When you think of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, you probably think of blog posts and site headlines. What about voice search, though? When developing an internet business, most people may not even consider voice search. If you don't, you're throwing money away.
Over the last decade, many people have predicted that voice search will be the future of online search.
We're sure you're as excited as we are to have your website's content picked up and transmitted through smart home devices.
After all, people have already started using voice search, and many of them can't bear the thought of going back to old, tedious typing. Those folks are looking for nearby restaurants, shopping, and other businesses. Many of us now find it easier to ask Siri a question rather than type a Google query. It can also provide faster results and be more user-friendly for people who are unable to type due to a disability.
As we spend more time on our smartphones, voice search is becoming more common. 55 percent of mobile users use voice search, and 39.4 percent use a voice assistant at least once a month, according to Perficient.
71% of consumers prefer to ask a voice search query rather than type it.
In addition, 66.3 million US households are expected to own a smart speaker by 2022.
The number of voice search users will grow as the popularity of voice search grows.
But how do you ensure that Siri, Alexa, or Cortana share your website with entire families?
What can you do to retain the 71% of voice-only searchers as customers?
Wonderful news! Voice search has been integrated into site optimization by the SEO community.
But first What exactly is voice search?
Voice search is a conversational method that allows a human user to converse with a computer interface. This might be your smartphone, a smart speaker in your home, or any other speech-enabled device.
Natural language processing (NLP) technology is used by voice assistants to “learn” your speech patterns and recognize your voice over time. The technology isn't flawless, but it's improving. The more you utilize it, the better it will get.
How Do People Use Voice Search?
As time passes, voice search continues to grow and evolve as a trend – where is voice search technology now?
There are several technologies that can receive and interpret spoken orders, and they all employ search engines as their knowledge base.
At first glance, there may appear to be no difference between smart assistants on smartphones and smart speakers, but when you look at how they are used, the differences become plain as day.
Our goal is to ensure that your website is prepared to greet your voice-searching audience wherever they are.
People Use Voice Search in Various Ways on Each Smart Technology
Similarly to search intent keywording, we're seeing a distinct use case for each smart-assistant-enabled device.
You can better personalize your material to each type of searcher you want to reach if you focus on how each device is utilized.
Quick Voice Searches on Smartphones
Voice searchers who need a rapid answer or solution to an issue frequently use their smartphones.
Assume you're on a date and need to determine where to go next.
A fast voice search could provide you with numerous options.
Comprehensive Knowledge Voice Searches
People often do broad, in-depth searches on them from the comfort of their own homes.
Their verbal searches would be for random knowledge, random tunes, or assistance with any plans they might be making, such as a wedding or an international trip.
Consumers Need Voice Searches in Car Speakers
While driving, 52.8% of individuals use voice search to find destinations, directions, and the lowest rates.
Based on smart technology and evolving AI, segment your voice search audience.
You've probably noticed how helpful these technological distinctions are.
That's three distinct types of potential clients, and we've just scratched the surface.
The more you investigate it, the more you'll be able to segment the audience.
When optimizing for voice search, it's important to understand what technology your target audience is utilizing. Google is also trying to improve its search capabilities with artificial intelligence (AI) tools like MUM, which should make search more flexible. and with what intent
Google is also trying to improve its search abilities with artificial intelligence (AI) tools like MUM, which should make search more flexible.
This useful information will guide you to the best strategy to optimize your website.
Let's make sure your SEO approach aligns with the adaptability of your customers and Google's ever-changing algorithm.
Why is it becoming more popular?
Convenience is a big reason why voice search is becoming increasingly popular. Saying an activation phrase like “Hey, Google” and asking a question in a conversational tone feels more natural than typing something into a search field.
Hands-free voice search is possible. Assume you're in the middle of a baking recipe and your hands are covered with flour. You can use voice search to ask your phone to call up the recipe steps without getting them soiled.
Other reasons individuals use voice search, according to Statista research, include:
- It's more entertaining than a standard search.
- It's faster than opening an app or starting a computer.
- People dislike typing on their phones.
- It allows for hands-free operation in circumstances such as driving.
- People believe it is a more accurate method of searching.
- While younger generations use voice search more frequently, people of all ages use this technique on a regular basis. Though the trend is still in its early stages, firms that jump on board today will be more positioned to capitalize on voice search SEO than their competitors.
What distinguishes voice search SEO from other sorts of search?
Voice searches are conducted in the same manner as a discussion with another person. Because of this, they are different from a normal keyboard search in a few important ways.
Voice search keywords are longer and more conversational.
When we type in a text search, we concentrate on the relevant keywords we want a search engine to find—”meatloaf recipe” or “gas near me,” for example.
Because it is more natural, voice searches are phrased like actual questions. “Gas near me,” you wouldn't say to another human. The same is true for voice search. “Hey Siri, where's the nearest gas station?” you're more likely to inquire.
Local listings are preferred by voice search.
Many voice searches are used for “near me” queries—people looking for the nearest gas station, restaurant, dry cleaner, and so on—increased byright now. According to Google, “near me” queries that included some variation of “can I buy” increased 500% between 2016 and 2018.
