Based on research, as of 2019, approximately 3.25 billion voice assistants were being used globally, and forecasts imply that around 2023, the number would surpass the world population (eight billion). Due to this forecast, as a smart business owner, you will want to optimize your site for voice search.
To get organic site traffic, you will need to understand the concept of search engine optimization. A good SEO ranking will place you on the front line for visibility when people search for related content.
Voice search SEO keeps your website visible despite the global shift towards voice search, and this article will teach you exhaustively on how to optimize for voice search.
Definition of Google Voice Search
Google voice search is one of the products of Google lab that is activated by voice command. It is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and allows users to search by speaking instead of typing.
To activate the Google voice search, you simply say “OK Google” or tap the mic icon on your Google search bar and speak. The features of Google voice search are limitless and can range from typical internet search to Google assistance, which is the reason many people use it.
Available voice command programs
Optimizing for local SEO and “near me” searches will also bring more traffic through voice assistants. You will now learn about Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft Cortana.
This voice assistant from Google reached great strides since its launch in 2016. During that time, it was an extension of Google Now. The original design was that the latter is assigned to retrieve information from the search engine while the former gets the user’s commands and replies to him. Google Now has been retired; however, its function has been combined with Google Assistant and various accessible devices.
To activate the Google Assistant feature, all you have to do is start your command with “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google.” After that, you can ask it to tell the weather, look for music to play, and even how to learn the coronavirus situation in your area.
Google recently launched a special markup that would enable various websites to be visible for voice assistant programs. The program is called “speakable,” and it can be used repeatedly throughout the site to help your content reach voice assistant users. You can find out how to use it through Google’s guide here.
Alexa, also known as the Alexa Voice Service, is Amazon’s voice command program. You can activate it by starting a sentence with its name. It is designed as a cloud-based program that intelligently recognizes voices and makes use of natural language processing.
Several features make it unique. Unlike other voice-activated programs, you can set its wake word to “Computer” or “Echo” when needed. Aside from that, it can be used through various smart home products such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Fire TV.
One of the many ways you can be noticed more through this voice assistant is to aim your company’s products to be featured on Amazon’s Choice program. They will choose it based on the product’s price, rating, reviews, and shipping speed. Aside from that, being on Amazon Prime or the Seller Fulfilled Prime program will give you a chance for it to be chosen.
Originally introduced at the launch of the Apple iPhone 4S, this voice assistant has been in use through Apple devices since the 4S’s launch. It is known as a built-in voice program that can help you by sending a message to set appointments on your device’s calendar. This feature is the company’s wireless, hands-free option for its users.
As it is embedded in each Apple device, it has access to all applications installed with it. Activating it is as simple as saying the phrase “Hey Siri” before searches or commands or tapping the Home button on some Apple devices. Aside from essential functions, it can also follow silly instructions.
Increasing your chance of being spotted on Siri involves listing your business onto Apple Maps Connect. Aside from that, make sure that your business has lots of reviews on sites such as Yelp.
Cortana is the youngest voice command service on the list. It was introduced to the public with the release of Windows 10 in 2015. Since then, it is also accessible across Android and iOS Smartphones. As of 2018, more than 148 million people were using this service.
Most first-time users of this product encounter Cortana once they open a Windows 10 device for the first time. After that, it is next to the search bar with a circle icon. Most commands can make use of any applications installed within the operating system, including those from Microsoft Office. It can be activated by clicking the ring-shape or enabling the “Hey Cortana” voice command.
Being seen by Cortana involves listing your business in Bing Places. Doing this will help you gain a slice of the 20% market share for desktop web searches for your business.
Using Keyword Research for Voice Search
Depending on what your business is, your keyword research approach will be different. However, the voice search SEO strategy is not very different from the regular SEO keyword research.
- Like standard SEO, you need to look for related content history―what do people search for using hey Siri, or Google
- Make a new list of keywords by fitting them into question tag modifiers like who, are, could, when, is, which, and more
- After organizing this list, remove the adjectives that do not describe your brand from the keywords list
- Do a test run and see how the keywords work on voice search, then make edits and repeat
Reasons for Voice Search Popularity
There are many reasons why people use voice search, but the first reason anyone can give is convenience. It is quite similar to messaging applications where you send voice messages rather than type out long words.
Easier and Faster
An average human speaks up to 150 words a minute but can type just about 40 words in the same duration. With voice searching, you can quickly say what they need and find it within the same time it takes to type it.
Convenient and Appropriate
The ease of using voice search makes it quite convenient. It is also perfect during multitasking operations to simply activate it on voice command and get results on the go. Another perk of voice searching is the conversational process of searching. For example, if you search for a person, you can simply continue using pronouns, and the results will be related to the initial search.
