Previously, we were discussing something called Mobile First Index. This meant that Google was going to optimize its SERPs based on the mobile version of one’s website instead of the desktop version. This of course is because so many people use their phones to search instead of desktops or laptops. Therefore, your ranking could drop if your website is not mobile friendly. Back in 2016 when Google began their experiments with Mobile First Index, they said on their official website for indexing that their “algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.”

This is great and all and we’ve prepared for this and we’re talking about it, but right after that rolled out, a new way of search became a hot topic. Yup, Voice Search.

What is Voice Search?

Do you use Alexa or even Siri? We don’t just search with our keyboards or our phones anymore, now, we search with our voice. Google will now be thinking about how to optimize SERPs based on Voice First Indexing. Google Assistant and Google Home are the Google software that take your voice and turn it into a text search, find the answer and spit it back out to you. Like Alexa. Like Siri. It seems like the consumers don’t even want to use their phones or computers to search anymore. A growing number of voices searches are happening on telephones and other devices, and is projected to reach to 50% of all searches. The companies are encouraging it as well - no longer do they want the consumer to be typing, they want us to be speaking - whether it’s our searches, our social media statuses, anything. This doesn’t mean that Google is going to switch completely over from Mobile First to Voice First, but they’re going to have to adapt to these growing searches, as will you if you own a website and care anything at all about SEO.

What’s The Impact of Voice Search Going to Be on Me?

Well, just like the title of this section, it’s going to affect the length of the questions that searchers commonly ask. Typically, humans will ask Google on the computer or their phone very short questions. These might be: “Best Diner Near Me” or just “Best Dog Groomer”. Short, short. In real life, we might say, “Hey Google, what’s the best diner near me?” or “Alexa, what’s the best dog groomer in New York City?” This means that your website will have to be equipped with answers for these long-form answers, hello SEO experts - wake up! Otherwise, considering as of now there aren’t many results populating from voice searches, your website won’t come up at all. This is because you’ll have to begin gearing your website toward long-form keywords and having very clear answers are going to help you a ton in the long run. Also, don’t forget that this won’t just affect Google, but all search engines, such as Bing, Facebook, and more. 

This means too that you’ll have to be ready for voice searches on every platform your business has - and that you’ll need to get up on all the maps if you want to be located with a voice search, because it can use location based services too, instead of just repeating the question verbatim on the internet. 

Just think about what would translate well for a voice search, can your content be read aloud? Certainly tables and links do not, but content that is clear, concise, and structured. Structured Data is huge - if you tell Google a little about what the page is about, it’s easier to pull for Voice Searches. Some voice assistants try to answer the searchers question directly - so if someone asks “What’s the Best Dog Groomer in New York City?” then your page will come up before another person’s if you have an article that says “What’s the Best Dog Groomer in New York City?” vs “Top 10 Dog Groomers in New York City.” This depends on the assistant though, and you always want to remember that the value of your content is extremely important and that companies like Google are striving to learn more about the context of your pages, not just picking up terms. 

But Don’t Forget About Mobile First Index

Obviously, you’ll want to be ranking at the top on all fronts - voice, mobile, and desktop. A majority of the searches made everyday are still on mobile phones, and while voice searches are catching up, a lot of the voice searches done are still done on the phone too. 

Here are a couple of tips moving forward with Voice First Index:

Test it! Get someone’s Alexa and search for something you’d want your business to come up for, search on your phone, scroll through your mobile website and see how quickly pages load. 
Keep Informed! Stay updated with all of the voice first index news by following the Google Webmaster - their blog and videos are a really great resource.

Any questions? Reach out to us at Firon for help!