Hey Google, what is SEO?

Like most of our technology, voice commands first originated in science fiction. As HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, famously said, “Look, Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.” after HAL has killed the rest of the crew. Luckily for us, artificial intelligence and humanity haven’t quite reached the complex levels of space travel that we see in Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi classic. Instead, our trusted cyber butlers are relegated to telling us where to eat and playing music. This is where marketers need to be knowledgeable. Voice-search is different than a text search. These searches are also happening on mobile. As any good digital marketing company will tell you, what you say isn’t always what you write down. When you type your request into Google, you’re most likely keeping it broad to get the best possible results. When you speak to Google, that’s a bit more specific and conversational. Proximity, keywords and knowing your audience are all the rave in 2019 and knowing how to utilize your budget with voice search is key for success in this pre-Skynet world.

“This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it”
– Hal 9000 (and also us)

New Media is all around on us. Siri, Google, Alexa, etc, the age of the smart home and voice commands are upon us (Not like Black Mirror warned us already). Businesses now need to be wary of the type of content they produce, as content can be missed if they are too general. Focus on a more conversational approach, and these key areas:

Proximity
Users of voice search are often looking for something nearby. If you are a restaurant or shop owner, your best bet is to focus on your Google Verified Local Business page and have the proper address. When users search “Indian Food Near Me” you want to be found in that top 3, and accessible via Google Maps.

Dedicate an FAQ section.
Most users of voice search are asking a question. It’s best to have those answers on your FAQ section and have site extensions linked from Google Search. Think from your customers perspective, what are they asking? What words will they say rather than type? Your SEO is bound to improve if you incorporate the right phrases from a voice search.

Focus on long-tail keywords
Think about it… Who’s saying ‘Hey Google, Restaurants” no one. Or at least they shouldn’t because that’s just going to lead to more questions for Google. Instead, people are saying “Hey Google, what’s a good burger place to eat near me.” Long- tail keywords have found their relevance through voice search, and its time your content and keywords reflect that.

Have a mobile optimized website
Voice search is mostly done through mobile, so your new user will be looking through their phone as opposed to their desktop. Make sure your website is mobile optimized to prevent bounce rates!

Test, test, test.
“It can only be attributable to human error.”- HAL 9000.
Always try out any new marketing efforts before putting investing heavily. See how your competitors do it and what makes them successful.

For all those Communications graduates out there remember: The medium is the message. Right now, voice search has carved out its own section of search content and your content should be the answer to your customer’s questions


Matthew Martin is an Account Manager with napkin marketing. 

napkin marketing is a Toronto based web design and digital marketing agency. Our Toronto digital marketing agency offers professional SEO, Digital Advertising, and cutting-edge web development to forward-thinking, innovative businesses and organizations. For more information on our SEO services, Google Ad Management, web development services, or to book a complimentary consultation please contact us

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