Founder of Suncoast Web Solutions

Neil McNulty

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Sunshine Coast SEO Increases Focus On Voice Search

When it became obvious that mobile search was rapidly overtaking any other method, it was really only a matter of time before Voice Search was under the spotlight. And as we move into 2017, reports and statistics make it very clear that it will forever change the way we search.

The number of people using Voice Search is now over 50%. Why? Because it’s perfect for mobile search, it’s quick, it’s easier than typing and it’s hands-free.

Rapid Growth

At the beginning of 2016, Google reported that direct answer results accounted for around 19.5% of total search engine queries – a 4% increase over the previous year. 12 months later and Voice Search is taking SEO by storm.

What is amazing is that in 2014, Voice Search was more-or-less unheard of! Yet by 2015, it had already risen to 10% of the search volume globally – around 50 billion searches a month!

Apart from it’s obvious benefits to the user, the increase has come about thanks to major advances in speech recognition technology.  You could say that’s a natural progression that was bound to happen sooner or later.

Short Keywords Are Out

One thing is for sure, the increased use of Voice Search is changing Search Engine Optimization forever. Why? Largely because of how we speak. When we type, we tend to use only keywords – for example, if you need to get your car serviced on the Sunshine Coast, you’d probably type ‘car service Sunshine Coast’ or ‘mechanics Sunshine Coast’.

When we speak, we tend to give more details and be more specific. Now you’re using key-phrases – ‘why can I get my Toyota serviced?’. As simple as it sounds, this will have a profound effect on our SEO campaigns.

Organisations must now use more specific long-tailed keywords and more fully understand customer intent. This may mean that getting the office junior to write and upload your blog is a thing of the past!

Prepare For 2017

All content – be it your website pages, blogs and media – must now change, in order to achieve Voice Search ranking. I know, just as you thought you’d got to grips with your SEO campaign, it’s changing again!

If you thought the number of changes in internet usage, search engines, mobile search and user experience over the past 10 years was huge, wait until you see what happens over the next 12 months!

You could say that today’s SEO marketers need to not only understand and predict user intent, but also be experts in language! It’s not just what we say, but how we say it, that will affect search engine optimisation on the Sunshine Coast in the months ahead.

It seems we use Voice Search to ask for directions, get help with homework or work projects, order pizza, find out movie times, even to check the time! We use it when jogging, shopping, cooking, dealing with the kids – basically anywhere we need to keep our hands free.

Is your Sunshine Coast SEO strategy taking account of the increase in Voice Search?

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More Stories By Neil McNulty

Neil is a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), but has an extensive knowledge of a wide variety of software, operating systems and web development processes.