The evolution of search has already begun to happen in order to accommodate advancements in exciting new technologies. As with all disruptive web technologies, customers and users are presented with new ways to search the internet. For businesses, it is an inevitable fact that they must change with the times or become a relic of what SEO once was.
Mobile Search: How is it different to “Traditional” Web?
Surprisingly, the majority of mobile searches are local searches. Yet despite a massive rise in mobile search, less than half of these searches are actually carried out on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. The rest are carried out on branded devices, websites and apps.
With that in mind, consumers searching on their mobile devices will now be presented with results from websites that are optimised for mobile and local over websites that are not. Google Hummingbird’s latest algorithm now prioritises “mobile friendly” website content over that which is not optimised for your smartphone and tablet. 62% of organic search results will now appear differently on mobiles devices versus desktops (Google, 2016). Preparing your website for mobile search over traditional web search is something to start thinking about sooner rather than later.
Is Voice Search Something to Shout About?
No longer does a consumer need to think carefully about what they should type to get the most accurate results for their desired product. Long gone are the days of disjointed and blunt search queries to find what they want. Instead, all they need to do is ask Siri or Google “Where can I buy a rose gold iPhone 6s in Perth?” and they will instantly be provided with the nearest shop that sells the product they are looking for, providing that shop’s website has been optimised for local search.
Thanks to the continued improvement of text to speech technologies, approximately 20% of all searches using a mobile device are carried out using voice search. This combined with the fact that most mobile searches are local searches, then unsurprisingly we may start seeing more local search results being driven by voice queries.
So what does this mean for businesses that undertake SEO? Well, if we are a business within a local market, e.g. a mobile phone shop in Perth, then we should consider how we prepare and present our web content as a result of that particular voice search. However, as we are not privy to the search queries carried out, if we want to better our content for voice search, we need to predict the type of transactional queries consumers will carry out. We can do this by firstly knowing that 30% of all voice searches are transactional searches (Google, 2016). These are searches where the consumer has a particular action they want to carry out, e.g. buying the phone. Secondly, we can better understand our target customer and the types of questions they might ask around the products or services we offer. We should then ensure the answers to these questions form part of our content, e.g. colour, model, price, reviews etc.
What is the future of SEO?
As we have already seen, mobile usage has overtaken desktop thanks to the explosive growth in smartphones. With this is mind the focus has quickly shifted to mobile internet, with Google recently announcing that over 100 billion searches are carried out per month on mobile devices (Google, 2016). Times have changed and no longer do users only have access to the internet on a desktop or laptop at work, home or in an internet café. Smartphones, tablets and even watches have allowed consumers to access an abundance of information, post on social networks, make reservations and buy products, anytime and anywhere.
The growth and merging of mobile, local and voice search is inevitable. The change in how and where users are searching represents a trend between consumer lifestyles and the technology that fits into their daily life. The changes and additional ways users can search now means businesses should start considering their Omni-channel strategy and how their business can evolve with it. It will be those businesses that fully adopt the changes in search types and consumer tech trends that will win by delivering better user experience and overall customer satisfaction over their competitors.
The future success of our SEO efforts will be defined by our ability to:
- Form a harmonious collaboration between our physical presence and our web presence.
- Allow for custom yet holistic results between traditional and mobile search.
- Adapt our business as our customers adopt new and relevant technologies.
If you like what you have read and want to discuss search engine optimisation further, talk to us now.