If you’re reading this article by experts at a leading digital marketing agency, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’re interested in Google Voice Search and its SEO.
Since many brands are getting a boost in organic traffic thanks to Voice Search SEO, and those that are getting it right have an opportunity to rank even higher!
In this blog, we will see some ways we can optimize our website to be more friendly for voice search SEO.
So let’s get started.
What is Voice Search SEO?
Voice Search SEO is the optimization of online content for voice-based search queries. With the rise of virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and Cortana — and devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos — voice search is quickly becoming one of the main ways people find information online.
There’s no doubt that voice search is changing the way we interact with our devices, and it’s having a big impact on the world of SEO. Google alone processes more than 40,000 search queries every second on average. That comes out to more than 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.
Interestingly, the growing number of those searches are coming from voice-enabled devices, and why won’t that be since previously, we had to type out our searches to find what we were looking for. Now, thanks to the continuing rise of virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, we can simply ask for whatever we need.
Experts at a leading SEO company in Mumbai will tell you that the change has opened a new world of possibilities. And while it may seem like a small difference, it has huge implications for companies who want to rank in search engine results. That’s because voice search queries differ from traditional search queries in a few important ways:
-They’re often longer (e.g., instead of typing “best steakhouse,” you might say “where is the best steakhouse near me?”)
-They’re more conversational (e.g., instead of typing “best vacation spots,” you might say “where should I go on vacation this year?”)
-They often include questions (e.g., instead of typing “how do I thaw frozen chicken,” you might say “what’s the best way to thaw frozen chicken?”)
In other words, voice searches are phrased more conversationally than your typical text query.
Benefits of Voice Search
For a business owner, voice search has the potential to bring a lot of benefits. For starters, voice search is more efficient than traditional searching methods. In fact, it’s three times faster. This means more people are turning to voice search simply because they want to get things done quickly.
Voice search also makes it possible to multitask. Rather than having to type in your query while driving or exercising, you can speak the words and keep your hands on the wheel or the dumbbells.
But what really matters is that voice search is more natural than typing. You no longer need to figure out how to phrase your question so that Google understands what you’re asking for. You just speak naturally and receive natural-sounding answers in return.
Voice search could be a boon for local businesses. According to Search Engine Watch, 46 per cent of all searches are local searches. And as mentioned above, people use voice search because they need an answer fast – now! As such, a large portion of these queries will be for nearby restaurants or stores.
Meanwhile, according to a study: 72 percent of people who own voice-activated speakers say these devices are important when it comes to making purchases locally – and 60 percent say that they’ve used their devices to find local business information.
This means that if you run a local business and you haven’t considered the impact of voice search, then you should start now. This is especially true if your customers are students or young professionals – segments that are more likely to use voice search in the first place.
How do you optimize for voice search?
To succeed in the age of voice search, SEOs and marketers should optimize their content for voice search. In this way, you will get better rankings for voice searches, which means your organic reach will also increase.
The following strategies have been proven to be effective in optimizing voice search results:
- Rich Answers
When you search for something in Google and the website has a feature that gives you information right there on the page, this is called a rich answer. The point of a rich answer is to give you all the information you need and make it very easy for you to get it as quickly as possible. Another name for this kind of feature is an answer box or quick answer.
Rich answers are the key to optimizing your site for voice search as experts at a leading Digital marketing agency in Mumbai say that Google rewards sites that provide the most helpful and relevant information in the answer boxes of its SERPs. These are the blue links that appear at the top of a SERP.
Providing rich answers to questions that people ask about your business or industry is therefore crucial for ensuring that your site appears in these SERPs. You can do this by optimizing your content using schema mark-up and including some well-chosen keywords in titles and descriptions.
There are two main types of rich answers:
* Featured snippets, which give a summary of information and only appear if Google thinks they can directly answer the question
* Knowledge panels, which provide more detailed information about the subject
Optimizing for these kinds of rich answers is different from optimizing for a traditional search result because Google will only show them if they’re confident that they can directly answer your question. This means that rather than including keywords, you’ll want to think about how to structure your content so that it would make sense in an answer box.
- Re-Imagine and Restructure Your Content
You’re probably used to writing content that targets keywords. You strategically place these keywords throughout your content and make sure they’re relevant to the subject matter. You may even write content that answers specific questions or provide specific information based on these keywords.
