SEO is a challenge for any modern business, but if you know how to stay updated with the latest Google ranking changes and evolutions for user behaviour, you should notice that you begin to see your rankings start to gradually improve. That means that you’ll end up with more potential customers, more relevant traffic, and more opportunities to convert.

One of the biggest factors in SEO is powerful keyword research. When you’re performing SEO research today, you should begin to notice an uptrend in “long tail” search queries. The reason for this new popularity, is the emergence of “voice search”, which makes up about 20% of mobile searches.

As more personal assistants emerge in the world of technology, it’s important for marketing experts to start implementing voice search elements into their keyword strategy, and introducing new solutions for ranking ahead of their competitors.

Switching Syntax for Voice Search

To make the most of voice search, you’ll need to start using long-tail keywords. Long-tail phrases are often more informal and conversational, which means that they’re closer to natural speech. For instance, if you were looking for somewhere to eat, you might type “pizza delivery” into your search engine. However, if you were on the road and you wanted to ask Siri or a similar personal assistant to find a local restaurant for you, you might say “What’s the best place to get pizza in the next five miles?”

Although short-tail keywords are likely to remain an essential element of SEO, there’s going to be fewer searches of that nature in the future. Today, it’s up to businesses to start adapting their syntax to more conversational language, and long-tail phrases, that help them to rank for exactly what their customers are searching for.

Knowing your Brand

Getting to know your brand is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for voice-based search. How can you decide what your brand should be ranking for, if you don’t understand your own company? The problem is, many brands frequently face an identity crisis. While some members of your team might think that you should be ranking for keywords, the truth may be that your audience are searching for something entirely different.

To begin your keyword strategy, you’ll need to think about what makes your company unique, and how you can define yourself to your target audience. At the same time, make sure that you make an effort to optimise for local search. For instance, your digital team should always be updating your contact and profile information where necessary, as research suggests that voice search is three times more likely to be locally based.

Remember to Think Like your Audience

Today, your customers, clients, and prospects want results, and they want them fast. Speaking to ask a question, or find out more about a brand is something that feels more natural, and quick than typing a query into a search engine.

When users are typing on their computer, they often use “computer language”, shortening their words and phrases into something that’s more efficient from a digital perspective. However, when they speak in search terms, they can ask for what they really want, using their own language. Natural language is often therefore more effective for showing intent.

To adjust for the rise of natural language searching, today’s companies will need to choose keywords that are strongly focused on user intent. Try to think about specific questions as they might be asked in a conversational way, and start with your long-tail search queries, which you can format into sentences and questions specific to your business.