Voice Search: A New Challenge for SEO

Voice Search

Voice search allows Internet users to search by voice, naturally, through a device that allows external sound recognition, rather than by inserting the text into the search engine.

According to a study carried out by Comscore, it is estimated that throughout 2024, 50% of world searches will be carried out through voice search, which is a challenge for marketing professionals and SEO positioning of web pages.

What is voice search?

Voice search is a technology that allows the user to use voice commands from connected devices to perform an internet search. This search can be performed using the device’s microphone, while the user asks a question or consults what they are looking for out-loud.

Unlike traditional methods, where the query is typed in the search box, the voice search has gained momentum and has become one of the options most demanded by internet users to find what they are searching for.

According to the latest study carried out by IAB in Tendencias Digitales 2024, voice search has grown noticeably in recent years. 51% of the users surveyed state that they have used voice search more than once, with the highest use among users under 34 years of age with the use of their smartphones.

This growth in the use of voice search is conditioned by three main factors:

  1. Development of technology: artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  2. Increase in sales of domestic virtual assistants such as Alexa, Cortana or Google Assistant.
  3. Easy to use. People are able to multi-task and perform other actions at the same time

This new online search method has particularly affected the discipline of SEO, which has been forced to modify its strategies and focus efforts on more specific aspects of organic positioning.

Development of technology

How does it affect SEO?

Today, it is necessary to focus on SEO strategies such as voice search. Up until now, the efforts made for web positioning were focused on text searches performed by the user. Today, the search methods have changed immensely through voice search.

Voice search is a challenge for SEO professionals. The commonly accepted strategies for positioning a website on Google must be adapted to the current context, from voice search to the new result formats offered by Google.

When it comes to voice search, the same users who made basic google searches are now the ones changing their search strategies and how they express what they are looking for. New strategies sound more natural and organized.

Voice Search Optimization Strategies

Voice Search uses a natural conversational language. The construction of phrases in the written search is different from those performed by voice search. In this new context, searches are no longer performed by keywords, but contextually.

Thus, the American School of Journalism states that the user performs voice searches using the five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and Why (and sometimes How).

For this reason, it is necessary to introduce a more natural language that responds to the user’s search intentions, without having to focus solely on the main keyword.

Focus on semantic search

Bear in mind, now that users perform searches using phrases that go beyond the basic keyword search, the content of the web page should be performed by studying the semantics of the words and the structure of the phrases.

In 2013, Google launched Humminbird, the algorithm based on better interpreting the context and relevance of content. Later, it launched Rankbrain, whose intention was to better understand the search intentions of a user and offer the best results, without having to enter a main keyword.

Include longtails in phrases

As previously mentioned, searches are no longer based only on positioning keywords, but on the multiple ways that a user can express the same thing with different words. This is where longtails come in. These are words that we want to position in Google search results, but are considered less important.

Include longtails in phrases

Information structure

The structure of the site must also adapt to new search methods, as this is an important factor for SEO. The relationship between the categories or the different pages should be done naturally, as should the writing of the content.

This natural structure should be giving answers to those questions that users are asking. For example: if we are talking about a call center software that works with WebRTC technology, it is advisable to introduce a link in “WebRTC technology” to a section or new page that talks about this technology.

The objective is to offer a user the possibility to ask a question and receive an answer that is as accurate as possible.

Create Optimized Snippets

For optimized snippets, the aim is to highlight the best sections or summarize your web page so that it appears clear and intriguing in Google search results.

Taking into account the context of the voice search, Snippets should be composed of a short and concise answer, which either gives the answer or can add value to the answer.

The formats in which Google displays results have changed. It is not only necessary to introduce the typical “title” and “meta description” onto each web page you build, it is now also important to implement other techniques such as Local SEO, videos, FAQs, guides, etc. to improve your placement in Google search results.

Improve Local SEO

Typically, the user intends to resolve more specific questions in a quicker amount of time when they are using a voice search. Voice search is a common way to search for a place, a quick fact, or searching for things that are close to your proximity.

With an organic search on a search engine website, they will look for specific keywords, which is easier to create a placement for on websites like Google.

Now, search results depends on a combination of the user’s search history, what other users are searching for, and how many backlinks exist towards that website. It is a mix between voice searches, media searches, and simply typing into a search engine. To improve SEO, you must have a combination of everything. By combining all search methods, you will watch your website rise in search results, bringing back more website traffic than ever.

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