According to a prediction made by Mary Meeker, Google voice search and image search will gather around 200 billion queries every month. That’s an impressive stat, considering that today, the voice search feature is nothing compared to the text search. However, times together with search trends are changing – if SEO is your focus at the moment, then Google voice search optimization will take over soon enough.
Start preparing today!
Smart Voice Recognition Digital Assistants
So the voice search feature is supposed to allow users to find relevant answers to their questions. But the question is…who do you speak to? Well, as I’ve already mentioned, the big brands have developed incredibly smart digital assistants that even have names:
- Google developed Google Home, a speaker that sits on your desk and listens to your questions.
- Apple has developed Homepod, another speaker from which Siri can make her voice heard.
- Amazon has developed Amazon Echo, one more voice recognition device which incorporates Alexa’s voice (Amazon’s digital assistant’s name).
- Microsoft gives your Cortana, a super useful voice assistant that responds to your queries.
Now think of this. As a business or website owner, your primary objective is to allow potentially interested customers to find and consume your brand and products. If people are increasingly starting to use the voice search in order to get to information, optimizing your website for voice search will definitely pay off well.
Because that’s how marketing works now, you’ll have to better understand and practice the most effective contemporary digital marketing strategies. And with voice search, the only thing you’re looking at is the new age of SEO.
What You Must Know About Google’s Voice Search
Google’s main objective is to improve the experience of its users by consistently improving its products and services without ever looking back. Google search, whether it’s text or voice, is probably the most important service they own.
So they’re basically the most popular search engine out there. Why? Well simply because they’re doing incredible operations to sustain and deliver consistent quality in the answers and results it brings to each unique keyword and keyphrase.
What is Voice Search Mostly Used for?
Considering that you’re a business owner or a webmaster, you must clearly differentiate the nature of the queries that your target audience is addressing. Bear with me. According to a report published by Northstar Mobile Voice in 2014, we can observe a different nature of queries when users ask through voice search:
So when you use the text search, you’re probably looking for something more than a direction, a text, or a call. You’re looking to consume. While you’re on the go, using your voice search digital assistant, you’re probably looking to get directed towards the right choice. That’s why you’ll ask “What is the best pizza place in New York?” or “What will be the weather tomorrow locally?”
Here’s how to optimize your website for Google’s voice search ranking algorithms:
Part 1. Understand the 4 Fundamental Differences Between Text and Voice Search
Before even attempting to take complicated optimization actions, every webmaster needs to understand the fundamental differences between text and voice search. As mentioned earlier, their nature differs. The better you grasp the differences the more strategic and effective your SEO campaign will get. Here are the 4 core aspects you’ll need to pay attention to:
The Length of the Query
Whenever you type in keywords or keyphrases, you’re probably typing vague queries. For example, if you’re looking for new laptops, your text query will be short, as you’ll probably type “new laptops 2017”. However, if you were to use voice search, your search query will be longer, as you’ll probably ask “What are the newest laptops in 2017”. Notice the length difference?
Therefore, when you plan your next voice SEO campaign, keep the length of the queries into consideration.
There Will Be Questions!
There will be more questions compared to affirmations. Most people throw some keywords into the search string and receive the answers they want. Voice search doesn’t work like that. Most voice search assistants will respond better to questions.
The Intent Will Get Stronger
When you optimize for longer key phrases, you’re likely to target a very niched sector of your market. However, the intent of those searchers is extremely strong, as they’ve reached your information because their questions were very relevant to your content’s answers.
The Local Impact is Predominant
Compared to text search, the voice search usage is 3 times more likely to have a local nature and to be location specific. Location signals are becoming an essential optimization aspect that every business should take into consideration.
Part 2. Strategies, Tips, Tricks to Optimize Your Voice Search SEO
Now that you’ve grasped some of the most important differences between text and voice, let’s talk about some effective strategies for optimizing your website for voice search. Here’s something to keep in mind while embarking on this journey:
Voice search is a trend which is getting bigger as the time goes by. However, the speech recognition technology is not yet that performant in order to have an accurate understanding of all sounds and words. Yet, that should stop no business from taking the necessary steps towards voice search SEO optimization. It’ll pay off very well in the future, as you’ll surely receive extra traffic from your voice search optimization efforts.
Without further ado, let’s get straight to action:
Research all the Official Directions
The first thing you can approach is the official documentation that each voice search assistant presents.
…and if you’re digging deeper, you’ll find plenty of discussions where important officials answer different queries addressed by the public.
Here’s a good advice: try to notice the patterns and the similarities between all algorithms. If you spot an SEO advantage which applies to one voice assistant, it’ll probably work for the others too. Keep testing until you get clear statistics.
