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How to Hack Voice Search: Use Long Tail Keywords

How to Hack Voice Search: Use Long Tail Keywords

Statistics show that the sale of the Amazon Echo doubled between 2015 and 2016, while over half of teens and adults currently use voice search on a daily basis.  Furthermore, Siri boasts more than 41.1 million monthly active users, perhaps because this feature is enabled for use on the Mac as well as the iphone.  To put it plainly, voice search is on the rise and is here to stay. The future of search  is voice command.  It’s the Siris and the Echoes of the world that are going to replace typing search terms into the Google search bar.  

Since we’ve all worked so hard to make sure our SEO is up to par for desktop and mobile search queries, it’s worth a look to know if we will need to up our game when it comes to search queries made from these new voice-activated searches.  We desire to be articulate, economical, yet eloquent.  Ahem! Long tail Keywords can be all of these.  

Long Tail Keywords

By definition a long tail keyword is a very targeted phrase that contains three or more words and often contains a head term (keyword) that is general with one or two more specific keywords added.  For example, in the search query done in Orange County for a nearby donut shop, the keyword breakdown would look like this:

Head term: donuts

Long tail keywords: best donut orange california,  donut shop orange, donut shop by the water

shutterstock 566188660 How to Hack Voice Search: Use Long Tail Keywords

How We Type

For the most part, short, simple and broad keywords are recommended for SEO strategies because when it comes to typing in search terms into Google, users tend to search for broad terminology. In the example given above, if the user types the word “donuts” into their search query, Google automatically will pull up websites near their geographic location that rank for the word “donut.”

Honestly, this type of search query, works perfectly for our mobile and desktop searches because it is a good representation of how we type.  The problem is, these short keywords are not a good representation of how we talk.   

How We Talk

When we talk, we are much more specific and detailed, because we are used to formulating sentences, not performing search queries.  The tech giants know this.   As a result, when we ask Siri or Alexa something we are required to call them by name: “Hey Siri..” or “Alexa…”  Talking in full sentences, even to a computer, comes more naturally and therefore allows for these voice-commanded devices to fit more easily into our lives.   

So,when we talk to our new “tech assistants,” we use our normal conversational phrases, just as we would to our friend or colleague.   In other words, if the same person who was searching for a donut shop in Orange County was asking the smart home digital assistant through voice command, the search would sound something like this: “Alexa, what is the best donut shop in Orange County?”  or “Hey Siri…where is a donut shop by the beach?”

Our choice of search, talking or typing, necessitates a particular search method.  When we type, we search using head words, but when we talk to search, we use long-tail keywords.  Knowing this requires us to be thoughtful about our SEO strategies.

The Pros of Long Tail Keywords

Because a voice commanded search strategy will be in higher and higher demand as the months and years go on, there is no time like the present to incorporate long tail keywords into your SEO strategy.  Long tail keywords, even outside of the digital assistant realm create these additional, excellent results:

  • Better quality traffic and higher conversion rates: Because long tail keywords are more specific, visitors who land on your webpage will be more qualified.  And because the site will have more relevant content to their search query, conversion rates should be higher.
  • Less Competition The more specific your keywords are, the less competitive the arena is.  Everyone on a Saturday morning is looking for donut shops, but not everyone is looking for “donut shops by the beach”. With less competition, your site will more likely have a high ranking on the SERP.
  • Most Popular Type of Search According to SEOmoz, longtail search makes up 70% of search queries.  As Google hones in on these more specific search strategies, users will find their searches bring up exactly what they are looking for.  Users will only continue to buy more digital assistants and search using these important SEO phrases.  

Planning out a digital strategy, especially in the changing tides of the smart home industry, can be tricky.  A digital agency like ours is here to help you navigate these changing waters so that your website can be ahead of the curve. (OK Siri:  take me to the next level!) 

Randy TaylorHow to Hack Voice Search: Use Long Tail Keywords