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Magazine publishers, improve your voice SEO ranking!

Enrica Menozzi


Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an area of digital marketing that is always changing.

While up until recently, SEO changes have mostly to do with algorithm changes, now a new channel is gaining ground and could affect the way your magazine is discovered online.

With voice recognition technology accuracy reaching the same level as human comprehension at 95% in 2017, coupled with the relative diffusion of smart speakers compared to past years, voice search has grown. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen as more searches are done with voice.

At the same time, you now have voice apps growing exponentially. Amazon Echo skills have reached 30,000 in 2018 from 0 in 2015.

Improving SEO ranking has been on the mind of digital magazine publishers, and they have more or less gotten the hang of it. Now, magazine publishers need to adapt as voice searches begin to change the way we use the internet. So how can you get ahead of this trend and benefit from it?

The latest trend for brands and magazines? Voice search and voice apps.

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Start now rather than later

Voice apps are now becoming more and more prominent on Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa search results. In fact, where voice apps exist, they tend to get priority in response to certain voice search queries.

However, the good thing at the moment is that voice apps are still in their early stage. Only the most forward-thinking companies and brands or independent voice app developers have launched a voice app at the moment which means there are still many areas or “search query keywords” that don’t have a voice app yet.

If you develop a voice app now and you get your voice app approved, then your voice app gets indexed earlier. This affords you the first mover advantage, making it easier for you to stay as the search result provided for a long time.

Being the first search result

In voice searches, interfaces are different. It’s impractical for search responses to come back with an entire list like how text queries normally do. So how does voice search return results? Virtual assistants provide only the top search result and base it on a short description. In text search, this is the short snippet of text that turns up on top of the search results.

This is why getting indexed earlier earns your content a chance to be the first result given and improves SEO ranking for your digital magazine. And with voice apps becoming the preferred type of search result provided, you can have better chances of securing that #1 spot if you have your own voice app now.

Magazine voice app

If you want to get better chances at having your voice app indexed and listed as #1, a good guideline to start with is to adapt your app store SEO strategy for voice. You won’t have to worry about images or app previews or videos. What’s important here will be the keywords for the “snippet” description. It needs to be concise, yet specific enough to allow you to be discovered.

Basically, there are two ways to get discovered. One is through explicit invocations where users ask for the services or functionalities specifically within your voice app. The other is through implicit invocations where the user doesn’t name a specific app, and the virtual assistant comes back with a suggested app to use. Getting indexed early should help with this, and eventually, you’ll have to focus on making your customers use explicit invocations to ensure they keep using your app.

At the end of it all, the principle remains the same. Voice assistants and voice apps are simply new channels to engage with our customers where magazine publishers should endeavour to be present in.

All the terms and data you should know to take advantage of voice search technology