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Voice search has arrived. In astonishingly increasing numbers, consumers are using their voices to conduct searches on their smart phones, tablets, and in-home digital assistants such as Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s HomePod and Google’s Home. If the digital arm of your business is not optimized to take advantage of this emerging mode of consumer querying, you risk losing business to competitors who understand its power and have adjusted accordingly. 

Understanding conversational search

Google’s primary goal is to understand and appropriately respond to the intent of a given user’s search. A very minor change in syntax or verbiage can signal very different expectations for results. This is why Google tailors the results it delivers according to nuances of phraseology.

These nuances are delivered in the form of speech rather than typed text. Voice-based searches vary significantly from those you tend to type at actual or virtual keyboards. Your SEO practices need to flex to incorporate these subtle-yet-powerful changes.

Sizing up voice vs. text-based search results

For example, if you search Google using (1) “get tacos” (2) “how to find a good taco,” and (3) “where can I get a good taco?” you will likely see very different results. The first nets a hodgepodge of results from a popular taco chain to the Urban Dictionary to assorted lists of taco joints from different cities. The second is slightly more focused, yielding pages listing recipes and award-winning restaurants.

The third is the one that should pique your attention. This is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to local SEO. And this is the type of natural language, conversational search phraseology that customers use when they run voice searches. If your taco restaurant (or law firm or software company or gadget brand) isn’t coming up on the first page on conversational searches targeting your niche, you just found your newest SEO goal.

Adjusting your SEO strategy

While it is vital to continue with basic SEO practices, using long-tail keywords that are sensitive to phrases your customers might use when speaking a search request (rather than typing it) are absolutely essential. Do your homework as far as keyword research, but rely on your own understanding of your specific niche, as well.

Ask yourself — or better yet, ask your customers — if you were asking Alexa (or the device of your choice) about the your product or service, how would you phrase it? Make sure your long tail keywords are phrased, question style, to take advantage of consumers’ tendency to literally ask a question of a voice-based searching device (e.g., “where can I find a good taco around here”).

At Tavano Team, we live and breathe eCommerce marketing. We’re up to speed on the latest research around voice-based searches, and can help you ensure that your marketing strategies hit the mark. Contact us today to discover who the Tavano Team can drive more business to your virtual and actual doorstep.

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