You won’t have to look far to uncover a deep-rooted feeling of urgency to climb the search engine results. Companies are using web audio to rank higher on Google, videos to dominate YouTube, and blogs (ahem, like this one) to show the algorithms why the pages deserve a top spot on page one of the search engine results pages (SERPs). This one defining factor in visibility and credibility is important but it can also cause businesses to spin in circles
To add to the confusion is all the noise out there on the web. There’s no shortage of people who are willing to give you advice about how to dominate the search engine optimization (SEO) game. Experts and agencies are quick to offer up tactics and advice to companies who are eager to elbow their way to the top of the search engine ladder. With the wealth of tactics and strategies intended to help you dominate on Google, you need to understand what makes each tactic work or fail, so you can focus on which one is best for you.
That’s what I aim to answer in this post for you. To kickstart things, I put together a teaser of what’s below in this video.
Intrigued? I thought so. Now let’s dive right on into how you can rank higher on Google using integrated media on your site, specifically web audio. Web audio has been the popular talk of the town among some for its affordability in comparison to video, and ability to still increase SEO. Before I get too far in, let’s take a peek at what web audio’s significant evolution over the past few decades, and what it looks like today.
Web Audio Then and Now
Computers and websites have long been able to support audio, but it wasn’t until recently that creating and embedding this audio became more mainstream. Today, web audio is a simple to use and widely supported type of medium but it’s taken us several decades to reach this point.
Take a look at the history of podcasting as evidence of this slow and steady growth.
Back in 2000, a software developer named Dave Winer received requests from his customers to build a way to create “audio blogging” features. So he did, and although early adoption was slow, some people started using it to play songs on websites.
In 2003, Winer worked with Harvard Berkman Center’s Christopher Lydon to build a blog that included audio and thus began the publication of a series of recorded interviews. By 2005, Apple’s iTunes created a way to support this style of web audio, and people were off and running. Today we call these interview-style pieces of audio “podcasts.” Although podcasts remain a popular medium, we’ve seen an extension beyond that specific style of web audio in recent years.
Today, organizations have deviated from exclusively producing long-form podcast style web audio and are now starting to opt for shorter snippets of conversational audio on websites instead. The idea behind that approach is to reach buyers in a more human way at the right time in the modern buyer’s journey. The shorter snippets are ideal for telling a strong story without forcing visitors to sit through an entire 45-minute podcast episode.
Where Web Audio Intersects With the Modern Buyer’s Journey (and What It Means for Your Business)
For decades, the consumer path-to-purchase looked something like this.
Consumers would go online, in-store, or use their smartphone to find, research, and ultimately buy their products. Many organizations still operate under the notion that consumers take this simplistic approach. The reality is, the modern path-to-purchase looks a little more like this.
The evolution of the digital ecosystem has exploded the consumer funnel. Now, a customer’s journey looks more fragmented across various channels, devices, and platforms. The breadth of information available has sparked a heightened consideration phase where consumers look at more information before even going to a store (digital or brick-and-mortar). And, perhaps more surprising, 47% of consumers view 3 to 5 pieces of content created by a company before ever talking to a salesperson.
Yes, consumers have been turning to the Internet for information for awhile now, but it’s harder than ever to nail down exactly where they’re going and what that path looks like. Even within industry, few consumers path-to-purchase search behavior looks the same, which means your company needs to show up with intention. That’s where web audio comes into play.
Leveraging Web Audio to Rank Higher on Google
Sure, you can shoot to the top of the search results by waving a few Benjamins in front of Google’s face (it’s called paid ads), but will that drive the type of results you want? Some studies say no. Consider this SEO stat that’s hard to ignore:
Over 70% of people ignore paid search results entirely and only click on organic results.
Over 70% of people ignore paid search results entirely and only click on organic results.
And another inbound marketing stat shows that 75% of people don’t even make it past the first page of search engines.
Huffington Post gets credit for this gem of a photograph and the claim that the best place to hide a dead body is on page two of Google.
But fighting for the top spot on Google is hard work, which is why the top results to most searches are taken by large organizations with deep pockets. And, as more stats like these ones come to the forefront and more companies focus on SEO, claiming that top spot will only become increasingly difficult. One of the best ways we’ve seen to stand apart from the crowd and rise to the top is with web audio. Here’s why.
#1: Web Audio Can Increase Time on Site
Neuroscientists have found that pitch and variations used in the human voice can send signals to the listener’s brain about the information that’s being presented. What’s even more fascinating is how the person responds when they hear those changes in pitch and tone.
In a recent study, researchers studied how the brain helps a person sing or say what they mean. First, researchers asked participants to read the same sentence over and over again while emphasizing different parts of the sentence. Other participants then listened to those pitch patterns and as they did certain parts of the brain were stimulated and larynx muscles actually flexed, causing some participants to make involuntary vocalizations.
We say it often around here, but this study is evidence that there’s power in the human voice. People become so engaged with another person’s voice that there’s a physical and neurological reaction to the sound. That’s something that just can’t be conveyed in text alone.
