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Voice search: A new direction to build your SEO strategyAdmin 24-11-2020
“Hey Google, where can I get my study chair fixed?” With the increase of mobile assistants and smart home devices searches like this are also getting increasingly normal. Since the early 1950s when the first voice recognition device was created by Bell Laboratories, voice technology has come a long way.
In the beginning the first voice recognition device “Audrey” was able to understand only digits spoken by a single voice with pauses in between each digit. Compared to that, the voice devices now are able to understand almost everything by not a single but multiple speakers.
Unlike the heavy machinery that Audrey was built with, modern voice technology is a part of our smart devices that you can carry anywhere you want. It is integrated within your mobile devices and does not cost a penny more than what you pay for your smartphone. Of course, there are also smart home devices that assist you with only a voice without a screen.
As the popularity of voice technology grows, so does the user behavior changes. People are slowly inclining more towards searching things, events, and places through voice search as compared to normal search by typing.
How is Voice search changing user behavior?
With the advent of voice search technology such as Siri by Apple, Alexa by Amazon, and Google Assistant by Google, people got an easier access to voice search. Gathered data suggests that out of all searches performed of Google, one-third is done with voice search technology.
People who previously used to type down their search queries are now asking the question in their minds directly to their smart devices. As a result, the search language that they use is also conversational, unlike how they type in a search box.
The voice search is only predicted to increase in the future with more smart devices finding their places in modern homes. Voice search devices like Amazon Echo and Google home have reached over 66 million people in the US alone by 2019 and the number is predicted to keep growing. The feature is easier to use and saves time especially when you need the result for the immediate next action.
Yes, most searches performed with voice technology are in a conversational tone and start with “what, where, when, who, or how” similar to the question at the beginning of this article.
How does that affect your SEO strategy?
For a long time, SEO has been about optimizing your content to Google’s algorithms so that your page shows up at the top or at least on the first search engine result page (SERP). However, with changes in Google’s algorithms, it slowly changed from optimizing content for a search engines to optimizing content for the users. That is how Google made sure that the top results are the most relevant ones to the user’s query.
Now, with typing, people would often use shorter words to save time but it is not the same with voice search. Speaking is faster than typing and so, typed search queries such as “Pasta recipe” changed to “How do I make ravioli pasta?” The results that contained the long-tail keyword phrase as close to the query will be shown at the top as compared to those that contain the previous keywords “Pasta recipe”.
As a result, the webpages that were on top in typed search may not be anywhere near with voice search. Moreover, if the query is made through a smart home device, then the user will not receive a list of search results, instead the home device will speak aloud the contents of the topmost result.
So, you need to be voice search ready to make sure that your webpage climbs higher even with the voice search query. For this, you need to have a voice search strategy that can optimize your content to the voice query from your consumer. If your website does not have a voice search strategy then it is possible that your potential consumers that use voice search will go to your business competitors who have adapted to these changes.
How can you optimize your website for voice search?
Voice search is on the rise for the past few years and it will continue rising. Right now, when there are not many businesses adapting to the voice search, is the correct time to make your business voice search ready. It will give you an early start and allow you to adapt to the evolutions of the field faster.
Here is how you can create an SEO strategy to incorporate voice search as well.
Update your Keyword list
As mentioned earlier, users tend to use longer phrases to search vocally with voice search as compared to when they type in the search bar. Therefore, you need to be aware of the long-tail keyword phrases that your consumers would use to reach your product or service. Add those keyword phrases to your existing keyword list.
One more thing that you can do is change your existing keywords to form a conversational question that you think your consumers might ask and then include it in the content.
Make sure that your content is relevant to the queries of your prospects so that you have higher chances of reaching your consumers.
Address the questions concisely
Google assistant gives more priority to the featured snippet while answering a query. A featured snippet, otherwise called position zero results, provides a direct and concise answer to the user’s query.
Identify the consumer query keyword phrases and try to answer them as clearly and concisely as possible. If Google thinks that your answer provides the best answer to the consumer query then it will be placed in the Featured snippet. Consumers asking the same query through their voice devices will also get the same answer as is in that featured snippet.
So, unlike the normal search competition, you will have to try harder because you are not competing to be on the first page where there are many positions to be filled, but for that one most valid position of the featured snippet.
Focus on your Google Local Business profile
Smart home devices, especially Google Home is more focused on local businesses. According to Google, people who use voice search are 30 times more likely to use it for action queries. This means that people voice search when they are looking for solutions on which they can readily act on. For example, “Where is the nearest bike repair shop” shows the intent of your consumer who is ready to bring the bike to the repairer. The voice assistant will provide you a list of bike repair shops nearby instead of those situated miles away from your consumer.
This is where your Google Local Business profile will be useful to attract nearby consumers to your business. Be sure to fill in your profile with correct details about your business, especially the working timings of your business. The more detailed your profile is, the more consumers will trust your business.
Google takes into account the relevance of the page content, the prominence of the location in search queries and distance, how close is your business to the user who entered the query.
Out of all three factors, relevancy is something that you may control. So make sure that you create genuine content with the right keywords and keyword phrases from your industry to increase the relevance.
Make your website mobile-friendly
With increasing searches from smartphone devices, Google is giving more weightage to websites that perform well on the small screens of modern smartphones.
Your website’s loading time needs to be faster, it should be more responsive on mobile devices, and easily accessible from a 6-inch screen of a smartphone. These factors make your website more compatible with the mobile devices and Google will rank your site higher than those sites that are not compatible with a mobile device.
Create conversational content
The most important part is to make sure that your content is more natural sounding. That way you can be sure that you cover more long-tail keyword phrases that your consumers may use to search.
If your business provides local services then focus more on actionable queries. This will lead consumers that are ready to take action as they search straight to your business.
Voice search is a rapidly popularizing trend that will keep growing in the future. As a business, you need to stay updated with it and modify your SEO strategy to fit the latest technology. It will not only make your business smarter but also serve to a larger audience. Being a voice search ready is a necessity to keep your business competitive.
Voice search uses long-tail keywords with conversational language that is unlike how traditionally users searched by typing in a search bar. The keywords have transitioned from single words to keyword phrases. You will need to target these keyword phrases to make sure that your website content reaches your prospects.
Some steps you can take to optimize your website for voice search are:
· Update your Keyword list
· Address the questions concisely
· Focus on your Google Local Business profile
· Make your website mobile-friendly
· Create conversational content
The fastest way to ensure that your website stays up-to-date with the latest changes in digital marketing, the field is to take the help of professionals. They are the ones who can help you keep your business updated with the right digital marketing techniques. Digital marketing experts use advanced tools to prepare a detailed marketing strategy.
Once the strategy is set in motion, they constantly keep monitoring and revising it to give you maximum results. You can try working with them for a trial with free credits after which you can choose to continue receiving their services by paying a monthly or yearly fee.
Is your business voice search ready? Tell us how you plan to integrate voice searches in your SEO strategy in the comment section below. And do not forget to check out other blogs with interesting topics such as this.