Topic: Search Engine Optimization

Voice Search & Search Engine Optimization

Voice Search and Search Engine Optimization

Why You Need to Update Your Website Content for Voice Search.

These days, voice commanded searches are ever increasing with the rapid growth of ‘smart’ devices in consumer’s homes. So long are the days when voice required individuals to dial a number and state their queries. Now you are more likely to see devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa popping up in homes across the world. In one study, 20% of adults in the US have smart devices in their home featuring a smart speaker.¹ More and more people across the world are noticing the ease of convenience that comes with voice search, especially in time-sensitive situations. And research only indicates that voice search will only further evolve and develop into a more sophisticated and useful tool.

In 2016 MindMeld’s report on Intelligent Voice Assistants Research Report identifies the top reasons for using voice command searches among consumer:

  • 61% – Found it useful for when hands / vision occupied
  • 30% – Provided faster results
  • 24% – Some have difficulty typing on certain devices
  • 22% – Because it’s fun
  • 12% – Avoid confusing menus
  • 1% – Other

This means that web professional need to start updating their website content for voice search. In order to stay ahead of the curve this means that websites also need to be geared towards how users would navigate a website verbally. Search Engine Optimization for Voice Search is just like regular SEO. However, there are few things that sets Voice Search apart from mobile and desktop types searches.

How Do I Get Ranked for Voice Search? Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your content at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Voice searches are conversational, and people don’t generally speak the way that they type. This means that instead of focusing on current buzzwords, you should be focusing on long tail keywords. These conversational words generally are framed around words such as, who, what when, why, how etc. Further advice to consider relates to content with multiple keywords has consistently proven to hold out better against competition. This also includes asking how you can keep the conversation going with a user and therefore leading them to relevant information elsewhere.

Showcase featured snippets, that provide users with fast and simple results. Additionally, this will also keep your content at the top of SERPs and giving your website higher visibility.

Keep speed in mind because search engine algorithms like Google’s prioritize websites that load faster. Although fast delivery also relates to the featured snippet that is shown in response to a user’s query. A featured snippet presents the most the relevant content at the top of search results creating a smoother experience. Keeping your information easy for search engines to locate is essential, especially in time-sensitive situations where information requires a higher urgency

Consider locality in how you craft your websites content for optimization. Mainly because people are frequently using voice-search on the go, and thereby searching for more localized content.² Context is everything, and therefore take into consideration the context that your website and services exist within and that will help you focus your Search Engine Optimization.

 Ask yourself this, what is the value you are providing to your customers? Sometimes what it takes is a trip back to the basics. Users speak to their devices for a reason, and they are in search of an answer. Therefore, your priorities should be geared towards delivering utility, simplifying commerce and providing entertainment that only voice command can offer. Too much entertainment, can also divert attention away from a user’s intended goal and that’s not useful. Remember what value you provide to your users and what their needs are.

Take Advantage of FAQs are an easy way to include your long-tail search keywords into your sites content naturally. By Incorporating frequently asked question, you insert long-tail keywords into your content and avoid any awkward phrasing, benefiting both users and your SEO.

Why Chose Google?

Significantly, what has become predominant in the evolution of voice search engines is Google’s ability to stay on top. Google’s own Google Home and Google Home Mini have proven time and time again to provide the most relevant content fluidly to users. Whereas Microsoft and Apple’s tech tend to fetch results that are essentially social marketing quips, that don’t necessarily answer the command. What you should take away here is that it makes more sense to focus your Search Engine Optimization for Voice Search efforts towards Google as the primary search engine.

The bottom line? Keep It Simple. Information needs to be easy for an individual to comprehend, Grade 9 Reading Levels are the general recommendation that almost all public information is written in. By maintaining the content to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines regardless of type or voice search increases you SEO rankings. You can start to uncover how best to go about changing your voice search keywords by analyzing customer phone calls and testing various content in order to discover what works best! And remember, to incorporate long-tail and natural keywords in your meta data and web content, rather than just a single head term.

Taking these tips into consideration will help you stay up-to-date on the ever-changing trends in voice-search technologies. In case all this information seems a little daunting talk to us about how we can help improve your site’s voice search optimization. Here at Insiteful Solutions, our digital marketing agency helps Toronto businesses like yours. With extensive knowledge in SEO and PPC marketing founded in strong ROI, our experienced team can help your company reach the high standards that you have set for yourself.

SEO or PPC Advertising with Google AdWords: What Should Toronto Businesses Focus Their Marketing Dollars Towards

Should a company invest their marketing dollars into Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or spend it on PPC marketing with Google AdWords? This is actually one of the most common questions we receive from Toronto businesses interested in doing online marketing. The two Internet marketing strategies are very different, but also have a lot in common. Understanding how both work and their differences is a great way to take your digital marketing to the next level.

First, let’s begin by understanding how SEO works. Search Engine Optimization has been around since there were search engines. Basically, SEO is the practice of making a website more attractive to both Google and its visitors. There are a lot of ingredients that go into a well-planned SEO strategy including content development, link building, optimization of navigation, keyword-optimized META tags and dozens of other elements. A good SEO campaign is powered by data and engagement. Eventually, a well-designed SEO strategy will produce strong ROI by causing a website to rank high in organic web search results for keywords relevant to the brand.

