The Best SEO Techniques for Voice Search Optimization
Whether you’re a brand, digital agency, influencer or entrepreneur, the likelihood is that you’ve heard of voice search and AI becoming the next big thing in the marketing world. The impact of AI assistants such as Alexa or Google’s Home assistant has been less than earth-shattering, however, they have set the wheels in motion for the voice revolution.
The SEO and digital marketing landscape are shifting as technology trends allow for new methods of connecting brands to audiences. One of the most up and coming trends that we need to look out for is voice search. As it rises in popularity, it’s fast becoming an important part of an optimized SEO strategy. The searching and browsing habits of desktop and mobile users are constantly changing; meaning that businesses and organizations are having to adapt in order for their company to receive exposure.
What Is Voice Search
Before we get deep into the aspects of voice search and how it’s beneficial for your business to optimize it, we’ll explain exactly what it is.
Voice search is the process of inputting a spoken search query through voice recognition software that translates it from speech to text and submits your query to a search engine. The results of your question are spoken back to you by the software’s virtual assistant such as Alexa or Siri.
According to PWC, 71 percent of users favor voice over written searching and the continuing popularity of devices that support voice searching has fuelled the idea that voice search is the future of SEO. The primary objective of search engines has always been to deliver results to users as fast as possible and users want the quickest method of getting their results. Voice search is proving to be the quickest and most convenient method of asking a search engine a question and getting an instant response.
How Important is Voice Search?
Many marketers couldn’t see the value of voice search and why they should spend part of their annual market on improving visibility through voice search. In this day and age, it’s difficult for marketers to ignore the number of voice search assistants and the volume of voice search queries that happen on a daily basis.
Voice search is has made it more convenient for users to search and get their results faster, which has helped it to become a trend that’s on the up and up. According to Statista, 31 percent of worldwide smartphone users voice search at least once a week. Furthermore, it’s projected that around 55 percent of homes in the United States will own a smart speaker by the year 2022.
The stats don’t lie, clear data can be presented to show that voice search is the next big thing and marketers to pay attention to it closely. One important aspect to look out for is people write and speak in different ways, for example, speech is in a conversational tone. This allows for businesses to rank for low-hanging fruit keywords as an untapped source of lucrative exposure.
At My SEO Sucks, we’re always optimizing for the best experience for the companies we work with. We consider the impact of SEO from all aspects, devices and touch points.
We don’t want your brand to get left behind, so we’ve put together the best strategies for voice search optimization.
The Importance of Keyword Research and Voice Search
Like other SEO campaigns, it’s important to get deep into keyword research, helping you to discover which words are likely to be used when performing voice search queries.
During this part of optimizing your voice search strategy, it’s important that you understand the various types of searches and the structure that users will present their queries. Voice searches often involve a type of question, meaning that it’s likely to start with the words “where”, “who”, “what”, “does” and “how”.
Side note: as previously mentioned, when speaking out aloud and using voice search, people have a tendency to use full sentences, instead of fragmented queries via text.
The best way to reach the highest-ranking result is to focus on winning a featured snippet or position zero as it’s also known. The featured snippets system is a way for users to ask queries into Google and be given a succinct, definitive and instant response to that question. That’s why it’s important to test and evaluate your researched keywords for any featured snippet opportunities that they may provide.
Take each of your keywords and throw them into Google, then collect on data on if there’s an answer in snippet form; whether it’s an answer box, list, table or paragraph. Using this data, you can create content that’s optimized for getting you one step closer to owning high ranking voice search answers.
They have been slowly creeping into search queries more and more, over the years; whether it’s local search or voice search, longtail keywords are now in the fold. By adding in longtail keywords into your content creation process, you’re helping to increase your chances that you’ll provide a better answer to the user’s query.
A solid strategy for winning at voice search is to target question keywords by searching and viewing the “people also ask” to discover exactly what users are searching for. This will help you to add these questions with definitive answers into your content, making you rank higher for voice search queries.
Always Include Local Search
A great number of voice search questions are based around local searches and users that are using search terms like “near me”. When users are looking for local services, it’s crucial that get your company’s Google My Business result optimized to deliver maximum exposure.
Keep the Conversation Going
Creating content that’s as valuable to humans as it is to Google is considered the gold standard of SEO. It’s crucial that you create your content that’s structured in a question and answer format to help rank higher and also win featured snippets.
To make life easier and your voice search strategy more effective, incorporate inquisitive headers and FAQs. Keep your sentence structures simple, so they can be presented by the AI in an eloquent manner. Furthermore, it’s vital to keep your answers clear and direct so they can be easily digested by users.
Optimize Technical SEO for Voice Search
There are a few technical SEO optimizations that you’ll need to adjust in order to get the most bang for your voice search buck. When the mobile revolution became a thing, pages had to be optimized for speed in order to rank higher and hold more of a bearing. Well, voice search is here and it’s no different. Searching by voice puts a priority on speed and knowledge more than any other type of web surfing.
Ensure that your pages are mobile-friendly, images are as compressed as possible without losing their integrity and your site architecture is organized and up to scratch.
Incorporate Q&A and Voice Schema
One incredibly important aspect of SEO is to make sure that meta robots know exactly what your content is about. Schema is like a tag or meta description. Virtual assistants can’t always pick up on keywords, headers or specific questions to give the answer for a voice search. Q&A schema allows businesses and marketers to identify the questions and their answers to meta robots. For voice optimization, it’s imperative that you use voice schema to highlight parts of content that are meant to be spoken by smart devices.