Before the epidemic, people did more of these searches in public places to quickly find what they needed while they were out and about. Local voice search was also used extensively for places to visit and housing.
Voice search is quick and direct.
Voice search is intended to return results fast and provide an easy-to-read snippet with the most relevant information at the top of the page. Why? Because people who use it are most often doing something else while searching, such as driving or cooking. They require information as soon as possible.
When you use Google, the featured snippet at the top of the search results page is what appears in voice search. This not only means faster results, but a voice assistant will frequently read those results to you so you don't have to glance at your device.
What keywords do people use for voice search?
The best way to optimize your website for voice search is to conduct extensive research into the types of queries people are making using voice assistants. Consider the following when developing your keyword strategy:
Keywords for questions include “why, when, what, how, and where.”
Long-tail keywords are terms used to finish a question, such as “today” or “last week.”
Filler words and phrases such as “I, of the, on the, for, and to”
These terms adhere to the structure of voice searches, which are more akin to a conversation than a keyboard search. Consider how you would query a voice assistant about your company to get a better picture of what potential customers would look for.
Answer the Public's tools provide detailed feedback on potential voice searches generated by the core term. A search using the term “photography,” for example, yields questions such as:
How does photography work?
Is photography a hobby?
What photography gear do I require?
Try out a business-related word to see what kinds of questions people are likely to ask.
Voice search is changing.
Voice search tools are becoming smarter, making it easier for people to locate you. As search AIs such as Siri and Google Assistant learn natural language patterns, they improve their ability to grasp the meaning of a search.
For example, if you search for the actor Daniel Craig, Google may provide his bio. If you were to follow up with the question, “How old is he?” Google would recognize “him” as Daniel Craig.
Voice search has also evolved to provide more context in search results. If you ask Google Assistant, “What is the address of my office?” you'll get the right answer without having to explain who “my” refers to.
These improvements should be considered while developing your voice search SEO strategy.
Strategies for improving your website's SEO for voice searches
Once you understand how and why voice search is being used, it's simple to determine where your company fits in. Use the following strategies to profit from mobile phone and smart device searches:
1. Recognize the customer
Voice search will not be used in the same way or for the same reasons by everyone. Learn about your target audience's demographics so you can better understand how to meet them where they live.
Millennials and Gen Z, for example, are more likely to be online and use voice search than their Boomer or Gen X colleagues. Voice search will also be used by different groups of people on different platforms—one group may favor mobile voice assistants, while another may use a smart speaker like Alexa.
You must also understand what your target audience is looking for. Local voice search is typically classified into a few broad categories:
Locating an address
Obtaining a business telephone number and identifying business hours
Determining the distance between two businesses
These types of local voice search inquiries fall into three basic categories:
Discovery inquiries are those in which customers are looking for a specific sort of business (for example, “find a coffee shop near Dodger Stadium”).
Direct queries are used when a user wants to find out something specific about a business or do something specific related to that business (for example, “Call Joe's Coffee House”).
Knowledge queries – when people seek a solution to a topic (for example, “How many actors played James Bond before Daniel Craig?”)
As with on-page text SEO, the key to bringing your site to the top of search results is to design your site to address typical user inquiries and demands.
2. Pay attention to conversational keywords and user intent.
People are more inclined to converse with a voice assistant or smart speaker in the same manner they would with a human. They won't just use a few keywords; instead, they'll use full sentences. Plan your content accordingly.
Consider the natural phrases that consumers would use to look up your company using voice search. Make sure that your page and business listing answer these questions and as many others as you can.
You may, for example, improve your business listing and website for the search terms “coffee shops around me,” “coffee shops in Houston, Texas,” or “What are the greatest coffee shops in Houston?”
3. Make your page easier to categorize by using schema markup.
Aside from backlinking and specific keywords, there are other techniques you can use to let the programs that scan online pages, known as “web crawlers,” know what your website is about and what queries it answers. One of the simplest methods is to use a tool called schema markup.
Schemas are HTML website extensions that serve as labels for web crawlers. They tell Google and other search engines where your website belongs and that it is a good match for a user's search.
Using schema markup helps web crawlers put your website into categories, which helps your site's SEO by making the information that defines it easy to find. People using voice and mobile search will get to your website faster this way.
Don't be concerned if you lack extensive coding knowledge. There are free tools available to help you implement schema markup on your website. Structured Data Markup Helper from Google is extremely beneficial. Just type in the URL of your website and follow the on-screen instructions to change what information shows up in your site's search listing.
4. Create a comprehensive FAQ page.
An FAQ page is an obvious way to answer as many relevant inquiries as possible without stuffing it with keywordssearchessearches. It can answer frequently asked questions about your company, adding value and authority to your page.
Common search terms include “who, what, when, where, and how,” so consider including these terms in your answers. Write conversational answers to each question to be optimized for longer keywords that people often use when they search with their voice.
