While multitasking, did you ever try voice search? If you haven’t, this post will help you understand how voice search optimization can help you be more efficient at work or home. Typing queries to search for anything can be time-consuming. Skip the typing — is where the voice assistant can help. It is also essential to understand that the variances between spoken and typed queries can lead to differences in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) results. The difference can also mean that you would be losing a lot of potential customers if your competitor’s website is voice search optimized, and yours is not. Here is your ultimate guide for voice search optimization in 2019.
If you want to see your website rank as high as other voice searched optimized websites–use this guide to help you in your endeavor for voice search optimization on your site.
Voice Search Evolution
Voice search was rarely used before Google’s announcement in 2011 to implement voice search on Google.com. This action paved the way for advancement in voice search optimization. Initially, the voice feature only supported queries that were in English; however, today, you can use about 60 languages in Google Voice Search.
Importance of Voice Search Optimization
Experts surmise that voice search optimization is a vital part of the SEO process because voice search would be widely used to do most searches in the future. The success of voice-based digital assistants like Siri and Alexa are perfect examples to show that voice search has catapulted forward. It’s evident that voice will dominate all online searches in 2019 — and for many years to come. Brilliant — and a huge disruptive force that businesses can use to optimize their best results in search.
Voice Search Optimization Guide
Now that you know that typed and spoken searches will bring different results — optimizing your website for a traditional search won’t look similar as optimizing it for voice search. However, there is a major concern; it’s about people resorting to voice search on mobile. The searcher will get only one result, which is termed as “position zero,” and almost every business or website wants to be in that position.
It is believed that by 2020, or earlier, half of all searches will be done through voice. This belief implies that potential subscribers or audience won’t be able to see your website’s ranking in the SERP. As a business owner, you’ll definitely want to aim to secure “position zero.” Being first on the page in that position won’t be a cakewalk to achieve.
Here are the six critical factors that you’ll need to consider while optimizing your website’s voice search to be at the top or in position zero.
1. Featured Snippets.
Featured snippets appear in a box filled with relevant content at the top of the SERPs. Basically, Google extracts the most appropriate content and puts it in this box. Featured snippets are relevant because about 30 percent of 1.4 million tested Google queries have these snippets. To rank high in voice search results — you should always try to provide quality data which Google can present in the featured snippet.
2. User Intent.
People may search for a particular website either to buy something or get some information. User intent allows us to understand why a person typed in a specific query. A person’s intention is usually evident when searches are done using words like “buy,” “what is,” “how to,” etc.
However, there would be numerous times when no intent was expressed.
Thankfully, Hummingbird update lets Google dig deep into the background of a particular query and provide you the most relevant answer after investigating various sites’ content. For instance, if you search for “Oscar winners,” a search engine will understand that you are interested in Oscar awards information, which is the most recent one. Considering user intent while creating content for your website will help you ensure that that your audience gets an immediate answer through a featured snippet.
3. Long Tail Keywords & Question.
People generally tend to talk as if they are talking to a human while seeking information through a voice assistant. We usually use long phrases and questions instead of short, crisp queries. However, the use of long-tailed keywords can be quite beneficial when it comes to voice search optimization as well as traditional SEO. People have a natural tendency to ask questions in long phrases. To rank high on voice queries, you’ll use a conversational tone while phrasing the questions. You can add these questions on H2 headers and answer the questions in the body text of your website pages. To maintain your position in the featured snippets, you should keep the content relevant and fresh by updating it regularly.
4. Page Speed.
Your website’s loading speed can definitely influence your position in the voice search results. Imagine a person doing a voice search. They would always be in a hurry to get answers for their queries. So, page speed optimization is crucial if you want your website to reach those voice searches. Your website should be mobile-friendly, and it should have the desired mobile loading speed for voice search optimization.
5. Structured Data.
Search engines can crawl and understand your website’s content by using your site’s structured data. Structured data is the code which is added to HTML markup. Having structured data in your website can assist your web pages to be seen in featured snippets and also in voice search results. When you start elaborating structured data, don’t forget to keep it relevant to the content that already exists in your website.
6. Local SEO.
According to a Score report, 58% of customers use voice search to find information about local businesses.
When people are looking for information, it means that they use voice search when they are looking for something — while they are driving or walking. For instance, people who search for “best donuts in LA” are those who are trying to find donuts near them. So, local businesses should include the city where their stores are located while optimizing keywords.
It is essential to understand that people doing a voice search would generally use phrases like “donut cafes near me” instead of the city or neighborhood they belong to. In such situations, a search engine would use their current location to find cafes that are closest to them. You can also optimize your Business Listings information at your Google My Business page. Here you can add all your business details, including brand name, address, etc.
Voice search is widely used these days, and its popularity is bound to grow in the next few years. So, focusing on your site’s voice search optimization will improve its content visibility significantly. Use the six steps mentioned above to stay on top of the voice search results.