Mobile and Voice SEO: The Shape of Things

There’s a strong bond taking shape, and it’s between mobile and voice search. And we don’t mean just how much you to talk to your pal Siri. There’s Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, chatbots and others. In fact, over half of search queries now come from mobile, and least 20% of those are voice-search.  These devices are rapidly finding very useful places in consumers’ lives.

This rapid growth is so compelling that Google is rolling out mobile-first indexing in 2018.

So what does this mean for niche publishers? Let’s take a look at some of the changes in the advent of the mobile-voice SEO explosion:

Your website must have mobile-first design and responsiveness.

Strive for a seamless customer experience from mobile to desktop, not the other way around. Get rid of that clunky across-the-top navigation bar and think mobile drop-down categories for a cleaner look and more room for all those immediately captivating images. (And make sure those images can download in 3 seconds on mobile or you’ve lost them.) Another tip? Make sure you have a FAQ page. People searching for something go right to them.

User interfaces will be more conversational.

How we interact with our audience is going to change. When searching by voice, we humans use spoken phrases that are natural and flow easily to us. These searches incorporate dialects, slang, pitch and volume. And these conversational search phrases are becoming more long-tail and unique to the user. So the SEO strategies of last year won’t be as effective. Media companies need to develop new ways of thinking about how their audience finds them and then create content that will capture these kinds of searches.

Audience development strategies will shift focus.

Brands will need to interact with their audiences in this new way—and through a variety of distribution channels–if they want information, engagement, and transactions. The good news is that the artificial intelligence that powers voice search grows smarter with each interface and has a better understanding of user intent as the searches become more conversational in nature.

Ultimately, the rise of mobile-voice search is going to change the way companies understand ROI. “2018 will be the year of the reader, the audience, the consumer,” according to audience development and digital marketing mentor Melissa Chowning“Statistics that once were the holy grail (such as page views and unique visitors) will be replaced with metrics on loyalty and engagement.”

Is your niche media business ready for a world dominated by mobile-voice search?