It’s no surprise that technology advancements are happening at record speeds. The digital landscape continues to transform before our very eyes and it’s because we, the consumer, is evolving. The technology doesn’t come first, the consumer demands do and technology adapts to the evolution of the consumer. Steve Jobs once said, “You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.”
Consumers have always had these demands, technology has just taken awhile to advance to the point to accommodate them quickly. We are now in the age, though, where our industry is so technologically advanced, these demands are being met faster than ever before. It’s up to us, the marketers, to adapt our strategies that reinforce these advances just as quickly.
Things such as immediacy (Amazon’s same day delivery), convenience (being able to order anything you want online, scan to pay, voice commands for search) and personalization (personalized results based on your search history and shopping trends) are all a part of today’s consumers needs, wants and desires — and the technology has advanced, and continues to advance, to meet these demands. Todays consumers don’t just want certain conveniences, we expect them! Call it a feeling of entitlement if you want, but the fact of the matter is, no amount of complaining will change the outcome. Consumers won’t adapt to you, you need to adapt to the consumer — or your business will soon be a distant memory.
Consumers are using these advanced technologies in their everyday life to to buy and consume products because it’s natural. In the past, this has been the biggest disconnect with technology and processes. Who wants to wait in line at a grocery store for 30 minutes to check out? Enter: self-checkout. Who wants to bring their wallet on a run but might want to buy a drink after a hard 5 miles? Enter: Apple Watch and scan to pay. Technology adapted to consumer behavior. Amazon is even experimenting with no checkout lines for the very near future.
We need to have foresight to understand where the industry is going so we can transition and update our strategies as frictionless as possible. For example, if you didn’t foresee consumers using various connected devices for online purchases, and didn’t update to a responsive website, your sales would have suffered greatly. The introduction of voice search and optimizing your online store to accommodate this trend will be just as important.
Voice search is the fastest growing type of search. According to Google, already 20% of mobile searches are voice search. I’m definitely a part of that percentage as I use voice search every single day. From asking Siri questions, using voice text to send my friends messages to speaking in Google Search so I don’t have to write out my question.
Now, here’s the kicker — when you ask Siri a question or use voice in Google search, do you speak like you write? No way, because we’re human, not robots. We speak in a conversational form like we would to another person. This very fact is putting old school SEO strategies that focused so heavily on keywords, on it’s head. Using the online automotive parts industry as an example, a search without the use of voice in the past could be, “OEM Ford brake pads online” to “Where can I buy discounted OEM Ford brake pads online.” As you can see, the latter has morel long-tail keywords that incorporate natural speech. I’m not saying keywords aren’t important anymore, they certainly are. Google still needs to know what it is you are looking for and these keywords make this possible. That said, technology advancements that recognize and understand natural phrases by interpreting the meaning and context behind the words is upon us — and inlays area of opportunity to reap the benefits by optimizing our website and content for it.
We need to incorporate voice search into our SEO strategy because it’s the SEO of the future, and by future, I most certainly mean now! Ways to start doubling down on optimizing for voice search is by starting to create amazing content in a conversational tone.
Incorporate Long Tail Keywords
Considering adding more natural phrases and conversational phrases to your content and title tags. For example, instead of a title tag of “Ford Brake Pads” a long tail, conversational form of that could be “Find genuine Ford break pads online” or “How do I know if my Ford break pads need to be replaced?” Both examples still have the keyword “Ford Brake Pad”, the latter just ads a natural form of speech.
Answer FAQ’s like a human
When people who use voice search ask a question, they typically begin with, “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how,” — and are looking for answers to fulfill their immediate needs. In order to rank in search results for all of these voice inquiries, you need to set your FAQ page up that utilize these adverbs. Then you can answer these questions conversationally to appeal to the voice search. A great way to start is to begin writing down what customers typically ask you when they call or email you questions. Maybe it’s “how can I know I’m buying the correct part?” or “what is the cost to ship my parts in the same day?”
Optimize for mobile
Most people using voice search are doing so on mobile devices. It’s crucial that your website is responsive with a site architecture that caters to mobile users. If someone performs a voice search, goes to your site and has a bad user experience, you’ve missed the boat. Not only did you lose out on a potential sale from that particular consumer, your website bounce rate increased which will effect how your site ranks overall in SERPS.
What are your thoughts on voice search? Are you already optimizing your marketing efforts for your e-commerce auto parts store for voice search? I’d love to hear your thoughts!