Voice Search SEO
Search engines have seen a significant evolution, with the major companies like Google updating their algorithms periodically, to create a better user experience for the users. A recently adapted update is the ‘Voice Search’. Voice search SEO is the biggest trend that is likely to affect the way users land on to your website.
What is Voice search SEO ?
A simple voice search uses voice assistants like Cortana, Siri or Alexa to fetch information on weather, traffic conditions or nearest ATM, or any food outlets like a nearby Chinese restaurant. Voice search makes users ask the questions out loud instead of typing. Voice SEO is a strategy for optimizing your website and content for voice search.
Why Voice search has gained popularity ?
The emergence of voice search has changed the way people search for information on the web. People nowadays find it easier to search for information through voice rather than typing. Studies say that around 60% of the searches are currently performed on mobile phones. Voice assistants like Siri for Apple device, Google voice search on Android devices and Cortana for windows have become popular. Increasingly, people are also using voice search on their tablets or voice assistants (like the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices) to search for information on the internet.
With the increase in the number of people using mobile devices, people often find it easier to use their voice to search instead of typing on tiny screens. This has brought ‘Optimizing Content for Voice Search and Virtual Assistants’ into the picture. Voice search simplified the search process by its ability to quickly get answers without interrupting other daily tasks. With the increase in the use of digital assistants, optimizing your website for voice search is basic to your SEO achievement.
Conversational search :
People type and speak differently. Let us consider an example. A search for restaurants via typing on your phone or computer, makes you likely to write ‘best restaurants Vizag’ whereas during the use of voice search, you may probably ask ‘What are some good restaurants in Vizag’? In the speaking mode you are going to complete the question, which remains generally incomplete during a text search.
We use short phrases to find information when we use a PC to search, as it saves physical effort. Using a mobile phone to search is just similar to a conversation with a virtual assistant. Artificial intelligence powers voice search engines and gradually makes them smarter with every conversation. Voice searches are longer through the tail. You need to understand how your audience talks about your business, products, and services.
Local search driven :
Google disclosed that ‘near me’ searches have grown radically. A majority of the voice search queries are for local content. People use their mobile web browsers or phone’s voice search capabilities to get information (e.g., location, business hours, and available products) about nearby businesses they plan to visit. The first step is to claim your business listing through ‘Google My Business’ followed by content development that easily answers location-based questions.
Include the following keywords in your SEO strategy.
The phrases people use to describe the neighbourhood around your business area.
The phrase “Near me” in title tags, Meta description, and anchor text.
Landmarks in and around your business location.
The names of local institutions/organizations relevant to your business.
How to optimize for voice search ?
With voice searches becoming more popular gradually, optimizing for voice search would help gain more search traffic, and help users who would like to avail your products and services. Here are some effective techniques to optimize your website for voice search.
Research on keywords
Commence your voice search optimization & begin your research with a tool ‘Answer the Public’, which returns a bunch of questions on entry of any search term.
Here are the outcomes received for the keyword ‘SEO’.
These natural language phrases are full of insights. You can get an idea of the consumer’s mind-set.
‘What’ and ‘Who’ questions flag that a user is in the research phase. If they are asking ‘Where’ questions, they are prepared to purchase.
Businesses that have Google My Business are the ones that appear first.
If you know the reason behind the search you are more likely to answer the questions posed by the users through your content.
Use Question Phrases –
When it comes to ‘search terms’ for voice, it is best to create phrases that users would most likely say or utter. Keeping that in mind, short and simple phrases are the most ideal approach. Question phrases are the most common search terms while using voice search, and the use of where, what, how, when, who, and why questions are much beneficial. Questions which contain ‘Where’ phrase are the best for most of the businesses as clients are looking for the business location. ‘How’ and ‘why’ phrases in questions provide users supportive data like guides and tutorials. It is also beneficial to create a question and answer format on pages (FAQ’s) where common questions are grouped. This makes voice search technologies to pull out pages from your site. Google prefers pages that would readily be able to answer the question of the user and feature such pages on top of the results page.
Mobile and User-Friendliness –
With user-friendliness always being a priority, and the mobile users dominating searches, having a responsive design website certainly makes a difference. Mobile users need a site that is readily accessible and easy to navigate on a device, along with a quick load speed. These are important factors in the bounce rate and enables users to keep going longer on your website.
Site structure and content strategy –
When building content strategy for voice optimization, the prime factor to be kept in mind is to make your content able to answer all the questions(various phases of your customer’s journey) of the users.
There are three main content types that work well for voice search optimization:
Informational intent-(guides, how-to, etc.)
Navigational intent-(store locations, services, customer service info)
Transactional intent-(videos, product information, comparisons, product stories)
Content should be in such a way that the voice engine should be able to understand the content’s meaning and context.
Data Optimization –
The voice search results return one response to searchers from the best-optimized result. So make your content exceptionally relevant for the specific query. Ensure your pages are easy to crawl. If you haven’t created a sitemap yet, first create a sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console.
The next important step in helping Google bots better understand your content and its relevance is to utilize structured data. Structured data mark-up helps you create metadata for your content that tells Google what it is about, however, it doesn’t affect how your content appears for users. Structured data mark-up doesn’t affect the rankings directly but can help give you a lift in voice search results by illustrating the relevance of your content for specificqueries. Using structured data is also a good SEO practice overall, as it can enable Google to highlight components of your content in search results.
Page speed –
It plays a major role in voice search SEO. Bounce rates are higher on mobile than on desktops. Optimize your site’s page speed as users won’t sit and wait for your page to load. People using voice search are probably going to be on-the-go and won’t have time to be patient.
Role of voice search in SEO :
To optimize for voice search you cannot afford to ignore the usage of structured data, getting your site mobile friendly, increase the page speed and optimizing for local search. The above mentioned factors play an important role in enhancing your SEO.
The search engine technology is emerging towards voice search. Voice search is still developing and is likely to see advancements in the near future. To meet customer demands embrace voice search SEO techniques and let your site be found on voice search results. Make your website ready for the voice search.