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What Does Voice Search Mean for Your Website?

We all love Siri and Google Voice Search – even Cortana – but what does it mean for your website and your website’s SEO?

What Does Voice Search Mean for Your Website?

Why is voice search important?

First, we need to understand why voice search is important before we get into how it impacts business opportunities, business SEO and what you can do to leverage it.

The model of searching using Google is a new take on a historical way of getting information.

As Ivan Bercovich, a VP of engineering at Graphiq put it:

“The old model was us asking the librarian. The new model is us asking a smart friend who is going to give us an answer.”

That’s why this topic is important – we’re not only talking about a different technology, but a fundamentally different way to look for and deliver information. We’re not looking for resources anymore – now, we’re looking for answers.

With this change in how people are searching and what they’re hoping to achieve, we need to shift how we think about SEO.

Verbal searches are three times as likely to be local, so it’s particularly relevant for local SEO success. To do that, we need to understand the differences.

1. Voice search is a lot more conversational

Obviously, because it’s spoken out loud.

When was the last time you said, “small business advertising cheap?”

Probably never, but you might have typed it.

What you would say though might be: “How do I advertise to a small business cheaply?” or “What’s the best way to market my national franchise restaurant to a local audience?”

See the difference?

Voice searches follow this pattern of conversation, which means that your website copy needs to follow the same trend.

The local SEO technique

Write your content the way you would say it so that Google can pull the answer. Another tip is to comb through your search query data in Google Analytics and look for natural-looking queries – odds are, those are the ones coming from voice searches.

2. Voice searches are looking for specific answers

Users are now looking for specific answers with their search. For example, the results to ‘best pizza open after midnight’ won’t be a list of search results. It will be the closest pizza place that is open after midnight. The most successful franchises are going to be the ones who provide such specific answers to questions like this.

The local SEO technique

Develop either an FAQ or a Q&A section of your website. It’s an easy way to make sure you’re covering common questions that people will ask.

3. Voice search is getting more complicated

A keyboard (especially a tiny one on a phone) is no place to type in a long search like ‘if I were going to buy a camera for traveling in South East Asia, what camera should I buy?’

That’s never going to happen. Instead, people will search ‘camera South East Asia buy’

Which is why SEO has focused on keywords for so long – it’s what lazy typists have searched. However, voice search is changing that.

Now, people can say the actual thing they want to find out loud, which is an awful lot easier than typing it out. The result? Long tail keywords are going to be really important.

The local SEO technique

Produce content that addresses long tail keyword demands. Not sure which long tail keywords are driving your traffic? Here’s how you find out:

1. With Google Analytics, you can easily see what people are searching to get to your site. Export that information to Excel.

2. Order the spreadsheet by number of searches.

3. Scroll all the way to the bottom – searches that have only have 1-2 people enter your site through them.

4. Look at the search terms.

Now that you’ve got a good idea of how to find the long tails, start building content to answer whatever those queries are, and use the query as the title to the content. Done. While long tail keywords generally convert higher, you probably shouldn’t optimize for long visits.

Conclusion

Staying on top of the latest marketing SEO trends and strategies for a small business or franchise can be exhausting. But if you’re only going to focus on one thing this year, make it adapting to local voice search. This voice trend is set to explode over the next five years, and companies are already reporting a huge amount of traffic via voice searches.

To keep on top of your SEO game, Siri needs to be able to find you.

Need help? Let our team make your site voice search friendly.

7 Steps to a Better Search

If you’re anything like other franchises out there, you’re probably pretty reliant on organic search and your search engine ranking to drive your business.

But traffic, SEO and SEM aren’t just about the best search engine optimization tools and the hottest SEO techniques.

It’s about the quality of the traffic you’re driving.

7 Steps to a Better Search

Don’t fall into the classic SEO trap of driving massive volume that doesn’t convert.

Here are 7 things you can do to drive better quality traffic than ever before. Continue reading 7 Steps to a Better Search

14 Must-Have Assets to Diversify Your SEO Portfolio

There are so many tricks and tactics you can use to boost your SEO strategy that sometimes it can feel completely overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve put together 14 of our favorite white hat SEO techniques you can use to pump up your search engine marketing.

14 Must have assets to diversify your SEO portfolio

1. Speed up your site

Buy a subscription to a caching service (or get a plugin), host images yourself and reduce the weight of your website to make it go faster. Gtmetrix will give you a free speed report that you can use to help you find where you can speed things along. Speed is a ranking factor, so the faster your site the better your SEO.

2. Remove duplicate content

A holdover from the era of SEO keyword stuffing, Google punishes duplicate content pretty severely. Use a tool like Screaming Frog to make sure you don’t have duplicated content on your site.

