How to Win With Conversational Optimization

Mobile/Local/Voice searches are the new normal—learn how to find the right key phrases and dominate this new era of search.

Selecting the right keywords can make the difference between profit and losing ground to competitors. As people search, their intent can range over several categories, even in a single search session. This intent is what marketers need to capture. When the intent of searchers is understood, marketers can create content that will turn searchers into buyers.

One way to understand user intent is to analyze how consumers perform queries today:

  • 60% of searches are performed on mobile. Mobile searches often are transactional (people wishing to buy something). They are usually more transactional than desktop searches, and mobile searches are often tuned to a desire to buy locally.
  • With 20% of mobile searches done by voice, this is a huge opportunity to work in long-tail keywords (defined as keywords of 3 words or more with specific intent) into mobile SEO strategy.

Categorizing Searchers & Matching Content to Their Needs

There are people who just want some quick facts and they are searching for information (how do you make an apple pie?). Then there are those who need directions to a place: (What’s the address of Acme Plumbing in Atlanta?) There are folks who are ready to buy; these people also use long-tail key phrases and their specific phrases can contain transactional words that indicate their intent, such as:

  • Buy [product]
  • Fix [it] now
  • Find doctor office
  • Schedule car care

So it would stand to reason that marketers should create content based around their most relevant transactional long-tail keywords. This key data point reinforces the need to do so:

70% of all searches are long-tail keyword searches

What’s more, transactional long-tail keyword placement within mobile content can potentially bring quick results (targeted traffic to a website), as they are usually easier to rank for, than more generic phrases.

And if marketers still aren’t convinced that creating valuable content for transactional searchers is a priority, this stat should cinch it:

70% of mobile searchers click to call a business directly from Google’s search results (Source: SearchEngineWatch;

So if marketers can dominate their local mobile search results (remember 60% of searches are conducted on mobile devices, and 34% of online retail purchases now happen on mobile devices) then a large number of those people will click to call. That’s powerful!

How Can Marketers Find Phrases That Work Well as Questions?

So how can keyword research deliver those all-important transactional phrases? And specifically, how can marketers find phrases that would work as questions that people would ask?

Follow these steps to find transactional phrases:

  • The typical keyword tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush and others are great places to start.
  • Begin researching a general key phrase then look within the resulting lists for phrases at least 3- 4 words long.
  • Highlight phrases that offer variations that match with customer/audience preferences (that a marketer can research and know from customer interactions) and intent.

Marketers can start with more general phrases then alter them a bit to fit intent; like this:
blue prom dresses

and even more focused:
blue prom dresses with sleeves

and even more specific:
long sleeve blue prom dresses plus size

It’s apparent that people who are ready to buy will use longer and longer phrases to zero in on exactly what they want. The above examples came from typing ‘blue prom dresses’ into the Google search box and letting Google’s autocomplete suggest additional variations. This can be a handy way to ferret out transactional phrases.

Google’s related searches (listed at the bottom of the search results page) can offer even more iterations, including ones like this:

  • plus size prom dresses near me
  • plus size prom dresses under 100

Note: When creating long-tail keyword focused content, there will naturally be some pages on a website (such as blog posts, which often include ‘how-to’ segments) where informational long-tail keywords would be a good fit; don’t pass these up in research. Downloads of ‘how-to’ content like guides and fact sheets are conversions, and they should be tracked, just as sales are tracked. People who download information today can become customers tomorrow.

What About Requests Made via Smart Speakers Like Amazon Echo and Google Home?

Voice activated assistants, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, are becoming more prevalent, with nearly a third of American homes owning one today. With voice search slated to grow to 50% of searches by 2020, now is the time to find top long-tail keyword variations and begin working them into copy that can attract audiences searching on these phrases. Whether consumers search via their mobile devices or smart speakers, the value of long-tail keywords will only increase as marketers jockey for position in the dawn of this new age of search.

Get More Sales from Conversational Search

You may be creating copy for your audiences, but are you creating specialized copy featuring long-tail keywords?

Engine-IUS Marketing can deliver more traffic and sales from long-tail search. We can also build a solid local SEO campaign for you, so you can reap the rewards of the high number of localized voice search queries!

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