A few years back talking to a non-living device was unheard of. It looked like something completely out of science fiction to be able to talk to a robot (electronic device) and have to understand you and respond. But this fiction is now a reality where we all frequently give voice commands to Siri or Alexa and they respond with computerized answers in the form of results. Conducting web searches with a virtual assistant is now a highly common activity on devices like smartphones, smart speakers, and smart TVs. It's frequently quicker, more practical, and simpler than typing a query.
We can easily give voice commands to our devices for almost every task such as searching for a location, selecting and playing music, asking them for recommendations, and something as silly as asking the device to tell us a joke. (If you haven’t done this, try and ask Siri or Alexa to tell you a joke. Trust me, it’s hilarious.)
What is Voice Search optimization?
Voice search optimization is a set of SEO strategies that increases the likelihood that your content will show up in voice search results. In order for voice search technology and virtual assistants to expose your page to users in voice search results, your content must meet typical verbal search inquiries.
In a typical voice search, a user will say "Alexa" or "Hey Siri" before asking a question or making a statement, such as "What are some nice cafes nearby?" or "When is the next national holiday in India?" The gadget then answers by speaking a response, or if it has a screen, it may show the top outcomes from a search engine results page. The goal of voice search optimization is to gain visibility in this particular category of search.
The problem is that a voice search typically isn't the same as a text search. Our questions are phrased differently and more naturally when we speak to our devices. Due to this reality, SEO specialists and marketers have had to adjust in order to reach this expanding set of searchers. This is where Voice Search Optimization comes into play.
As if that weren't difficult enough, voice search ranking is difficult as well. Devices with voice search capabilities often only display the top one to three outcomes for a particular query. You need excellent content and excellent voice SEO in order to claim that position. We will demonstrate how to do it in this article, but before that let’s establish why you must opt for voice search.
Why Optimize for Voice Search?
Voice search is no longer just a passing trend; rather it’s slowly becoming the norm. The majority of voice assistants are used by internet users in the United States on their smartphones and smart speakers, accounting for about 40% of all usage. By 2023, there will be more than 200 million smart speakers worldwide, only in the United States.
No matter what sector you're in, voice search offers a crucial additional opportunity to gain organic search traffic. By utilizing voice search, you may reach a new group of consumers who use their smartphones and smart speakers to look for businesses and make purchases.
Voice search optimization can also benefit your site's overall SEO and rating. Search engines enjoy it when websites are voice search optimized since it gives your site more authority and lands its higher positions on results pages, possibly even in the voice search results.
Voice Search vs Text Search
If you’re someone who works in the industry as a marketer, website owner, or SEO specialist, you might wonder why do people place voice search and text search in two different categories? Why does voice search have its own category of optimization? While there are some similarities between on-page search optimization and voice search optimization, voice search differs significantly from text searches on websites like Google.com in several key ways.
Specifically, compared to text searches, voice search inquiries are more conversational. They sound more like the way we speak in daily life. You may type "What are some decent spas nearby me?" into a voice search engine. Text search inquiries are more often phrased like "spa near me," for example.
So, now as a business, it’s on you to make sure your content gets highlighted even when a user is using voice search to look for something. There are several tactics you can apply to your content to make sure it’s aligned with voice search. It's your responsibility to provide material that voice search users will find useful. Thankfully, you don't have to change your current SEO approach in order to increase voice search traffic. We'll discuss several methods to assist you in the next section.
Best Practices for Voice Seach Optimization
1. Target on Long-Tail Keywords.
As already established above, voice searches can be more worded than text keywords. When people are using voice search to look for something on the internet, they happen to use more words, as opposed to typing out their queries. One reason for this could be that it’s easier for people to speak than to write, and people can be freer with speaking. So, the questions that people put up while using a voice search can be quite different from text searches.
Thus, one of the finest things you can do to optimize your content for voice search is to focus on long-tail keywords, particularly question keywords. You'll draw visits from users who submit longer, more detailed searches if you do this. Long-tail keywords, which often have three or more phrases, are crucial to overall keyword optimization. Because they are more tailored to the user's aim, they draw traffic with high intent. There will be less competition on the results page if you make them more particular to your company (e.g., "spas in the Denver region" rather than just "spas").