3. Focus keywords in H1 and H2 tags

SEO keywords still remain important, despite Google’s best efforts to the contrary. To get the most bang for your keyword buck, try and focus on using them NATURALLY in H1 and H2 headings.

4. Limit H1 tags to one per page

There should only be one H1 tag per page. A blog, for example, might use H1 tags for their titles. If you’re using H1 tags for subheadings, switch them to H2 tags.

5. Specify what anchor text people linking to your site should use

If you have a network of bloggers linking to your site, specify what anchor text they use (anchor text is the text that you actually link, so if we linked to the Wikipedia page about anchors, the word ‘anchor’ is the anchor text). Google uses anchor text to work out what the page that’s being linked to is about, and it can help raise your authority within Google’s SEO rankings.

6. Add alt tags to your images

When Google crawls your site, it can’t see pictures – it relies on alt tags to know what the picture is. Without an alt tag (or with an alt tag that’s useless like 12345.png), Google won’t know what to make of it – and you’ll miss out on the SEO help.

7. Make your site look good on mobile

Google has been using mobile friendliness as a ranking factor since at least 2015. Make sure you’re getting the most from your development and web marketing dollars by making your site mobile friendly. Whether you opt for a responsive design, a mobile microsite or a mobile app, just make sure it looks good on a phone.

8. Use LSI keywords

LSI keywords, or Latent Semantic Indexing, are essentially related keywords to the ones you’re using. For example, if you’re using the keyword ‘website SEO’, an LSI keyword might be search engine optimization tools. There are many sources for LSI keywords, including Google’s ‘related terms’, Google AdWords, LSI keyword generators and tools like Jaaxy.

9. Write longer content

It’s become clear over the last couple of years that longer content tends to perform better than short stuff (generally, there are plenty of caveats here). Focusing on longer pieces gives you a chance to maximize SEO content value, as well as provide more opportunity for long tail keywords.

10. Write a great snippet

A snippet is the stuff that comes up when your site shows up in the search engine rankings. Here is ours:

Burkhart Snippet

You want to make sure yours makes sense, is legible and draws your readers in. The more people who click, the better your SEO ranking is going to be.

11. Make your site an HTTPS secure site

Getting an SSL certificate to make your website a secure one (it’ll show up as HTTPS instead of HTTP) is a quick and easy way to get a guaranteed SEO win. Google wants sites to be more secure, so they use security as a ranking factor. Getting your website a SSL certificate will help (they’re pretty cheap).

12. Provide incentives for reviews

Reviews are critical, especially for local SEO. First, it will help people know how great your business are since it’s social proof. Second, Moz attributed 5% of search engine ranking to social signals. For most franchises (especially restaurant franchises) that means reviews.

13. Respond to comments

The more comments you have, the more content you have on your site (which is good). It also shows deeper user engagement, which Google loves. To encourage comments, have a CTA at the end of your blog posts asking for comments, and make sure you respond when people write them.

14. Link each page internally and externally

With various updates over the years and an increasing focus on authority, Google’s made it clear that being connected to the network of the internet is really important. An easy way to do this is to make sure every post or page you write for your site has 1-2 internal links, as well as 1-2 external ones. The stronger your connection is to the broader network, the better off your site is going to be.

There you have it. 14 (mostly) quick and (mostly) easy SEO techniques you can start to apply to your site. With these in your back pocket, you’ll be number one in the SERPS in no time.

Think you’ve got a great SEO strategy that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Do’s and Don’ts for SEO in 2017

 

The world of search engine optimization is one of constant change and flux. It’s important to stay on top of the latest SEO techniques in order to get your SEO ranking where it should be. With that in mind, here are 6 SEO strategy do’s and don’ts for you to practice in 2017.

6 Do's and Don'ts of SEO in 2017

1. DO target longtail SEO keywords with long-form content

Longtail keywords continue to drive the best quality traffic with the lowest acquisition cost. Continue to publish long-form content to hit those essential longtail keywords to support your pay per click keyword bids to promote your business. Continue reading 6 Do’s and Don’ts for SEO in 2017

How to Write Shareable Content

Anyone can produce content. It’s writing shareable and easy-to-read content where it gets a little difficult. When writing content your objective should be to bring something valuable to your audience. If they relate with your content they are more likely to share your content.

It’s not all about the physical words on the page. It’s also about how your content is formatted. How often do you scroll through a blog without actually reading all of it? All the time! Your reader’s attention span is probably comparable to a third grade boy in this fast-paced environment we live in. With all that said, you’re best off formatting your content to allow for easy scrolling but still allowing your audience to catch the main ideas.

Here are a few ideas to capture your reader’s attention.

Continue reading How to Write Shareable Content