Voice search optimization is similar, but there’s one major difference: voice search queries are much longer. Instead of typing in a single word or short phrase into your mobile device or computer, people are now asking questions like: “Where can I find the best tacos near me?”
So how do you approach optimizing for this kind of query? First, you need to restructure your content so that it answers questions and provides useful information for consumers. To do this, think about the intent behind a specific keyword and then come up with a list of questions that surround that topic. Then, when you write content around those keywords, it should answer those questions directly. If the question is who, what, when, where or why, make sure these words appear in the headline and throughout the copy.
- Use Conversational Language for Content
Voice queries are most successful when they are conversational, so we must tailor our content to meet this need as the best SEO company will tell you that you have less chance of showing up in voice search results when you use robotic language on your site.
Using natural language is beneficial when writing and publishing on the web. One way to do this is to make sure there are questions at the end of a paragraph.
It’s important to know how people ask voice queries if you’re going to make the most of voice search. You need to learn and anticipate the kinds of verbal queries people tend to use.
- What type of keywords people are using to ask questions?
- What is the style of their conversation?
- What type of questions is arising the most?
- What kind of answers is likely to satisfy these questions?
- What are the most popular answers being displayed as voice search results?
Data-driven insights can help you understand what people are looking for when they search verbally.
- Target long-tail keyword phrases
Long-tail keyword phrases are highly specific keyword phrases that are more specific and usually much longer than more common search terms. For example ‘how to start a blog for free is a long-tail keyword phrase.
They generally have lower competition and target audiences who are further along in the purchasing process, so they convert better than general keywords. For example, if you’re targeting ‘blogging’ as one of your keywords, then you may want to include ‘how to start a blog’ as one of your long-tail keywords. This will help you build up your domain authority in Google and boost your rankings over time.
- Improve Loading Time of Your Website
Many of the people who use voice search say they do so because it’s faster. This indicates that if you want to capture those users, you need to make your website as fast as possible. One way to achieve this is by optimizing the images on your website. Images are often a significant portion of a website’s file size, and with an image-heavy site, loading times can increase dramatically.
Optimizing images is a relatively simple process that can have a tangible impact on your visitors’ experiences. The developer tools in your browser of choice will help you identify how much space each image takes up on your site, but there are also several free third-party tools that can analyze your whole website and suggest ways to optimize each image.
When saving new images for the web, save them in the right file format (JPEG for photos or GIF for graphics). If you’re using a content management system like WordPress or Squarespace, there’s likely to be an option for compressing images built into the platform. If not, there are several plugins that allow you to compress all of the images on your website at once.
- Pay Attention to Mobile
At Google I/O 2019, all of the major announcements are either directly or indirectly related to mobile. Though Google does not reveal its plans for the future, it is clear that it will continue to emphasize a strong mobile experience.
Mobile devices are the most common search tools when it comes to voice queries because most questions are being asked verbally on a mobile device. You should be ready to deliver an amazing mobile user experience.
Creating mobile-friendly content with a mobile-first approach is a must, and here are some tips on how best to accomplish this.
- Create a mobile-responsive website.
- Run a mobile-friendly test on your website and optimize the site.
- To ensure visibility and exposure to your content, your website should be crawlable.
Mobile devices are changing the search landscape, and voice search is the next step in this evolution. Having a mobile-responsive website is an SEO best practice that shouldn’t be ignored.
- Optimize your Google My Business listings
People often search Google with their voices. The factors that determine whether your business ranks for these searches are your Google My Business listing and your location on the Google map.
A Google My Business listing is a way to let Google know that your business has a physical presence at a particular place. When someone asks Google to display similar businesses in that area, your business may appear in the list.
You must include your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) in your listing. Moreover, you should choose the appropriate business categories for your company, and provide area codes as well. You should also add posts with special deals or news about your company to make your business stand out.
If you have not yet created a Google Business listing, you should do so immediately. Improving your local SEO is simple with a Google Business listing.
To improve your search engine ranking results for “near me” searches, you can target local keywords that trigger searches with that phrase.
In the end, voice search optimization requires a combination of the right content, a streamlined website, and attention to mobile. The presence of local listings will also increase your chances of showing up in voice search results when your business is located within the user’s local area. Now, there may never be a one size fits all approach to SEO, but hopefully, this guide has given you some direction on improving your SEO and driving traffic. As a result, if you want to learn how to write great SEO content, check out our blog on how to write great SEO content.