How Voice Search Can Change the SEO Game
Find out how voice search can change the SEO game and how you can optimize for it by reading this article.
How Voice Search Can Change the SEO Game
Technology has come a long way since the invention of the internet. What was once only a figment of your imagination and the subject of sci-fi movies have started becoming a reality.
Although there is still a long way to go before you can drive flying cars or ride fully functioning hoverboards, the futuristic lifestyle you have been dreaming of has started to creep into people’s daily lives in the form of voice search. Nowadays, Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Echo have become a regular part of individuals’ days across the world.
The Domination of Voice Search
Voice search refers to the technology which allows you to speak directly into a device to search the internet. This is a much more convenient way instead of picking up your phone or opening your computer to type in your query.
Your phone or computer uses audio technology to recognize what you are saying with excellent precision. After searching the web on your behalf, your device will then deliver the results to you orally.
This method of query has been growing fast in terms of usage and popularity over the years. Experts say that there is no indication of it slowing down anytime soon. Although there are other SEO strategies you should also focus on, investing in voice search will work wonders for your business.
Voice search is also becoming more popular across all types of devices. In fact, for some people, speaking to their phone, computer, or home speaker has become as natural as breathing.
Look back into the last time you talked to your phone. How long ago was it? If you are like other smartphone users, it must have been within the day. You might have asked Siri or Google to help you find the best coffee shop in your area or the fastest route you can take to your office.
Based on the trajectory of voice search’s popularity, there is no doubt that it really is set to become the future of internet searches. According to statistics, voice search users in the United States alone will increase to 122.7 million by 2021. This just shows you the capacity of this technology to dominate the search engine industry.
What Makes Voice Search So Popular?
Voice search has become popular among users because of the benefits it offers. One of the most sought-after advantages brought about by this technology is convenience.
This technology allows you to search the internet without having to pick up your device and type in your query. Having this capability provides you with extra time and an opportunity to do other things while searching, such as reading a newspaper, watching a TV series, or cooking dinner.
How Does Voice Search Affect SEO Rankings?
Because of voice search’s growing popularity, search engines—including Google—have started placing a higher emphasis on this technology. They mostly focus on how voice search has helped in improving user experience. After all, it is at the forefront of search engine optimization.
Voice search has started the transition from keyword-based queries and to more natural searches. Because people are now using a more natural language when searching instead of using phrases that contain keywords, it is up to search engines to determine the search intent of the user and give them a single result, which is to be read out loud by a device. This will definitely heighten the competition between companies that want to be the lone top result that the voice search will produce.
How to Optimize for Voice Search
With the enhanced competition in the search engine arena because of voice search, it is vital that you start optimizing for it as soon as possible. Doing so will provide you with a headway that will allow you to get one step ahead of your competitors.
However, voice search and website SEO are different. The factors that improve your website rankings may not work if you are optimizing for voice search. Although Google still uses the same algorithm to evaluate your website, you need a different approach if you want to get the top position on voice search results pages.
Here are some ways you can optimize your website for voice search:
Ensure Your Website Loads Quickly
Similar to traditional SEO, Google prefers websites that load quickly. So, in order to increase your chance of being the top result in voice searches, make sure that your website meets the following criteria:
- Responsive and works well on mobile devices
- Has optimized images and compressed files
- Utilizes website caching
- Has reduced server response time
Write the Way That You Speak
Just like what has been said above, users are more likely to use natural language when conducting voice searches. This means that they will be talking in complete sentences instead of choppy, keyword-laden phrases when using the technology.
To ensure that you match their voice search queries, you must include more long-tail keywords that sound more natural in the content you post on your website. But you must still make sure to keep the phrases that you use short and simple. This is done to ensure that although the information you provide is high-level, your audience will still be able to comprehend it.
Create a Featured Snippet
Devices only read out the top result whenever a user conducts a voice search. Knowing this, you might be thinking about how you can guarantee that Google will read your content to the person searching. One way to go around this is through a featured snippet.
A featured snippet is considered as the position zero in SERPs. This is because it appears above the organic search results to quickly answer a person’s query.
The content included in a featured snippet is pulled from web pages in Google’s index. If you want to have your content to be in one, you can create a concise summary of your main content. Make sure that you place the synopsis above the fold and keep it under 29 words—the average length of a voice search.
You can also use H-tags, lists, and bullet points to increase your chance of obtaining position zero. These are easily readable by Google and can help your website perform better in voice search.
Focus on Local Searches
According to Search Engine Watch, voice-related searches done on mobile are 3 times more likely to be local-based compared to typed queries using the same device. This means that people are more likely to use voice search on their phones when they need local results. These queries include movie times, “near me” searches, and directions.
Local-based queries are most probably the ones with the strongest buying intent. Taking advantage of this type of search will allow you to increase your chances of converting nearby searchers into customers.
So, how do you do it? The first thing you need to work on is your local SEO. Make sure that your website is optimized in this area, especially if you own a local business.
You should also check your NAP (name, address, and phone number) and confirm that it is clearly stated on your website and consistently formatted in all online directories. Doing this will help ensure that search engines can easily pull your business and contact details from your website.
Getting aboard the voice search early can help you establish your name in this new territory before your competitors. Doing this will also allow you to improve your brand awareness and increase online purchases and revenue.
You can follow the strategies listed above to start optimizing your website for voice search. Another method you can try is to work with an SEO agency, which can provide you with all the information you might need regarding the technology. Partnering with SEO professionals will also provide you with access to their experience and turnkey activities that will ultimately help your business grow.