How Important is SEO for Voice Search in 2019?
As of January 2018, there were an estimated 1 billion voice searches per month, and by 2020 it’s predicted that 50% of searches will be done by voice. Considering that 55% of teens and 40% of adults use voice search, the time to jump on the Voice Search period is here.
Studies have shown that as compared with our other research, we also found that 22% of people who use voice search have made a purchase within the past month using it to find the items they wanted.
After seeing the stats of voice search lets dive into Voice Search Technology and how you can optimize your websites for voice search.
What is Voice Search?
“Voice Search” just as it sounds, is the latest up and coming technology that allows people to access internet search results using a smart device and their voice.
If you are using an Apple, Microsoft or Android smartphone you are familiar with the Voice Search function. In addition, programs such as Google Assistant, Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Alexa all utilize voice search capabilities.
How are People using voice search today?
People are now using voice search to carry out their daily tasks on computers, mobile phones, laptops, etc. They prefer to use voice search when they want to search for something quickly. Voice searches are lengthy terms (Long tail keywords) than the typical keyword. People use natural language (conversational style) to search their query. Keeping these in mind, super long tailored keywords are the winning tactic
Voice search is an alarm for digital marketers as SEO is going through some significant changes, and search marketers need to be aware of what’s new in the search game.
Voice Search SEO
As everybody says, “Content is king!”, this is where optimization for voice search begins. Voice searches are natural language (conversational style) to search their query. Keeping these in mind, super long tailored keywords are the winning tactic. However, there are a few important steps that need to be considered before moving on to adding content. These steps attract internet queries given below:
- Audience decision. What is the persona of your audience? Who is the ideal customer?
- Think what problems can you solve for your ideal customer? And create a list of FAQs related to the customer service you receive.
- Once you collect all the required information, you should have at least a few ideal audiences of who you are writing for.
Now, you need to know about Google’s machine learning AI – Rank Brain. It was developed to tailor and understand search queries based on the end user. Rank Brain was born while keeping in mind the importance of creating customer personas.
Why is voice search growing so quickly?
There are 3 main drivers behind this trend.
- First, searching with your voice is 3.7x faster than typing
- Users Want Answers On-the-Go
- Second, the voice is perfect for mobile searches. In fact, nearly 60% of mobile searchers use voice search at least “some of the time” (Stone Temple).
- Finally, the voice search is more convenient. That’s probably why more than half of the respondents in one survey stated they use voice search so they “don’t have to type” (Stone Temple).
5 Tips To Optimize For Voice Search
But it is important to remember that voice search SEO and traditional website SEO are different. Therefore, some factors that affect website rankings may or may not have the same effect on voice search – and vice versa.
Luckily, there are some tips that can help you balance the two SEO strategies and rank your website for search listings and voice search.
Ensure Your Website Loads Quickly
Same as traditional search engine optimization, Google voice search favors websites that load quickly. Speed matters when it comes to voice search SEO. You should ensure that:
- Your site is responsive and works well on mobile devices.
- Images are optimized.
- Files are compressed.
- You utilize website caching to improve page speed.
- Your server’s response time is reduced.
- And other tasks that speed up traditional websites.
Use long tail keywords – Write The Way That You Speak
When users search for content on desktop or mobile, they tend to write in phrases. For example, if a user wanted to find the best branding services, they could type “best branding agency” into Google.
But if they used voice search, a user might say “Who are the top branding companies in the world?”
To ensure your content is optimized for voice search as well,
- Include long-tail keywords that sound more natural.
- Plus, keep sentences short and simple.
Voice search results are typically written at a 9th-grade reading level at most. So, although your information may be high-level, break it down in a way that is easy for anyone to understand.
Should appear on snippets – Include Featured Blocks Of Content
The average voice search result is about 29 words long. But although we know that shorter answers perform better, how can we guarantee the content Google will identify and read to users?
- Create a featured snippet, of course!
- A featured snippet – also called position zero, answer box, or quick answers – is essentially a summary answer from a web page. In desktop search listings, these snippets appear just after the paid ads.
- To optimize your content for an identifiable featured snippet, include a concise summary of your main content above the fold under 29 words.
- Sections that use H-tags, lists, and bullet points are easily readable by Google and thus perform well. Also, be sure to include your long-tail keywords within the featured snippets.
Concentrate On Local SEO
22% of voice search queries are looking for location-based content. Therefore, brands have a higher chance of producing voice search content if they invest in local content.
- Try using phrases like “near me”
- List your business on “Google My Business”
Long Content – Advantage in Voice Search SEO
In order to rank your website for voice search, you should keep your content long with short sentences, The benefit of a longer word counts is that it gives Google more opportunities to identify an answer to a searcher’s question.
Google is very eager to provide users the most relevant answer possible. Therefore, it is very significant that you answer questions clearly and update your website with fresh, engaging content on a regular basis. As for the voice search queries, Google strongly emphasizes providing direct answers rather than website links. Each year, Google comes up with a big change to its algorithm that could affect one’s digital marketing and advertising strategy. Google is seeking natural language, which means you’re likely to need to brainstorm the forms of questions people might ask that include your intended keywords. Google is increasingly attempting to understand the semantic context of searches in order to give users the greatest and most proper search results possible.
Is Voice Search Optimization helpful in driving traffic to my website?
It is beneficial in driving traffic to your website, though it is not clearly evident that the voice search results benefit in enhancing your Google Analytics reports. When Google provides results of a query, it gives a boost in brand awareness since it shouts out the website from where it is fetching the results.
Furthermore, those search results include website links as references which users can visit. This allows users to go to the website organically hence it increases the website traffic.
In the last, voice search enhances important metrics like online sales or media play on websites like Deezer or Shazam.
Voice Search SEO: Optimizing for Different Assistants
There’s Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft Cortana. Each of these devices requires a slightly different approach to voice based on some core differences. Each company has a different algorithm.
Voice Search SEO With Amazon
Amazon Alexa is quite a bit like Google’s Home Assistant, at least on the device level. You might not notice much of a difference between Alexa and Google Assistant.
The key difference, of course, is Alexa is powered by Amazon, not Google.
- Alexa’s core offerings are focused more on Amazon-centric activities.
- Alexa also allows users to shop for Amazon products.
- You can ask her to add a product to your cart or get an update on a recent order.
In a recent study, they said, Alexa answer’s search queries pulled from Bing instead of Google. Means to say that, you also need to get on board with Bing’s Webmaster Tools and best practices to optimize your content for Alexa search.
Voice Search SEO with Siri
Apple’s digital assistant Siri is the first digital assistant. Siri is only available on iOS devices, whereas Google Assistant is available for download on any smartphone and comes baked into Google phones.
Voice Search with Microsoft Cortana
Given that Microsoft owns Bing, Cortana pulls info from Bing’s SERPs, not Google. So, like Alexa, your best bet for optimizing for Cortana is getting on board with all things Bing.
Ranking for voice isn’t as complex as you might imagine and many of the best practices include the same things you’ve been doing for years. Think long-form content, building a backlink profile, and answering questions.
You just have to focus on feature snippets, local SEO and long tail keywords. Also, incorporating voice search SEO into your marketing plans will be an important part of search engine optimization. If you skip this part, you might be left in the dust.