Though voice search has started as a small concept, now it has turned to be one of the most important topics in the search industry. Increasingly, people are using voice search on their smartphones, tablets or voice assistants like the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices to search for information online. And the way people searching for information online has been changing. If you are using an Apple device then Siri is your best friend. Google voice search is popular for Android and Apple devices, according to the survey almost 60% of the voice searches are performed on mobile devices. While most of the people use mobile devices to search, people often find it is easier to use their voice search instead of typing on tiny screens.
And this made the SEO professionals start thinking about content and SEO differently.
The concept of search started with smartphones then quickly escalated to smart speakers and voice assistants worldwide. Mobiles, smartphones, smart home devices and featuring digital assistants like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Assistants are invading our lives today. And these new technology and voice devices had made it easier for people to simply ask a question and get information on their device. Hence today we are experiencing a voice search revolution with almost every generation, searching by voice has become a hot topic among the forward-thinking SEO professionals.
Why is Voice search getting bigger?
Imagine you are driving a car and got confused in about reaching your destination. Like everyone else you can use your smartphone while you are driving.
Think of something that can help? You can undoubtedly use your voice search assistant to assist you all the way till you reach your destination.
There are dozens of situations and examples like above where voice search saves us a day as a perfect instructor.
Most of the prominent reasons why voice search is slowly becoming the most popular in the searches are:
Voice Search is Faster and Easier:
There is no doubt that a voice search is faster than traditional methods of searching a query, that is why it makes a number of reasons people have adopting the trend. The main reasons for global mobile users to access voice search can be
It is quicker and easier than going on the website and using the app
It can be more useful while cooking, driving or at other times where people cannot interact with their handset
It is more fun than other search methods; also when people find less likely to type the entire query on their mobile phone
It is a more accurate way of searching
Voice Search is more appropriate and convenient:
Presently in our digital world where time is money, people tend to choose the easier path when their answer for their query is only a sentence away and no one likes to type their entire questions.
If quicker search results are being delivered to us in answers why people would waste their time in other search methods!
Voice search is apt for mobile devices:
One of the biggest reasons for voice search being so popular and viral amongst the masses today is its usage on mobile devices. Because users on mobile devices leverage voice search the most, smartphones gave way to smart speakers and search assistants.
According to the statistics, 56% of all the voice searches are made on smartphones and that lays enough emphasis on the importance of mobile as far as voice search is concerned.
Strategies to optimize your content for voice search:
When the search engine was first introduced in the mid-’90s, users have learned how to briefly enter keyword phrases to find information on the internet using PC. Other than keyword phrases that you actually type in your computer, voice search is more conversational and natural in tone.
In the modern era of voice search, where the competition will get tougher in the coming days, marketers and SEO’s are most likely to make it a habit of optimizing their content for voice search. And this practice will help you to get better rankings for voice search and also to increase your organic reach.
Here are some proven voice search optimization strategies that can right away put in use:
1. Optimize for Rich Answers: A voice search study in SEMrush found that 70% of all the answers returned from voice search occupied a SERP feature, while 60% of them are a Featured Snippet result. If you are not familiar with the name of ‘Featured Snippets’ – they certainly appear at the top of the SERP’s. When a user searches for a particular query, Google pulls the most relevant content and places it in a box at the top of its results page generally known as Features snippets.
Most of the smart devices with voice search capability will give out similar answers for a particular query in those featured snippets and that information is principally a rich answer for the search query.
With some of the SEO related terms you can understand the term rich answer in brief:
Knowledge Graph: It is a Google knowledge base in which it stores and absorbs all the different facts about different people, places and things.
Knowledge Panel: Whenever we search for a business on Google, we see the information in a small box in the top right of the search results page. All this information comes from Google’s knowledge graph.
Knowledge Box: It is the factual information that comes from the knowledge graph appearing just like other search results
Features Snippet: It is the information that Google displays on top of its organic results, coming from third-party sources. It is done to provide users with quick and convenient results.
Rich answers: When a search result contains all of the above features it is considered as a rich answer.
Google mostly displays rich answers to every search queries, to provide the best user experience. In relevant to the prominence of rich answers your content should rank, which automatically allows Google to make your content as its top choice to appear in voice search results. Thus, all your hard work put into curating content helps your rich answers to appear for the voice search queries.
2. Re-imagine & Restructure your content: While voice search is getting more conversational than traditional searches, it is necessary to analyze your content and to re-structure it again. Your goal is to improve your content layout by including a brief question and answers to make it more voice search-friendly.
According to the study of Backlinko, Google prefers only short and convenient answers to voice search queries and typically the search result is only 29 words in length. These are the valuable insights that tell about how your content should be structured to rank better for a voice search results.
One of the best voice searches practice that helps in the better ranking is to break your content into small fragments in a structured format. Also include FAQ’s on your product pages and blogs as they include question keywords, and are short as well. This can be a prerequisite factor for voice search rankings, as FAQ – style format makes it easy for Google to collect the content from your website and display it as a rich snippet.
3. Use Conversational language for content: You need to take leverage of this, being conversational in building your content is a primary characteristic of a voice search query. Using robotic language in your content can reduce chances in appearing in voice search results. Whatever you write and publish on the web, using natural language can hugely benefit as a scope of matching as a result of verbal questions.
Before that, it is important to understand how people ask verbal questions. If you want to know how people are asking verbal questions it is critical to understand searcher’s intent. For that, you need to study the query style that people use while performing a voice search.
What type of question keywords do people use in voice search?
What is the user’s conversational style?
What type of questions/search queries is mostly being asked?
What answers are performing well and displayed as a voice search result?
4. Target long-tailed keyword phrases: Due to the user’s conversational style, voice searches are longer than searches done on a keyboard. On the other hand, we are well aware of the fact that Google is fond of long-form and complete content. As we cannot prepare content separately for every voice search query, it is better to include all terms fully in a post.
Content can be structured by using long-form content by including all long-tail keywords which increase the chances to appear in voice search queries.
5. Improve the loading time of your website: Although it is an essential factor in voice search, but the most unnoticed.
A website that takes longer time to load is abandoned by the users when compared to websites that load quickly. Your website should be optimized at any cost because website loading speed has a direct impact on bounce rate through which ultimately you will lose your visitors. Google’s speed update emphasizes the same rules for website load times even for voice searches. Since voice searchers need immediate results if you have a slow website which takes much time to load take the best practices to optimize your website to minimize the load time.
6. Pay Attention to Mobile: Every big announcement by Google is either directly related to mobile or tools relating to mobile. Google emphasizes mobile experience and tends to make it better day by day.
Create mobile-friendly content with a mobile-first approach because mobile easily beats other devices when it comes to voice searches as most of the users perform their voice search on their smartphones. To stay top at every voice search queries, be well prepared to deliver an amazing mobile user experience.
7. Leverage My Google Business Listings: It is well known that almost all the people perform their voice search with the term ‘near me’. And the factor that determines whether we rank for these search term is ‘Google My Business’.
Google My Business lets Google know that your business is located at a particular place when people search for your business in that area your business could rank for that query. Hence it is high time, to increase your local SEO and getting your business to be listed in Google so that users can find you locally whenever they search for a similar business with the term ‘near me’.