If you haven’t noticed by now, the team at Intentionally Inspirational works hard to be direct marketing and digital marketing specialists. We take the time to read and keep up with the trends in an industry that is constantly evolving. I mean constantly!

In my studies, I was reading an article posted on Forbes about three months ago. It was talking about how trends in digital marketing are changing because technology is constantly evolving. One of those ways is chatbots, which I’ve focused on in a previous blog post. Another way is voice searches.

What is a voice search?

To make it as simple as possible, a voice search is when you say “Hey, Alexa” or “Yo, Siri” and then ask a question. The search robot of your choice, let’s use Siri because that’s what I have access to, gives you an answer.

So if I were to ask Siri, “What is the best maple syrup?” Siri will come back with a list of five websites. Just five. It will then be up to me to pick the one that I think will answer my question the best.

Why should you care about voice searches?

From this story, it can be tempting to say, “Who cares?” and it’s a legitimate response. Siri’s just a robot, she doesn’t know the nuances of what does and does not make a quality maple syrup. She doesn’t understand that there’s a difference between dark and light maple syrup and that they taste different. All she knows is how to scour the internet and come up with what she thinks the best answer is.

But that’s important because Siri uses a very special algorithm to determine what the most important answer is for you. What Siri thinks is essential to your overall digital marketing plan.

That’s because voice searches are on the rise. If you don’t believe me, check out this Word Stream article that did an extensive in-depth look on the issue. What you’ll ultimately find is that more and more people are asking Siri and Alexa questions and there’s no sign that this trend is slowing.

How to optimize for voice searches.

Which leads me to the point of this article, how do you deal with those voice searches?

The first thing you’re going to have to do is optimize your content for searches and I mean any search. That means having the proper keywords and phrases so that your content pops up in search results. You’ll also want to make sure your content has links to internal articles (ones that are on your website) and external articles (ones that are on other websites). Finally, you’ll want to produce great content. Great content is something that people on other websites want to link to. This is very important to you because it helps to elevate your status on a Google search. In order to pop up as one of the answers in a voice search, you need to be on the first page of a Google search.

That’s a basic SEO technique, but here’s where we toss some of the rules out of the window. You will have to disregard what you’ve been taught in the past about SEO and realize that slang matters now. With voice searches, it’s people literally talking, which means they’re more conversational than those typed searches. Think about terms that you use every day when talking to your colleagues or coworkers and start working those words into your articles.

Also, stay on top of search trends because they’ll help you figure out what slang terms people are using. Blogger Neil Patel has a great suggestion, he says you should use a tool called Answer the Public. It basically gives you a large list of questions people are searching on Google. Type in a keyword, like “flights” and you’ll receive a list of search queries including “Who flies to Cuba?” and “Where are flights canceled?”. The idea is, when you know what people are asking, you can cater your content and the words that you use to actual words and phrases people are using in their searches.

Answer the Public offers a free starter pack or a paid subscription. I would suggest you go with the starter pack to make sure it does what you need it to do.

Finally, make sure your content serves its purpose. What I mean is if you promise to teach someone how to make a holiday wreath, you better deliver on that promise. When doing a voice search, the person searching is looking for an immediate answer, whether it’s a video or a step-by-step tutorial. You won’t make the top of the search result list if you don’t fulfill that need.

The real bottom line with voice searches is that your content needs to be even more on its game than ever before. Now, the goal isn’t just to be on the first page of Google, but the top five.

Good luck.

Written by Erika Towne