Consumers are continuously changing the way they search online, which means companies optimize their online content in new ways to keep up. And 2018 has ushered in a new era of perusing the internet: voice search. With a few words and the touch of a button, computers, tablets, and mobile devices can show consumers what they're looking for.
But what does that mean for SEO?

Keywords: Short Tail or Long Tail?

As people begin to change the way they search, the keywords they use in their searches begin to change as well. With that in mind, short tail keywords are slowly but surely becoming less relevant. As people make this shift from using short snippets of sentences to searching in a way that sounds more like casual conversation, long tail keywords are becoming more and more frequent.
With that in mind, companies must focus more on integrating long tail keywords to describe their products and services. These keywords must also include proper phrases or sentences that may actually occur in a conversation. Additionally, it's important to remember that as people begin to use voice search more often, their searches will most likely be in the form of a question. Since question phrases are taking over voice search, it's important to include words like "where", "who", "what", "how", and "why" into keywords.

Consider How People Actually Talk

According to Google, 70% of searches via Google Assistant are phrased in a more conversational style. This is important to understand because while text searches have become more conversational in recent years, they're still nowhere near similar to the way people speak when using voice search. People naturally do not type the way they talk, but this is the type of search pattern that companies have optimized their sites for.
In the era of voice search, the context behind each query is more important than the search itself. Rather than simply providing a list of websites that may contain information pertaining to what a consumer is looking for, voice search results must provide direct answers. This is where SEO comes into play -- when a website isn't optimized for voice search, there's little chance it will show up in search results.

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

With more than half of all searches being done with mobile devices and 20% of mobile searches being voice searches, companies absolutely must have their sites optimized for mobile use. The companies who understood the importance of the shift from desktop to mobile may very well be some of the first to fully optimize for voice search -- and that's where we're at now. Because of this huge focus on mobile, it's absolutely crucial that companies not only optimize their sites for voice search, but for mobile use as well. If someone asks a question on their smartphone or tablet, they want quick, effective results. Don't let your company be the one that gets left behind.
With different keywords, speech patterns, and platforms, voice search is something companies must understand to stay ahead of competition. By optimizing for voice search, companies around the world will be opening their services and products to a market they might not otherwise reach.