6 Timely SEO Strategies and Resources for Voice Search
As voice search technology has leaped forward in recent years, voice searches are heading towards the first position in the race of internet searching methods. They make searching fast, simple, and convenient. Voice search is already a big thing on Google.
Although it is thought that teenagers today would be more into voice searches, it is found that almost 52% of users (over the age of 55) belonging to older age groups are trying it out and loving it. Moreover, with the increase in the use of smartphones and Bluetooth devices, voice searches have become a crucial part of device design today.
What Is Voice Search SEO?
Voice searches have a vast arena of applications – from searching e-commerce websites to using your home devices. These applications make it critical for website owners to understand what voice search SEO is and how it affects the search results on any search engine.
Voice search SEO, simply put, is optimizing your website or webpage so that you rank higher in the SERPs, especially when the query is searched by voice assistants. It is a part of SEO and not a completely alien technique. Today, as the new normal, every SEO must involve optimizing the websites to adapt to voice commands.
Difference Between Textual and Voice Search
Although voice search isn’t the lead runner, it still is a close competitor coming next only to web browser searches. The reason is anyone would prefer tapping on an icon and speaking out their query or simply starting their question like, for example, “OK, Google! What is Voice Search SEO?”
When we manually enter our search query, we usually choose specific keywords restricting the search engine to them. Comparatively, when we use a voice assistant, we speak out the sentence in a more conversation-like manner, enabling the search engines to give us a more comprehensive and specific answer. It was not just in the movie “Her” that the person was comfortable talking to a voice assistant, but studies have shown that voice commands and searches come more naturally to people.
Moreover, with the evolution in technology, voice assistants are becoming more innovative in understanding what the speaker is precisely looking for just by listening to the sentence searched. Precision becomes relevant when realizing that many words have the same pronunciation but different spellings and meanings, and matching them with the user’s intention is an outstanding achievement. Google Assistant on mobiles can search in over 100 languages today and gives out an average perfect result 90% of the time.
Voice searches also load much more quickly, averaging in on 4.6 seconds, almost 52% faster than the text search queries, making them time-efficient. Additionally, voice searches have a massive advantage – you don’t need to touch the screen, making it possible to use it to search while engaging in another activity.
Impact of Voice Search on SEO
Voice search is transforming the way the world views anything over the internet. It has single-handedly made the website and webpage creators tweak their SEO strategies to adapt to voice searches if they wish to get their pages and sites in the top ranks of SERPs.
1. Device Accessibility
Every search engine has always kept the intentions of their users in the first place, making it critical for any website to provide the best UI features if they want to rank higher. Moreover, with the expansion of technology, users now wish their devices to be able to search for answers to their questions through voice commands. Voice search optimization is a necessity as most people using voice searches become regular visitors of your websites.
2. Long-Tail Keywords or Phrases for Searches
Most voice searches are in the form of phrases or questions. Although it is imperative to include keywords in your content for your overall ranking in the SERPs, it is essential for voice search SEO optimization to add phrases and long-tail keywords to match user intent.
3. Loading Speed
It is a factor for any SEO optimization to keep your website or webpage in the fastest loading capacity. However, for voice search SEO, loading speed becomes much more critical as voice searches are quicker than text-based searches.
The voice search has changed how the content for a webpage is created. The content available now is much more conversational and informal as compared to how it used to be before voice assistants became common. The content should also match the user’s regional or traditional interaction behaviors to get better views and traffic.
The content a website now carries is more focused on localized searches since most voice searches are done for businesses or locations near the user.
Strategies and Resources to Optimize for Voice Search SEO
1. User-Friendly Website
This has to be the first strategy for optimizing your website for voice SEO. The majority of people use their mobile devices to search for voice-based searches. Also, every search engine has changed its policy to push mobile-friendly websites ahead on the SERPs, making it critical for you to design your website in a mobile-friendly manner if you want to attract traffic.
Along with that, your website should also load quickly so as to not waste the user’s time because a voice assistant is primarily used when the person is preoccupied with other tasks.
Moreover, make your content keyword-specific yet short. According to search engines, the perfect answer is about 29 words, allowing the search engine to quickly crawl through your content and rank your answer in the top search results. Note that every search engine wants the user to have a pleasant experience and provide them with a quick, simple solution to their problem.
2. Be More Natural With Your Content
As discussed in the differences between a typical text-based search and a voice-based search, people type down specific keywords while they are using a keyboard to search for something, but while speaking through voice recognition, people talk as if to communicate with the assistant.
For example, if you want to search for a shoe store around your location, you will probably type “Shoe stores near me.” But when using a voice assistant, you will go for an actual question like, “Which is the best shoe store near me?” or you might even add conditional words like, “What is the cheapest shoe store near me?”
