A familiar face is back in the mobile world, and they brought a new friend to shake things up a bit.
Confused? Google (the familiar face) is making a strong reemergence into the smartphone hardware world with their new phone, Google Pixel (the new friend).
Initial reviews of the Pixel look promising. Journalists appear especially impressed with the introduction of Google’s new voice-assisted search platform, Google assistant.
Google assistant is, in Google’s own words, the “next evolution” of Google search. As marketers, this immediately piqued our attention.
According to Google’s own data, 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults use voice search more than once a day. Averaged out, that’s just under a 50 percent adoption rate for voice search.
It’s a safe assumption that voice assistants are quickly becoming the new fad in mobile search queries. We’ve had to ask ourselves, how does this affect mobile SEO?
The answer is somewhat murky. We’ll say with confidence it absolutely does affect mobile SEO, we’re just not sure exactly how much.
Let’s take a look at what we know so far.
The basis of good SEO is strong keyword strings.
Current mobile SEO strategy is based on long-tail keywords people search for on the go. More often than not, these keywords include location.
Google’s recent “Possum” update solidified this as the go-to mobile SEO strategy. Possum revamped how Google handles location within a local search.
Previously, businesses outside a city’s limits would incur a penalty for including the city name in their keywords. Since Possum, including a nearby city’s name increases search rank.
Because voice search is heavily dependent on accurate location results, Possum allows suburban businesses visibility when someone searches within city limits.
However, not everything migrates so easily to voice search. The written word does not always translate well into the spoken word.
Keywords from voice search are generated by your natural speaking patterns. For example, “I’m looking for a dyson vacuum in Boulder, CO” is a natural voice search, but doesn’t translate well into a traditional Google search.
Start thinking about how your customers speak, not what they type.
Start pinpointing what results voice search users are after.
Traditional mobile search analysis shows that 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches on search engines. Eighty-eight percent of these consumers admitted to conducting these searches on their smartphone.
It’s reasonable to conclude this trend will continue with voice search. So what do smartphone searches return? Basic information on local business.
Google has decided that smartphone users are searching for quick and easy information. Phone numbers, web addresses, and physical addresses all are on the cards.
It’s no secret why they’ve chosen this strategy. Sixty-eight percent of consumers used smartphone listings to call a local business.
Get a leg up by adding your business to Google My Business. The service allows local business to update their basic information within Google’s database. The more Google knows, the better you’ll rank.
We wish we knew for sure. Paid results appear every time someone searches Google.
What we’re unsure of, is if paid results will appear in voice search. After all, voice searches are tailored to return the answer to your question, not multiple results.
Google could seriously upset the balance of mobile SEO if they allow companies to buy voice search results. Organic traffic could become a thing of the past.
It’s definitely something to keep a close eye on as Google assistant develops.
The increased popularity of voice assisted search is sure to shake up SEO in the upcoming years. Google seems poised lead the way with Google assistant, but Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are also in the mix.
Remember, mobile SEO is always changing. Those of us that stay ahead of the curve will always have a leg up on the competition.