Compatible for Mobile Devices
Unlike during the onset of voice searching, most mobile devices use voice search currently. Lately, it is more difficult to find a smart device that doesn’t have a voice assistant than one that has.
Difference between Voice Search and Traditional Search
Taking out the hassle of typing does not change too much with search engine optimization(SEO). Most of what it affects stems from the ease and specificity of talking. Another factor that stimulates difference is Google’s need to work optimally.
So, while your page may have the best keywords on the net, if it is not human friendly, it reduces the chances of being seen on voice search results.
- Keywords for voice search are longer, natural and more conversational
- Voice search prioritizes local listings
- Results from voice search are direct
Strategies to Optimize Personal Content for Voice Search
Because voice search plays a crucial role in digital marketing in 2020, it is necessary to be able to optimize your content to be featured in its results. If you already use SEO practices, then you just have to make a few tweaks. However, if you haven’t started using SEO, you have a lot of adjustments to prepare for your page to be optimized for voice search results.
Make use of featured snippets
If you have been doing SEO for a while now, you already know the importance of featured snippets. They are displayed below the page title as a concise description of your product or an answer to a question (Meta description). With them, users can easily see if they will move further to open your page or not.
Another factor with snippets is that it takes less time for Google to sort through the volume of data on your page, so it will be easier to display your page first.
Restructure your content to be direct
Like with snippets, short, immediate answers will be picked over wordy content. Voice search is conversational, so materials that answer a question or lists are displayed first because of directness.
An easy way to optimize this is like keywords, use frequently asked questions (FAQs) on your page. Also, ensure the answers are direct so they can be optimized for snippets on voice search.
Content should be easy to comprehend
A good readability score is a no brainer with SEO. The more readable your content is, the higher the stakes are of being featured in voice search. Always aim for a readability score above 50% and a natural language tone.
Content should have a conversational tone
Since voice assistants are conversational, they will display content that fits the same note. Some helpful tips to optimize the tone of your page content for an excellent voice search SEO ranking include:
- Taking note of frequently asked questions related to your content
- Note the question style or tone
- Figure out the best answers to those queries
- Research the materials that are thriving as results for such questions
- Organize your content based on the data you get
Note long-tail keyword phrases
With manual search, a shorter keyword works best because typing is tasking. However, because of the conversational nature of voice search, people use fillers in keywords when searching. Using long-tail keywords makes your page more visible on voice search results.
A keyword like voice search SEO will work better than how does voice search transform digital marketing for a manual search. But the reverse is the case for a voice search optimization.
Enhance your websites loading time
If you have used a voice assistant before, you will note that replies are speedy and upbeat. If your site takes too long to load, it will be omitted from voice queries. Some ways to can optimize your site speed for voice searches includes:
- Reduce redirects as much as possible
- Use HTTPS instead of HTTP because secure pages are usually picked first
- Try using a Content Delivery Network
The bottom line is, speed doesn’t affect just voice search optimization; a slow page will have higher bounce rates.
Focus on mobile devices
One of the main reasons why voice search is thriving is simply due to mobile compatibility. If your page does not function optimally on mobile devices, it will be more difficult to find on the voice search result.
To optimize for voice search SEO, try to make sure your page and its content are as mobile-friendly as possible.
Write extensive content
Google tends to pick answers from pages with more comprehensive information. The reason is that more content makes it easy for Google to find what matches a query than less content. A helpful tip is to go for content above 1000 words with concise sentences.
The more information found in your content, the easier it is to see it among voice search results.
Request Google My Business Listings
People already use voice for “near me” searches. If your business is featured on Google my business listings, it will increase the possibility of being found by locals.
Another approach you can take is to use location-specific keywords through your article to improve discoverability. Optimizing your page for voice search helps if it is featured on google my business as one of the local establishments.
Include details like contact information, name, and address in text on your page so that it can be displayed as a snippet readily.
Endeavor to test it
A rule of thumb is to test anything that will bring you money or cost you money. Testing is quite easy, activate your device or a friend’s device and try using voice command to search for your keywords or title.
If you don’t make the first page of voice search results, take note of what came up first and pick pointers from it
The Bottom Line
The world is tending towards voice search, and you need to flow with the tide for an optimally functioning page. It is wise to start optimizing your page for voice search now because soon enough, the competition will be high, and you may be outshined and lose the top page among search results.
Meta Description: The world is steering toward the use of voice command applications, and voice search so here is an Ultimate guide for voice search optimization for business growth