The Future of Search

Voice search: the future of SERPs?

It has been estimated that by 2020, 50% of searches will be voice search. So, if you think voice search is just a gimmick, think again.

With two years to go until the anticipated uptake in voice search, now is the time to lay foundations for a strong voice search strategy.

What is Voice Search?

In a nutshell, Google Voice Search does exactly what it says on the tin – it allows users to search through speech rather than by typing a query on a desktop or mobile device. Currently, There isn’t much difference between the search results that return for voice and conventional search methods. However, as the trend for voice search increases, queries will need to adapt to reflect the style of language used for voice search.

How to Optimise for Voice Search

Voice Search is more conversational and natural than searches made by typing in one or two keywords. So, whilst a user might search for ‘best restaurant in Manchester’ whilst using google on their desktop, they’re more likely to a ask this as a question – ‘which are the best restaurants in Manchester?’ This means that voice search queries are longer than typical keyword search queries.

Target conversational search terms

To optimise for this change in search queries, businesses should target more long-tail keywords on their websites. When carrying out keyword research, it is important to consider more conversational search terms and to think about how people talk and ask questions. Think about the questions that customers ask when they call your business and make a note of the queries that you receive. If there are common queries then it would be useful to start targeting them on the website for your business by creating articles in the blog section with the long-tail keyword being the main focus.

Create FAQ pages

Most businesses have FAQs pages on their website – which is great news. FAQs pages are a strong way to target conversational terms that are likely to be popular voice searches. And they’re really easy to set up. Try focusing on question words such as Where, How and What as to target relevant question-based searches. What do does the business do? What are the main opening hours? A sports clothing retailer might sell running trainers and these pages could have an FAQ section where common questions can be answered. But don’t just stick to questions directly related to your business – branch out to common queries. For example, Search terms such as ‘What are the best running trainers for wet weather’ can be targeted along with a list of recommendations.

Structured data

Structured data are content summaries, tables or lists that are pulled through into search rankings (see image below).

The structured Data Markup can give voice search devices more information about the content on your website. An example of a voice search could be ‘What is the best hotel to book in Berlin’ and hotel websites can use the correct Schema Markup to optimise their site to rank in the featured snippet for this voice search term. it is common for a business to focus on ranking first in the search results, however, this can be very difficult to achieve in a competitive market. Using structured data markup allows businesses to increase the chance of their website ranking as a featured snippet, which can be more valuable than ranking first as this content will be above every other search result. use schema markup to increase the likelihood of your content being seen before any other search result for that keyword.

Did you know: Cedarwood Digital offers Search Engine Optimisation designed to make your website convert. View our full list of SEO services here.

How to use Dynamic Features in Google Ads

How to use dynamic features in Google Ads

Are your ads lacking creativity? Then it’s time to embrace dynamic features in your Google Ads campaigns.

In this blog, PPC Executive Chloe Prior covers how you can implement two popular dynamic features into your campaigns – dynamic keyword insertion and countdown timers.

What is dynamic keyword insertion?

Dynamic keyword insertion allows you to automatically update ads with the keywords in your ad group that trigger ads to show. For example, If you are advertising men’s watches you can use the keyword insertion code Headline: Buy {KeyWord: Mens Watches} to automate this advert displaying. Google Ads will try to replace this bracketed section with one of the keywords in your ad group such as “gold men’s watches”, “black men’s watches” & “silver men’s watches”. If the keyword can’t be replaced then it will just use “men’s watches”.

How can you use dynamic keyword insertion for Google Ads campaigns?

If used correctly, dynamic keywords can lead to an improved Click-Through Rate because the ad has been dynamically updated to match a users search enquiry. A user is more likely to click on an ad that closely matches what they are searching for.

This is also a useful tactic if you want to target long-tail keywords that have a good search volume. Compile a list of search terms and if there are any that have a good amount of impressions and clicks then you might want to target these using keyword insertion. It is important to ensure that the number of characters doesn’t exceed 30.

If you have a campaign for your competitors, it is vital that you do not use dynamic keyword insertion in your ads. Whilst it is legal to bid on your competitors brand term, you cannot use the brand term in your ad copy.

What are countdown timers in Google Ads?

This feature can highlight the end date of a sale and can create a sense of urgency amongst customers. Timers countdown by day, then by hour, then by minute. Furthermore, countdown timers can be used to improve the click-through rate of an ad – for more information about how to improve your Ads CTR, read this blog here.

How can you use countdown timers for Google Ads campaigns?

Countdown timers are another great dynamic feature available on Google Ads. they can be used as part of the ad copy and are ideal for e-commerce businesses that want to create excitement around sales.

Countdown timers can be created when you create an ad in Google Ads and they are fully customisable. They can be set to a specific time and date for either the time zone where the business is based or where the customer is based, therefore if the retailer sells products worldwide then the timer can be set to different time zones. Note: It is important to make sure that your ad copy allows for the additional 8 characters that the countdown customiser code generates.

READ NEXT: Google Birthday Update: has your site been affected? 

Google Update Septemebr 2018

Google birthday update: has your site been affected?

Google has confirmed that a small algorithm update occurred on the 27th September to coincide with Google’s birthday. It has been described as being smaller than the update that took place in August, as experts report that it has not impacted as many websites as the August update.

It is important to be aware of and monitor Google Algorithm updates because they can lead to significant changes in traffic levels.

How do I check if my site has been affected?

Tracking tools such as SEM Rush help to identify if traffic levels have seen a positive or negative change. If no change is identified, then It is also possible that this recent update hasn’t had any impact on your website – which can only be seen as a positive.

As always, there are varying opinions on the impact of the update. Several industry experts are questioning whether this update has been a reversal of the “Medic” algorithm update that occurred in August, as some websites have experienced positive impacts.

 

Did you know: Cedarwood Digital offers Search Engine Optimisation designed to make your website convert. View our full list of SEO services here