Tapping into the potential of voice search.

Written by: Phillip Nones

There’s broad consensus that SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (paid search) are among the most accountable performance marketing vehicles in the digital realm.  And now, voice search has emerged as a newly significant aspect – in much the same way mobile search became a significant part of the search landscape not so long ago.

Voice search isn’t all that different from text search except that it utilizes ASR (automatic speech recognition) for input and TTS (text-to-speech for output.  Voice search can now be accommodated in practically every language (and dialect) – nearly 125 at last count.

But there’s a fundamental difference in the way voice search queries are made.  Whereas text searches tend to emphasize just a few key words, when people search verbally, they’re more likely to use longer phrases (or complete questions) – more of what’s we know as “real speech” or “natural language.”  For websites, this means retooling content so that web pages are optimized for natural language.

In order to accomplish this, think of how someone would perform a voice search for the products and services in your industry.  One good approach is to document the types of the questions people ask when they call your office to inquire about your business.  That will provide good direction on how to optimize your web page content to match with the “real speech” phrases people use when they think about your company and your products.

Next, consider preparing Q&A-style content pages that focus on those conversational keyword phrases.  Creating different pages, centered on specific semantic questions people typically ask, is a worthwhile endeavor that may also increase your chances of appearing in a “featured snippet” of copy that Google often serves up on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Another tool that can pay dividends in optimizing for voice search is tapping into latent semantic indexing (LSI).  Those are the keywords that Google displays at the bottom of s SERP as “searches related to” terms when someone executes a search query.  Adding those LSI terms to your web page copy, as appropriate, will help your pages appear even more “relevant” to the search bots related to the searches being executed by users.

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Important COVID-19 Announcement

At Mullin/Ashley, we’re very concerned about the well-being of our customers, employees, business partners and communities currently battling to control the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) threat.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that effective Monday, March 23, 2020, all non-essential businesses in the state must close their offices.  A follow-up pronouncement on March 30 instituted further “stay-at-home” orders for Maryland residents.

We are complying with these mandates.  In fact, in anticipation of the Governor’s announcements, we had already taken steps to reduce our social footprint by setting up all Mullin/Ashley employees to work from home, with no interruption in the delivery of services.

In addition, travel activities by our staff have been severely curtailed since early March.

By taking these steps, we’re committed to continuing to provide our customers with the services they need, even as we work to reduce our social footprint.

As of July, certain workplace restrictions have been lifted but social distancing mandates continue in force.  We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and will continue to take all necessary steps to minimize the risks from the COVID-19 virus.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work collectively to control the Coronavirus threat.

— The Mullin/Ashley Team

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