When you add the human voice to your website, you’re able to keep the attention of your audience for longer and spark a physical response to what’s happening on your pages. In doing so, you increase time on site and simultaneously increase the visceral reaction that’s happening in your buyer’s mind.
#2: You Can Lower Bounce Rates Through Conversational Guidance
This might sound obvious but it deems repeating — people don’t like feeling lost. That’s true for in the physical world and it’s true for your website. Consumers want to know the shortest route to get to where they need to go and it requires a healthy amount of user guidance to get them there.
Tailoring the website experience to your customer’s needs and making it feel personal is critical. It’s why Google’s consumer insights have seen an uptick in the usage of personal language in search queries, such as “me” and “I.” Consumers — your website visitors — want personalized results.
With web audio on your website, you can add a human element to make that experience feel personal and tailored to their needs. Just like you’d type in an address to Google Maps in hopes of getting the shortest route to your destination, your audio can serve as a guide to get your user to the end result without having to rely on trial and error. As you converse with the person on the other side of the screen, you can act as a guide to where they need to be next on their journey with you. In doing so, you eliminate doubt and fear of being lost, and give them a reason to keep clicking through your site. As a result, you’ll lower bounce rates and bump up your spot in the search results.
#3: Web Audio Makes Your Site Memorable, Which Boosts Repeat Traffic
SEO isn’t all about gaming algorithms. In fact, the best SEO strategies aren’t about appealing to algorithms at all. They’re about appealing to people, especially your brand’s the end user by delivering massive value that makes people eager to return to your site time and again looking for similar content.
Enter: Web audio.
Web audio is a unique way to leverage new visitors on your website by giving them a reason to return. By adding your smooth sounding vocals to your website, you can create a deeper connection with your audience. That deeper connection translates into better brand awareness, brand recall, and the brand halo effect, each of which are factors that can bolster organic SEO. Here’s what that looks like.
# of Unique Searchers for Brand + Product Keyword
# of Unique Searchers for Non-Brand Versions of Product Keyword
Quality Score for Product Keyword
As you singe your brand’s name together with a specific keyword in your buyer’s mind, you increase the chances that the visitor will search for your name in conjunction with that keyword further along in their path-to-purchase. In doing so, they’ll tell Google that your business is relevant to that keyword, boosting your organic SEO. Using web audio enables you to make a stronger impression and secure your brand along with the product keyword, boosting that quality score overall.
#4: Increased Social Shares
Just as humans look to social proofing as a signal of trust, so does Google. With that said, the relationship between social shares and social isn’t as clear cut as you might think. Google claims it’s not a direct ranking factor but there are still plenty of studies that correlate social media and SEO. One study determined that a link, which was shared thousands of times, helped the company claim two of the top 10 search results. Decent results, making us feel more inclined to pay attention to how social shares contribute to SEO as a whole.
Where does web audio come into the mix? Simply put, it drives user engagement while it’s compelling format gives people another reason to share your pages, and another opportunity to invite them to do so — and based on the results increased social shares generated one pest control company, using web audio to run a social sharing campaign might be worth your while. Take a look at these results from an SEO campaign by a pest control company.
See that blip? The company effectively boosted organic traffic by 15% in two weeks just by running a campaign aimed at increasing social shares.
By using web audio, you can build a similar campaign to drive more people to share your pages. Through the impact of human connection, it’s easier to prompt people to act based on what you request (see point #1 above as a reminder of why). Pepper your web audio with calls to action to share your content and you too could see a similar blip in organic traffic.
#5: Web Audio One of The Content Pillars That Can Boost Rankings
You’ve heard it a thousand times — Content is king to ranking online. But the form in which that content is delivered is quickly evolving.
Blog content is a powerful way to offer value to the reader and show algorithms why you deserve to be ranked high. Video is nice because it keeps people on your site for longer as they watch you present something informative or useful. But web audio has received tremendous attention from top industry players across the board. Here’s why.
Most content creators aim to stuff keywords on web pages in an effort to game the algorithms. But, Google can’t hear web audio. That means that the content delivered in audio format is more genuine, helpful, and not stilted by attempts at stuffing keywords in hopes of ranking. It’s that authenticity that’s a refreshing addition to any web page and an improvement to the user’s content experience on site.
Focusing on surface-level metrics, such as visitor numbers and page views is important, but what’s going to drive the bigger results is the focus on the overall experience. Web audio has a unique ability to deliver a more sublime user experience. It doesn’t require the creator to be an expert in video animations or a grammar snob. All it requires is a basic microphone and your voice. By humanizing the otherwise superficial digital environment, you’re able to use web audio to rank higher on Google and ultimately drive bigger conversions.
Web Audio: Your New Best SEO Friend
Web audio helps you rank higher on Google in a variety of ways.
Not only does it impact key metrics, such as time on site and bounce rate, but it also improves the overall experience on your site. That experience is key to building brand recall rate, which can ultimately tie your brand name to the keywords you want to rank for and give people a reason to share your work.
No matter your motive for ranking on page one, using web audio will help you appeal to consumers and search engines alike.
Ready to try integrated web audio to boost your ranking on Google? Start your free 14-day trial of Pulsemotiv.