The Rise of Voice Search and What It means for Your SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a major role in your website visibility. A strong majority of websites these days use some form of SEO, from using specific keywords in the content and Meta tags to designing of the web pages. However, SEO is always changing, which is why you always have to stay updated.
The latest change in SEO is the voice search marketing trend and voice search SEO. It’s precisely what it sounds like, a search conducted using the voice command or asking out loud instead of typing. Some of the most basic examples would include Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. In such examples, the interface uses a series of algorithms and sources to perform particular searches. Moreover, the voice search marketing trend and voice search SEO is expected to rise in the near future.
Voice search is everywhere
Consciously or unconsciously, we are completely surrounded by devices that offer voice assistance and continuously-on microphones that are silent until you use its trigger word. Once you say the magic word you can have answers to your every question. At this point, the most common use of these voice assistants is for searching purpose through our smartphones. However, companies are trying really hard to make sure voice assistants are accessible anywhere and everywhere people are.
That’s probably why we are seeing new smart devices like smart speakers, Amazon Echo, Apple’s Home pod, and Google Home, few of the more popular names in the market. The voice search marketing trend has now reached to your wrist with smartwatch and your car with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. To take this new trend up a notch, Amazon only is responsible for selling a large variety of new products that support voice assistance, such as microwave.
The list probably goes on and on, but it is important to understand what this all means. Voice assistants are finding their way to every aspect of life and this is the reason why the number of people searching queries in the form of asking a question is increasing. Searches are becoming more human, relatively longer and with an increasing use of conversational words.
How voice search affect your business
Even though voice search still has to officially be factored into Google’s algorithm, it is still powerful enough to dictate the results of what users have searched for. These are often different than when a user types in his or her query. Hence, it has become very important to understand how voice search is affecting your business and its online presence.
This means that as a business, you will have to update your SEO strategy as more and more users continue to switch over to voice-assisted search queries. However, keeping up with voice search marketing trends also means you will have to be more direct and conversational in your content which should represent the types of queries users are searching for. Traffic is a key component when it comes to increasing consumers and in the online world, the only way to take your traffic up a notch is to become more visible and credible for your audience. You can accomplish both by optimizing your website and the content you put out for voice search supported queries, before your competitors.
We have to understand that it is only a matter of time until Google includes the voice search component into its algorithm. It is recommended that you start incorporating this component of voice search into your SEO strategy before Google officially begin to prioritize the brands and businesses who do so. This also means that businesses that chose not to optimize their SEO strategy for voice search would now be facing the risk of being left behind by their competitors who have already updated their strategy.
Moreover, businesses that do update their SEO strategy for voice search marketing trend will have access to that 20 percent of consumers who have already started using the voice assistants. Similarly, not following the voice search marketing trends means that you are running the risk of losing any consumer who has begun using virtual assistants.
How to optimize for virtual assistants and voice search
It is evident that virtual assistants and voice search as already found a place of their own in our regular lives. However, it is important for businesses to understand that as the voice behavior is different from more traditional browsing methods, Google ranks for them differently as well. This is why it is crucial that businesses don’t neglect voice search when they are producing and optimizing their content.
Here are a few important tips to keep in mind:
- Keep it human
It is essential that you understand how people actually speak and how they are using virtual assistants to look for information, to effectively optimize your content for voice search. The modern voice assistants are designed to be spoken as if you are talking to another person or having a conversation and asking questions. The more natural you keep the conversation and the more focused you are on long-tail keywords the better.
Think more on the ground of how you and your users really speak in real life instead of how traditionally people used the web to look for information on your business.
- Use featured snippets
When a user asks a question from voice assistant, Google is likely to get the featured snippets and read them out loud and it cites the website as a source of that specific information. When you optimize your content for voice search, you are increasing your chances of being found when someone asks any relevant question. Furthermore, if Google cannot find any featured snippet or if the available snippets don’t have quality information, Google may not provide any answers at all.
However, when you are working on your featured snippets consider the possible questions that your audience would want answers to or the question they are asking, and make sure you have optimized pages that answer those questions.
- Be mobile responsive
Being as mobile-friendly as you can be is something to live by whenever you are creating anything online. As a majority of voice searches are done through smartphones, it only makes sense that your website is responsive, which means the site is fast and uploads easily on every device and browser.
- Make sure your website is fast
Website speed is a crucial aspect of voice search SEO. On average a voice search result page uploads in 4.6 seconds, which is 52% faster than an average web page. Websites that load faster gain an edge in Google voice search as users want to get answers quickly.