What is SEO?
SEO refers to search engine optimization and covers all the technical and creative elements involved in improving site rankings and driving traffic to your website. This includes a lot of different things, from generating consistently great content, to the ways in which you structure your website and the links you include in it. Over the years, SEO has been evolving in more sophisticated and interesting directions, and today, the trends of voice content and voice searches are set to further change the world of SEO.
The evolution of SEO
There have been tons of changes in the world of SEO. Once, SEO was all about cramming in the correct keywords into a web page or blog. If you were an air-conditioning salesperson than you can bet the word air-conditioning would have featured roughly one thousand times in every sentence. Keywords were very much at the center of things. However, over time, search engine algorithms have become much more sophisticated and have learned to favor more natural types of speech. When Google released Hummingbird in 2013, it moved SEO towards more conversational content. In 2016, search engine algorithms have gone further, and content that is longer and more in depth tends to do better. Content with photos also consistently outperforms text-based content, and backlinks remain essential.
Voice searches are changing SEO
It is not just text and images that are rapidly changing the world of SEO. The increasing popularity of voice search means that today over 20% of mobile queries are voice searches. These kinds of searches are based on questions rather than keywords, and they are changing SEO. For one thing, content that is conversational or that answers questions (think FAQ style) are performing well. It’s also likely that instant answers will become more popular and feature as the response for a greater number of voice-based queries. However, this doesn’t mean that we should stop paying attention to typed searches. At the moment, a whopping 80% of all mobile searches are still text-based.
Voice content also changes things
Web site and blog content tend to be a mixture of text, video, and images. And while video and image content is incredibly important, and proven to help with SEO, audio-based content is the one to watch in 2016. The fact that people are using voice assistants more and more frequently suggests that the importance of voice content is also increasing. If you can’t look at your screen and can only voice search, then it’s reasonable to assume there are many times when audio content would be preferable to content that forces you to stare at your phone or laptop. And, as voice and speech analytics continues to improve it is only a matter of time before keywords and phrases in voice become an essential part of SEO.
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