How people search the internet is at the heart of everything we do at Webtek. In fact, our role as a digital marketing agency would be nonexistent if it were not for internet search engines. Over the years we have had to adapt to changes in search engine capabilities in order to serve our clients. These days, a lot of what we do deals with voice, mobile, and local search.
Do you know how these three forms of search relate to each other? If not, read on. This post will lay it out for you in detail. By the time you are done reading, you will understand the importance of combining all three search models in your SEO strategy.
Voice Search: The Very Latest
Much of what is discussed in this post finds its roots in the concept of voice search. In the simplest possible terms, voice search is using a search engine by speaking rather than typing. Google began offering it a few years ago.
Google’s Hummingbird update gave life to voice search when it was first introduced in 2013. Since then, the world’s number one search engine has been developing voice search along two separate lines:
Semantic – Semantic capabilities make it possible for Google to anticipate what a user wants to know by inferring intent. It is easy to see semantic search in action by asking Google a series of questions on the same topic. Google infers intent by analyzing the topic.
NLP – Known formally as natural language processing, NLP is a sophisticated form of deep learning that makes it possible for Google algorithms to understand individual words in their context. It makes for more accurate search results.
Voice search was declared the wave of the future back in the early days of Hummingbird. Some seven years later, Google’s prediction has taken on new life.
Mobile and Local Search
The relationship between voice and mobile search should be clear. After all, it is a lot easier to speak to your phone than type on a tiny screen. Searching the internet by asking your phone a question is just more natural. Google knows this, which is why more recent algorithm updates have placed so much emphasis on mobile.
As for the relationship between voice and local search, it is as simple as the phrase “near me”. How many times have you pulled out your phone and asked it, “where can I find XX near me?” Probably more times and you can remember.
Voice search makes asking ‘near me’ questions quite natural. Thus, voice search also makes local searches on mobile devices more prevalent.
Optimizing for the New Normal
Understanding the relationship between voice, mobile, and local search makes it abundantly clear that websites need to be optimized for them. Unfortunately, there is no single strategy capable of magically guaranteeing a website performs well.
Optimizing for the new normal requires getting a handle on:
User Intent – Figuring out what kinds of questions customers will ask about your business.
Location and Contact – Google now expects websites to include location and contact information.
Schema Tuning – Fine-tuning schema metadata can help Google match a site with user intent.
Long Tail Keywords – Long tail keywords work much better than single keywords for voice search.
Voice, mobile, and local search are like the Three Musketeers. They are virtually inseparable now that Google is focusing so much on them. If your online marketing agency does not have a handle on them, it is time for a change. Let us sit down and talk about making search work better for you.