Consider the "who," "what," "when," "where," and "how" queries that users are most interested in when coming up with inquiry keywords. Include a succinct, satisfying response to each of these in the copy on your pages (maybe in an H2). After your initial response, you can elaborate further on the body of your material.
2. Use Conversational Language.
Voice searches are conversational. In order to reach users where they are, you should give your material a conversational tone. A less formal writing style is perceived as more pertinent to voice queries in addition to feeling more genuine and being easier to read.
Incorporating more conversational terms (such as "I," "me," "you," and "we") into blog posts, staying away from jargon and too technical language, and adding humor to support your ideas are a few strategies for making your material sound more casual. If you must adhere to an established brand voice, make your content's tone lean toward that voice's more laid-back end.
However, this does not permit you to create content of lower quality. Maintaining a more informal writing style is important while making sure your users will enjoy and find value in your content. Just write it (nearly) as if you were speaking it out loud, as Google still favors this kind of high-quality content.
3. Put Local SEO First.
What we mean by putting local SEO first is that if you’re a business then make sure you’re listed on Google when people search for places near their location. This is especially true for local businesses, and brick-and-mortar businesses, and SEO is especially crucial for these businesses because most of their target audience is located in that area. If a person is looking for a business near their location, then they are likely to voice search like “Restaurants near me”, “Spas near me”, etc.
There are various strategies to boost your local SEO but setting up and maintaining a Google Business Profile is crucial. When you type in a query like "____ near me," this listing will come up. It provides visitors with information about your location, contact details, operating hours, and other helpful details. Because information from these profiles frequently appears in voice search results, your Google Business profile is pertinent in this situation. Therefore, having a thorough listing increases the likelihood that your company will show up for these local voice searches.
If you haven't already, this is one of the best actions you can take to improve your site's overall SEO, especially if you own a brick-and-mortar shop. Your Google Business Profile is frequently the first and only source of information that searchers have about your company. Always ensure that it is accurate.
4. Make an effort to obtain Google featured snippets.
Google featured snippets are short pieces of content that are shown on the Google results page above organic search results. They are taken from a website that ranks highly for the search and, if they are successfully grabbed, can significantly increase traffic. They could take the form of a paragraph, a list with numbers or bullets, or another layout.
This is important for voice search since a virtual assistant will presumably read a featured snippet as the response if one is available for the question. Try to get the featured snippet if you want your business to appear as a result whenever a user asks questions related to your business.
5. Utilize Schema Markup
Schema Markup is a tactic that helps your site’s on-page SEO (in general as well as for voice searches). A sort of structured data called schema markup is essentially HTML code that you add to your website in order to help Google and other search engines return more comprehensive results. Schema markup often contains important details about your company, such as its hours, address, contact details, pricing, customer reviews, and more.
Human visitors cannot see schema markup. Instead, it makes your material easier for indexing bots to grasp, which makes it more visible in search results and encourages more clicks. Your site will have a better chance of appearing in voice search results since search engines will consider it to be more relevant.
6. Optimization for Mobile
More than half of all internet traffic on the planet comes from mobile devices. Consider that 27% of mobile consumers utilize voice search on their cellphones if that isn't proof enough that mobile SEO is crucial.
Google believes a good website's mobile user experience to be essential and takes it into account when determining its ranks. Adopt responsive design and look for other ways to make your website mobile-friendly if you want to appear in results for both text and voice searches. You can maintain your competitiveness in voice search by taking this extra step.
7. Focus on the speed of your website
How much do you consider the functionality of your website? It's generally accepted that a website must load in under two seconds before the user experience is impacted; hopefully, you've given it at least some thought.
Page load speed is another Google ranking element that influences how well your site appears in voice search results and beyond, similar to mobile optimization. It's all about the experience once more: Google wants to provide us with happy-making results, and nobody wants a sluggish website.
Voice search has developed over the past ten years to become a significant player in the SEO industry, and it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. If you're a local business looking to increase website traffic and foot traffic, you should actively work to grab this vital group in addition to being aware of voice searches. By implementing the aforementioned tactics, you'll improve the reputation of your website with search engines, which will help you attract more traffic through voice searches. Even if you don't initially see any changes, these actions will help your site's overall SEO.