Make sure your FAQ page is easy to find, loads quickly, and works properly. Each question and answer should be labeled clearly. It's a good idea to include a way for customers to let you know if they still have questions after reading your page to improve their overall experience.
5. Tailor for local voice search
Most people will use voice search to find a business near where they live, plan to visit, or are currently located. Optimizing your page for mobile and local search directs these users to your company.
The following factors can help a business appear in local voice search:
How Nearby The Searcher Is
If positive feedback is frequently received
People are more likely to interact with you on social media if you link to your website often and list your content in local and industry-specific directories.
It is critical to keep your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing up to date. Include reviews, important keywords in your site description, and images of your business to make it as full and specific as possible. If you leave any fields blank, Google is more likely to include your business in a “near me” or other local search.
Other directory listings, such as YellowPages and Bing, should also be updated. Complete profiles on different platforms will only help your business gain more exposure. Just make sure they're constantly updated with relevant information; once every few months is enough.
You might also be able to optimize for multiple voice assistants by making business profiles on different platforms. For example, if you have a full Bing profile, Microsoft's Cortana speech assistant is more likely to find you.
6. Mobile optimization
People are more likely to have their smartphones with them when they are out and about. This indicates that it is the device most likely to be used for a “near me” search.
You don't want to lose visitors because your site isn't properly optimized. Make sure that all of your pages load quickly, have useful information, and make it easy for people to find the answers they need.
7. Make your company known with voice search.
In terms of SEO, voice search is still underutilized. When you combine optimizing your site with traditional SEO techniques, you'll be ahead of the competition.
Consider how you use voice search on a daily basis. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer, analyze what they might desire, and see how you might meet that need. Finally, don't overlook your online business profile; it's one of the most valuable tools you have for local voice search SEO.
8. Identify and Apply Conversational Keywords
Short and ambiguous keywords, as you may know, are the enemy of SEO.
Mid-tail and long-tail keywords are considerably better in most cases; the more particular they are, the more likely they are to deliver you a buyer.
Voice search takes it a step further: even long-tail keywords are no longer sufficient.
Instead, you should use whole words and questions that people usually ask each other.
“What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?” for example.
Fortunately, keyword-finding software can easily detect such words and inquiries.
They frequently start with the words who, what, why, where, when, and how.
Google's autocomplete and “People also ask” features are good alternatives for voice search keyword research.
To complete your research, make sure to look in forums and on websites frequented by your target audience.
Reddit is a great example. Find a subreddit related to your niche and look at the thread titles; those are the questions your potential customers are asking.
All that remains is to incorporate them into your website.
9. Multilingualism is the way to go.
You most likely have a diverse group of visitors who speak more than one language.
If this is the case, you must produce material that they can find and use.
With voice search, the quality of your content's translation must be extremely accurate.
You want to sound like a reliable, authoritative source when Siri reads your information.
We suggest getting a native speaker from the country to help you translate and review your copy and content.
Also, make sure to read Google's multilingual website management instructions.
10. Take Control of Your Google Business Profile
Every day, over half of voice search users check for local company information. Because voice search is so localized, it's critical that your voice results appear at the top.
What is the most effective technique to improve your chances in this game? Google Business Profile is the dominant player in local SEO.
This is a must-do for any brick-and-mortar business, voice search or not. It is simple and absolutely free. Create your listing, fill it out with as much information as you can, and then wait for approval.
Congratulations! You've acquired a valuable SEO asset. You can make it even more useful by tracking it in a tool like WebCEO.
Starting with the SERP, their Google Business Profile reports analyze customer behavior and show you how visitors interacted with your site.
11. Be Quick and Mobile-Friendly
Voice search accounts for 20% of all mobile queries.
If your site is not well optimized for mobile, the user's trip will depart from it and continue on another site. Do not allow this to happen.
So, what exactly are the fundamentals of mobile SEO?
A design that is responsive.
There are no invasive interstitials.
Quick loading time.
The text is simple to read.
WebCEO's Speed Optimization tool can be used to test your site's mobile friendliness.
This tool will provide you with a score as well as recommendations for optimizing your site for mobile and making it load faster.
12. Increase the Domain Authority
Now comes the part you're probably not looking forward to. As a general rule, voice search selects the best search result for the spoken query. Sometimes the assistant will say, “Here are a few options,” and then leave you to search the SERP.
In other words, if you want to be heard in voice search, you must have your website on Google’s top page. The closer to the #1 spot, the better.
Your best bet is to work harder on all aspects of SEO, such as backlinks, user experience, local search, technical issues, and so on.
Keep track of your progress by viewing your ranks in WebCEO's Rankings report. You can use this tool to see how you rank for voice search keywords.
Don't miss the day when a smart assistant picks up a page from your website; it will undoubtedly be a moment to remember.
Voice search is no longer considered to be in the “near future” of SEO. It's already here, and marketers are competing to see who can manage it the best.
As you can see, it all comes down to three fundamental principles:
- Conducting research about your intended audience.
- Keeping track of the growth of voice search.
- Maintaining SEO efforts on your website.