to increase your chance of being mentioned in a voice search.
- Long-Tail Keywords are where the SEO magic happens in voice search, because people are speaking in whole sentences. Think about the words your customers are using when they’re trying to find your offering through voice search. Try to emulate those speech patterns on your site. Turn your headers into questions! Also, bring back your FAQ page.
Hey Google – Why Do I Need Snippets?
The secret weapon of SEOs, featured snippets can gain you a lot of traffic by always appearing at the top of results, which is where we all want to be – and they’re FREE! You can learn more about snippets here.
Alexa, How Do I Create Snippets?
The secret to triggering Google to create a featured snippet is to generate concise content that completely answers a question. Think like a voice searcher. What questions are your customers or clients asking about your products or services?
Here’s the thing: if you can create successful snippets, you’re killing two birds with one stone. You’re boosting your website’s SEO in general by appearing at the top of results, and you’re also providing an opportunity for Google to pick up on the snippet and deliver it as the only result in a voice search. Boom!
Top 3 SEO “I Got This” Trends for 2018
- Optimize your site for speed. Not desktop fast… mobile fast. Optimize images, create AMP versions of key pages. Don’t use what you really don’t need. Trim the fat. Also, test your site regularly to ensure the speed is being maintained. Remember, you can also test specific pages!
- Optimize the on-page SEO (metadata). Don’t ever talk about more than one topic per page. Keep your answers concise and well presented.
- Always be looking for opportunities to answer a question that your customers or clients may be asking (either by voice or on a keyboard). Answer it well. Think long-tail.
But most importantly, if you need any help with any of this weird SEO stuff, just contact us. We love this!