I remember typing into my first search engine in college during the mid-90s. Netscape and Yahoo dominated my computer lab time, and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Not too long after those days, I became an early adopter of using SEO techniques to enhance my uncle and aunt’s regional business and incorporated Google’s AdWords program into their marketing mix. I remember winning $.05 bids for 1st position for their niche business and telling them to wait by the phone, cause it was gonna ring soon. It did, and they landed on INC Magazine’s list of fastest growing companies.
Fast forward to today. My teenage kids rarely search by type or touch — they use voice assistants. They use voice for all kinds of conversational-type queries, from basketball trivia, to directions, to ordering pizza. They really only use the keyboard when it’s time for homework.
Their generation is living proof that voice tech is already disrupting business as we know it. So how do you prepare as a marketer?
One of the most sought after answers that Voice-thinking marketers are seeking today is to the question of how to ensure that Alexa, Google Home, Siri and others deliver their product or service as the voice search result. While only insiders at these companies know the secret sauce (i.e. algorithms), insiders and those studying the industry agree that there is one thing that benefits both your traditional search ranking and also positions you well for voice search – a fully-optimized website. Today we’ll cover organic search optimization tactics (not paid search) that you can implement to improve your onsite optimization. We’ll continue the conversation next week with more tactics, and if there’s interest, maybe we’ll create a Part III that discusses off-site optimization that will improve your authority and rankings as well.
So, here are three tactics that you can employ so that your website is as optimized as possible for touch and voice. Some of these tactics may seem foundational. That’s okay, we’re still in mini-camp. Master the basics before moving on to the more complicated aspects of optimization.
1. Make sure your website is secure. SSL certification is imperative now. If you’re not secure, you will get dinged. Even worse than that, Google and other search engines might roadblock your site.
2. Make sure your website is fast. Page speed counts. If there is any perceived delay by a searcher in reaching a certain page of your site, studies show that they abandon the page before it even loads. Pindgom.com has a nice tool that checks performance for you. If you have more specific questions about this, feel free to email me.
3. Implement structured data. Don’t know what structured data is? It’s a little technical and probably deserves its own blog post or podcast. But SearchEngineJournal.com has a great article about it. The best next step we can recommend is to organize a quick call with your SEO and developer team. Ask them if they are familiar with SCHEMA.org and if not, to get familiar with it right away.
We don’t know how the voice tech companies are going to make money through voice search in the future. But, while it is still a free and open market, I recommend that you master the fundamentals of the current search world, which is a blend of traditional written, video and image content, and the emerging world of voice content. Join me next week to get more insights on those fundamentals.
August 14, 2018
Written by Chris Sullivan
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