SEO helps a website become more user-friendly to its visitors, therefore creating higher conversion rates. It’s important that a website loads quickly and have a mobile-friendly design; both elements weigh heavy in how Google ranks websites.

How long will it take SEO to have an impact on a website? This is one of the most common questions we are asked. SEO isn’t magic, it takes some time and hard work. Results and timeframes will vary greatly from business to business. Some websites may see results after a couple of weeks, others may need to wait for months or even longer. Organic traffic from Google is some of the most valuable and high-converting traffic a business can have. Ongoing SEO will generate strong traffic for the long-term.

Instant Google success can happen by running Google AdWords pay per click (PPC) ads. Results can often be seen within 24 hours and it’s easy to modify and tweak your campaigns. There are 3.5 billion searches done on Google every day and Google AdWords allows you the ability to pay for advertising on specific keyword searches. Google AdWords is a powerful tool with excellent ROI, the right PPC strategy can transform a business overnight.

Like any other form of advertising, it’s important to do your research when working with AdWords to come up with really strong ad copy and landing pages. Within a few days, you should be able to gain an understanding of how people find your site on Google and what keyword combinations produces the best traffic for an affordable price. High-performing PPC marketing doesn’t happen by accident, or by simply spending more money then the competition, they take work and constant fine-tuning.

It’s best to invest in both SEO and PPC in the early days of a marketing strategy, but the cost can be a factor. Budgets will vary from business to business and your company may not be ready to invest a lot of money into Google AdWords today. Like you, many Toronto companies are wondering what’s the best way to start with a shoestring budget. Starting with SEO will provide your business with an understanding of how people interact with your website and content. This knowledge can eventually become the foundation of your PPC advertising once your budget allows for it.

SEO and Google AdWords are two of the most effective and high-converting strategies in the digital marketing world today. Our Markham digital marketing agency has helped Toronto businesses like you take their marketing to the next level, by creating both SEO and PPC marketing rooted in strong ROI. Our experienced team will be happy to discuss the goals of your company and partner with you to create a digital marketing strategy that generates both leads and sales for the longterm.

Google Updates Impacting How Local Businesses Appear in Search

Google has been making an effort to make their search results show local information better for some time now. The search engine recently launched two major updates to their algorithm, both with a goal of diversifying local map results in organic search. These updates can either have a positive or a negative impact on your business.

The first update to the Google organic search algorithm did not directly penalize or remove any businesses from Google My Business, but it could have made your listing disappear from Google’s Map Pack. When you search Google for a local keyword the search engine will show a selection of local listings on the top or middle of the search results page, this is commonly referred to as Google’s Map Pack.  Many in the SEO world have dubbed this first algorithm update as the Possum update, due to the fact it caused otherwise functional local listings to ‘play dead’ and disappear from the map pack on the search results page.

The Possum update was first launched in 2016 many businesses that had brick and mortar locations physically near or with shared ownership as another business with the same name found that their listings were hidden in search results. This also caused businesses that shared office space with another business operating in the same industry to disappear. Businesses did not need to share addresses to be affected, there were some cases of competitors with addresses on the same street being negatively impacted by the update. The update also gave more weight to the searchers physical location. For example, a person living in Markham who searched Google for ‘plumbers’ would see a much different search results page than someone doing the same search in Oakville.

Google doesn’t necessarily make updates to their algorithm to penalize website owners, their goal is always to make search more accurate, useful and relevant to their users. The Possum updated filtered out businesses with the same name or who offered similar services with the goal of providing more diversified results. Some industries were impacted more than others with this update. It’s not uncommon to see various doctor, lawyer, and insurance offices clustered together in a certain region of a city. It’s very likely that some of these businesses were negatively impacted by the Possum update (especially for those operating in the same building).

Over the years, Google has earned a strong reputation for being receptive to the feedback of their users, and an additional update was launched to lessen the negative impact from the Possum update. In August 2017, Google launched an algorithm update nicknamed Hawk to curb the negative effects of the previously issued Possum update. Hawk was able to tighten the proximity filters of Google, this helped many listings wrongfully hurt by the Possum update to start appearing again. Unfortunately, the update to the algorithm did not help businesses operating in the same building from cancelling one another out.

Are you finding that your business is losing local traffic due to the Possum algorithm update? Here are some useful tips if the Hawk update didn’t help:

  • Focus on your local online presence – Take advantage of the many tools and features included in Google’s free Google My Business account to maintain local visibility. Be sure to fill out as much information as possible and keep everything up-to-date. Try to make to your audience on a regular basis.
  • Add a local spin to your content – Content is extremely important online and it can really help with your local search results. When writing content you’ll want to think local and give your content a local flavour.
  • Post relevant and local content on all platforms – Try to connect with other high-quality websites in your local area and ask them to backlink to your website. Ensure that any page being backlinked to contains relevant and localize content. This strategy will show Google that you are a local authority in your market.

It’s important to have a strong understanding of how Google operates and the updates to their algorithm. Google’s focus on diversifying the local content they show can be an excellent opportunity to rank higher and get qualified web traffic. At Insiteful Solutions, we’ve been helping businesses rank higher in Google with sustainable SEO strategies. Learn more about how SEO can generate traffic for your business by contacting us today.