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Since even the family dog has a cell phone these days, it’s no surprise to find out that internet searches on smartphones outnumber those done on desktops and tablets combined. The implications of this extend beyond the need for your company website layout and graphics to be optimized for mobile viewing. The text itself needs tweaking to reflect the way we search when we use a cell phone.

As anyone who has ever searched on a cell for something knows, entering text is arduous and subject to auto-correct errors. Enter voice search: With one touch to the screen, you can speak your request and have the phone do the typing for you. But when we speak to our phones, how does our language use differ from when we type into our computers, and how does this change SEO?

Voice Search vs. Text Search

Searches on keyboards vs. searches by voice differ in quantity of words, word choice, and their order. Voice searches have longer phrases, are more conversational, have more specific intent, are often in search of local content, and are more likely to be questioned.

For example, a typed search will be short, such as “blue-eyed cats,” whereas a voice query would be longer with more like spoken language: “What are some breeds of cats with blue eyes?”

Why does this matter, if keywords are still there? The difference is the keywords vs. keyword phrases. Keywords generate search hits, but keyword phrases generate the results that are more specific to what the user seeks. The closer you are to matching your SEO with the phrases searchers use, the more likely you are to get productive traffic.

How to Write Copy for Mobile Search

Make your web copy more conversational to generate more mobile search traffic. Use high-value phrases as keyword phrases so that your content becomes a relevant search result.

  • Use phrases with filler words to match voice search strings. Try using “where can I find a good dog groomer” in your content instead of “dog grooming.”

  • Add place indicators to your phrases. If a searcher might say “that coffee shop by the stadium” when searching for your company name, use “by the stadium” in your website.

  • Capitalize on local focus. Fill your content with “near me” and “close by” to be included in voice requests having those same phrases.

Adjusting your SEO for mobile is mostly about considering how people speak rather than how they type or text. Make your content more like the spoken word to get picked up more often in search results.