Adapting Your SEO Strategy For Voice and Visual Search

Currently, one in four people uses voice search on their mobile device and 72% of people who own a voice-activated device use it daily. What started out as a fun novelty has rapidly grown into a feature we’re now using in our daily lives. And visual search is being used in more and more applications such as Google Lens or Pinterest Lens with major growth expected over the next few years!

Adapting your SEO strategy to accommodate voice and visual search is not as challenging as it may seem. You simply need to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think about how you, as a consumer, are searching or would like to search using voice activated devices or visual examples. Think about the last time you asked Alexa to find your dentist’s phone number or how cool it would be to upload a picture of a piece of clothing or furniture you found online and Pinterest or Google can tell you where to find it, how much it is and how to order it OR find you something similar if the specific piece you loved isn’t available!

These aren’t just wishes anymore – they are fully possible and your customers are learning they can find things this way too. That means you need to adapt your strategy so you’re at the top of the pile when they are searching. 

Adapting Your Strategy For Voice Search 

Voice search keywords include more natural language phrasing, long-tail searches and questions. In order to accommodate voice searches, here are a few tips:

1. Structure your content to be more dialogue friendly. This means that your website information needs to include information structured in a way that a voice searcher would ask for it. Adding more FAQ pages and structuring blog posts and website copy as if they’re answers to questions is one of the simplest ways to do this.

2. Include more long-tail keywords and phrases. When people speak, they use full sentences, phrases and questions which equals longer search keywords. Incorporate some of these into your FAQ’s and blog posts to rank higher in results for them. Be sure to research common phrases asked in your particular niche to get the phrasing as close as possible.

3. Optimize for local SEO. Local searches are the most prevalent in voice search. Google lists “near me” as one of the most widely used phrases for voice search which means you should be using it. To optimize for local listings, make sure to update your Google My Business listing and include your location or region in your content and metadata. Voice activated devices use the information in your GMB listing to find answers to common questions and direct searchers to the best result so this one is critical to your success!

Adapting Your Strategy For Visual Search

Did you know that for years, Google has offered the option for users to upload an image or image URL in the search bar? You may not have and chances are your customers didn’t know this either. But the option is becoming much more widely used because visual search technologies like Pinterest Lens and Google Lens, feature live viewfinders where the smartphone camera is the visual discovery tool. Visual search uses computer vision and machine learning to identify various locations, objects and terms reflected into the camera lens.

Think of those apps that identify what plant or flower you’re scanning and can even tell you if a plant needs watering, more sunlight or has a common issue happening.

In order to stand out in visual search rankings, you’ll need to optimize for visual search as well. Here are a few tips:

1. Add images to your product pages. Be sure to include multiple images on each product or topic page of your website to connect with search engines and online shoppers. Adding more images to your pages can give you more visibility when users are searching for your products or services. It also provides your website visitors a better user experience which helps with every area of your SEO!

2. Optimize for organic image visibility. Proper image optimization helps search engines understand what your photos are. Make sure you use descriptive file names, add alt text, titles and captions so that both the search engine and the searcher understand what your image is.

3. Create a brand aesthetic. Help search engines relate your brand to a particular style or trend when returning search results by developing a unique and cohesive brand aesthetic across all of your digital platforms. Use consistent logos, colour palettes, font and imagery that reflect your brand and your message. A memorable visual identity will also help current and potential customers easily recognize your brand which builds brand identity and loyalty.

Optimizing for voice and visual search is fairly simple because you should already be considering the types of questions your customers ask and the solutions you offer. You’re simply taking it a step farther by structuring your content to be more verbally friendly and including the right information about your images so they can be understood without seeing them.

Add these steps to your current SEO strategy and you’ll be ready for the explosion of voice and visual search that will happen over the next few years!

If you need help with your overall SEO strategy or adapting to new technologies, we’re here to help!

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