Voice recognition has evolved in the past few years to precisely match your results to your location. This is to find regionally relevant answers to your queries for a better user experience, which SEO today is all about.
3. Aim for Featured Results
As with any SEO strategy, voice SEO also involves aiming for featured results in SERPs like snippets and recommended videos. A study showed that voice results use about 40 percent of the information from the featured snippets. Also, the videos featured in the results of a text query are placed at the third position, while for most voice-based searches, videos are at the first position in SERPs.
Getting your website or web page featured as snippets and videos uses structuring the content of your webpage. Also called schema markup, structuring the content helps the crawlers to quickly go through your site to analyze the content, enabling them to qualify your website as a search result.
You should assign tags, meta titles, and titles to your content which help form the microdata for your content. This microdata is then used by the search engines to precisely focus on the data you can provide to the user and if it would satisfy their issue or not. For Example, here is a Google search for “How many people live in the United States.”
4. Optimize for Localized Searching
Mostly when using a voice command search, people use their mobile phones, and about 51 percent of those searches are usually about a local business. For instance, a user will search, “Where are ice cream shops in Pasadena?”
Search engines use many tools and listings like Google My Business to browse through the nearest business searched by the user. It also means that your content must include listings from Google My Business for your page, tourist attractions, landmarks, and even a “near me” to rank in higher results for a local area-based search. Moreover, users check the maps, timings, services, addresses, and contact details of business holders in a search result; hence, you should get a Google My Business listing and claim it to provide the required information to the search engines as well as the users.
5. Use Questions as Keywords
If you look at any voice-related search examples above, you will notice that all are question-based. Studies show that most voice searches are in the form of questions. Targeted keywords may be how, what, best, and where, among others. It is also researched that over twenty percent of voice searches result from a combination of just 25 keywords.
A great benefit provided by any search engine is that they will provide you with the related and frequently asked questions by the users. You can use this information to add those questions to your webpage to present people with solutions. Hence when optimizing your website and webpages for voice search SEO, ensure that you target keywords that are more question-based, increasing your probability of achieving higher ranks in the voice search.
6. Include FAQs
One of the best strategies to ensure your spectrum of reaching out is by adding a page specifically about frequently asked questions about your topic. Multiple reasons support an FAQ page in boosting your visibility. Most queries in voice searches are question-based or in the form of a question, and FAQs come entirely in that category. Second, having a FAQ page will cover more wide variety of keywords that couldn’t be included in the content itself, making your webpage more visible in the voice searches. Additionally, voice searches are also simple language questions with no specificity in the structure; hence, answering the FAQs in a general sense will increase your visibility further.
Tools for Voice Search SEO
The best tools for voice search SEO optimization are –
- SEMRush Marketing SEO Tool: It primarily allows you to assess your ranking in the SERPs. SEMrush also views how you can improve the ranks further by suggesting changes to get better user-based content.
- Moz Pro SEO Software: This is a complete tool for voice SEO optimization. Moz Pro is always up with the changes in Google algorithms and provides numerous services to its users, from searching for keywords to crawling their website for suggesting improvements.
- Ahrefs SEO Keyword Tool: You will use this tool to analyze your content for improvements to rank higher in the SERPs. The analysis by Ahrefs provides you with backlinks, broken links, links in your own content and niche, and an overview of your best-performing page in the SERPs.
- SpyFu: This tool allows you to search for higher-ranking keywords in your niche. SpyFu will also enable you to see what keywords are being used by your competitors, hence providing you with the idea of how you can improve the ranking of your content on the search engines.
- Google Search Console: It is a free tool available to website owners to check their ranking in the SERPs. You can also choose Google Search Console to check how you wish your website to be presented in the searches and what content can be viewed.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is Speech Recognition for Voice Search?
Speech recognition is a technology allowing users to search for their queries through voice commands instead of typing them into the device they use.
2. Voice Search VS Text Search
Voice search differs from text search. It focuses on the user’s intent by copying the way the user communicates. Voice searches are also phrase-based content in contrast to text queries, which are more keyword-based content.
3. How to Optimize for Voice Search SEO?
Voice search optimization is part of the SEO techniques. In order to update your SEO for voice searches, create structured content with more conversational and natural words, be concise by using long-tail keywords, and answer the related questions in a more user-focused manner.
4. What Are the Various Platforms That Use Voice Commands to Carry Out Tasks?
The best and most common platforms using voice commands include –
- Google Assistant for Android phones,
- Siri by Apple Inc.,
- Alexa by Amazon,
- Bixby by Samsung,
- Cortana for Windows
Voice Search SEO, if optimized correctly, holds the enormous power of directing huge traffic toward your website and web pages. The voice search trend is scaling quicker than expected. With more reasons arising, like advanced technologies utilizing voice commands and diseases that make contactless communication a lifestyle for today’s world, optimizing for voice search SEO is a critical step to take.