Develop Your “Google Business” Profile and Update Your Local Listing
A lot of voice search queries revolve around information about places that people wish to visit. It could be a specific query such as “sushi places in Dubai”, or a suggestion query such as “What are the best Sushi places in Dubai?”. In this case, the best keyphrase that’s worth optimizing is “sushi places in Dubai”.
Now, if a user inputs something more general such as “sushi places near me”, Google will immediately track down the user’s location and suggest relevant places nearby. The word “near me” is a universal keyword that you need to remember. Whenever the keyword “near me” is present, Google’s Voice Search algorithm turns to Google Business Listings.
That’s exactly the place where your brand’s name should be listed and present. Therefore, make sure that you set it up well, so your contact information such as your name, phone number, address, or email will be available to every user that stumbles upon your business. By adding all this information, you’re helping Google rank your website in the local search environment.
Know Your Audience and Understand Their Intent
This revolves around the basics of marketing. Before selling a product, you need to have a market. That market is filled with various types of individuals that can potentially become loyal customers of your brand. However, before initiating any kind of message or performing any SEO practice, you must know your audience well.
Know how they think, how they behave, what they want, what they need…Understand their nature by being empathic and trying to stand in their shoes.
Once you know the person you’re selling to, you’ll find it easier to predict their intent. For example, if you’re selling dog clothing, you’ll probably know what most dog owners are looking for when buying dog clothes. Knowing that, you can optimize for keywords and key phrases that present strong intent: “Ecological leather small dog clothes” or “Winter clothes for big dogs New York”.
Optimize for Natural Language – Think Like Humans Think
As we’ve previously mentioned, questions seem to be the most frequently used pattern of speech between humans and voice assistants. Because these assistants have a name, are able to listen, speak, and process information, most of the users forget that they’re merely algorithms. So, that’s how Siri becomes your “best friend”. How do you speak to a friend? Well, certainly different than how you “speak” to a text input string.
People will predominantly use natural language when addressing the voice assistants. Therefore, there will be lots of questions. By understanding your audience’s intent, you can start optimizing your content with more specific questions that your potential customers might ask.
Optimize Your FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page
Since we have addressed the “questions” topic, let’s follow up with an insightful strategy of capturing more of Google’s attention. As you probably know, each service or product features a FAQ page, in which all the necessary answers to the most commonly asked questions are present. You should definitely leverage this page, as it allows you to optimize for a lot of potential queries.
This page is very important to your voice search SEO optimization efforts because it contains many long-tail keywords and key phrases. Moreover, once you detect (through analytics) which of the questions present on your FAQ page are bringing the most impact, you’ll know exactly what to optimize through high-quality content (blog posts, videos, infographic, etc.)
Take Advantage of Schema Markup (Structured Data)
To help digital assistants deliver your content for the most relevant queries addressed by your audience, you should implement structured data markup. Schema markup helps search engines better understand the nature and context of your content. There are the so-called “schema-vocabularies”, which are founded by Google and developed by a community process.
The better you optimize your website for schema markup the more relevant you’re making your keywords and key phrases to the search engines. Therefore, they’ll prefer your content compared to a non-optimized content which belongs to a competitor.
Your Website Should ALWAYS Be Mobile Friendly
One thing I haven’t mentioned at all is the importance of mobile optimization. As you probably know, the mobile industry presents a consistent growth, as most of the today’s consumers own a smartphone. The reach for information becoming even more possible because the mobile devices and the advanced Internet connection technologies are helping significantly.
Now – you need to note one thing: the voice search users who don’t own personal digital assistants that sit on their tables will mostly use their smartphones to use Google search services. Now, whenever they’ll find your website through voice search, your website must be optimized for mobile. Otherwise, you’re losing most of your voice search traffic and you’re also wasting your time and money.
You can take the Mobile Friendly test by Google and see how “mobile-friendly” your website is. If you need more help optimizing your website for mobile, you should check out this awesome guide.
Ready for Google Voice Search Optimization?
The voice search industry is slowly becoming the next trend in search.
It’s extremely convenient and fast, and that’s exactly what our society is looking for at the moment: ways to reduce time spent on their tasks. So imagine the convenience that an ultra-smart voice assistant will bring you. You can sit on your bed, speak to your “friend”, and consume all the information or media that you please.
You can walk on the street, talk to your smartwatch, and receive exact directions on where to step next in order to reach your destination. So as this trend continues to grow, do your best to understand it and use it since the beginnings of its popularity. By the time it reaches the peak, Google voice search traffic will be a gold mine for your entire marketing performance!
This post was written by Antonio. He is a marketing specialist and a blogger at EduGeeksClub writing service. Antonio loves writing about SMM, marketing, education, and productivity. He will be happy to meet you on Facebook.