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Optimizing for Voice Search

     -     Oct 10th, 2016   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an old hat in the online world, let alone that of accounting marketing. The firms of today have become convinced about the power of website marketing either by practical experience or through word of mouth. Each year there are several presentations at the Association of Accounting Marketing and other industry conferences on SEO, keyword strategy, etc. Such presentations have helped educate accounting marketing professionals who are faced with the changing demands of making their firm savvy from a marketing perspective in the both the traditional and digital sense. However, it seems there is some fatigue on the topic. Most understand the basics and have achieved some success. So what’s next? The answer is “mobile+voice”. Studies have shown there has been a significant increase in the number of voice searches conducted on Google and other major search engines. For this reason, marketing directors in accounting firms need to begin preparing for ways to modify their SEO strategy to accommodate this emerging trend.

Emergence of Voice Search

According to information revealed by Google, 20% of current mobile device searches are conducted using voice search. This means that more and more people are using plain spoken English, usually in the form of a question to conduct a search on their mobile or tablet devices. Additionally, it’s estimated that by 2020, there will be 200 billion searches per month on mobile devices with more than half coming from voice search.

Voice Search Optimization Benefits

Optimizing for voice opens a world of potential opportunities for a CPA or accounting firm. Google reports that voice search has a strong influence on overall search engine activity. In fact, there are a series of new keywords driving traffic which Google contributes to voice searches. What voice optimization does is allow firms to rank for conversational search queries that have popular keywords already included. Finally, how a website performs with voice search is the third most important ranking signal behind content published and inbound links to the site. Obviously it’s clear that optimizing for voice search will allow a firm to receive a competitive advantage, especially if the competition has not yet addressed this approach.

Action Steps

It’s clear that marketing professionals need to plan ahead for this shift. The good news is that changes don’t need to happen immediately, but proper planning and education is needed to make the transition. Steps for this transition include examining the following:

  • Mobile Responsive – Determine whether the firm’s website is responsive. This means that the site changes in appearance and accommodates mobile or tablet browsing. It provides the best viewing experience for the user. Google has made numerous statements highlighting the importance of having a responsive site. They have said if a website is not responsive it will be demoted in search results. Therefore it’s clear that this functionality be added to your site if it’s not already.
  • Shift Keyword Approach – Since people speak differently compared to when they write, the firm’s keyword approach should change to include more long tail keyword terms. As an example, instead of optimizing a page on business valuations with the term – Business Valuations, the new term would be Value of Business Valuations. The truth is that one of the tradeoffs is that long keyword terms inherently appeal to a more narrow audience. At the same time it comes with the added benefit of attracting more qualified prospects.
  • Shift Content Focus – Since the trend among voice searches is to ask a question when submitting a search, it’s important that more of the content focus is on answering questions. While this is already an excellent tactic for content development, it also makes sense to answer common questions related to the topic because it’s likely voice searches will be seeking such materials.

Contact Us

Voice Search Optimization is on the horizon and now is the time to begin preparing for it. By planning ahead you will be able to beat the competition to highly coveted keywords. If you’d like to learn more about this and our other services, FlashPoint can help. Feel free to contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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