“Alexa, tell me what trends will take over content marketing this year.” “Hey Siri, what should we focus on for our content marketing efforts this year?” “Google, tell me what the content marketing landscape looks like.”
Many of us have asked Alexa, Siri, Google or any other voice assistant device to tell us the weather or give us information we need in a crunch like how many cups go into a gallon. In fact, a study by eMarketer predicted that 122.7 million people will use a voice assistant in 2021. Why is this the case? With the pandemic causing a shift to all things digital, consumers have changed the way they do things, even how they search the internet. From processes to collaboration to marketing and more, digital technologies are impacting virtually everything we do. And with the rise in popularity and usage of voice search, its impact on search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing is rapidly increasing.
Voice search is the go-to method for many when asking a question or looking for a quick update on something. In most cases, the voice assistant will respond with a short answer, but other times can lead the inquirer into a more in-depth research phase. These changes in the way that people search and the evolutions of the underlying technologies themselves are impacting SEO and content marketing strategies. In short, voice search matters for content marketers.
Amplifying voice search techniques into your content can start with these three strategies:
- Create conversational content. When people talk to their voice assistants, they are most likely utilizing different language than they would if they were on their phone or computer and typing in their request. When speaking, people use common words that many would know and understand. Consider making your content more conversational by using complete, full sentences and familiar words that relate to the topic or subject your content is about. Repeating keywords in a natural manner within content can help boost rankings as well.
- Focus on keywords and language. This is where you can focus on the spoken keywords that someone may search. Consider the popular keywords someone would search to find the topic or service that you offer. While this is something you should already be doing for your SEO strategy, consider if any changes should be made for spoken words. Most likely, the keywords will be more longtail and specific rather than fragments. For example, a person might type “definition of content marketing” while someone using a voice assistant might ask, “what is the definition of content marketing, and can you give me an example of it?”.
- Consider utilizing FAQs. Voice assistants are built to answer questions and that is exactly what people are utilizing them for. Think about the popular questions people are asking about in your industry. For example, “what are strategies for creating an eBook?”. Once you understand this, you can create blogs, articles or other applicable content focused on those key questions. Need some help determining the questions that people are asking? Put a relevant search term into Google and scroll down to their “People also ask” section. Or, use a tool like Answer the Public to generate a wide range of related questions that people ask.
The emergence and rise of people across the globe utilizing voice search and voice assistants are requiring marketers to revamp their content to accommodate this change. With the projection of increased voice assistant usage, content marketers must start making changes now to reap the rewards in the future. Focus on conversational language and feel by ensuring that your content caters to a conversational tone. Reevaluate keywords, and add to those that are currently being optimized, to help improve your rankings. Remember that topic-specific longtail keywords are essential. Finally, people like to ask questions, especially using their voice assistant. Create content that includes and answers these questions. Voice search and voice assistant usage has not completely taken over just yet, but as the trend continues to make its mark, it’s important to consider it when creating content and executing content marketing initiatives.