SEO optimizations for Voice Search in 2019
Voice search is getting more and popular day by day. It is states that by 2022, more than 50% of all searches made online will be voice searches. This statistic was related to the growth of voice search in China in particular so it is still the question if this statistic really relevant. If you should care about voice search is actually related to who your target audience is.
Voice search is different from regular searches for several reasons, so voice search optimization would be different too. The major reason is, people don’t speak the same way as they type something. When people type something, they tend to keep things brief and short. On the contrary, when people are searching through their voice, they tend to be more detailed about the query they are looking for.
Some fundamentals are to be understand properly for getting the best out of voice searches for effective SEO. In this article, we willdiscuss what is voice search, voice search indicators in 2019 and how to make the best use of those indicators to do better SEO.
Why Voice Search is getting so popular
Voice search has become very popular over the last few years. There was a time when people barely wanted to search anything by giving voice commands to the search engines, because it was quite inconvenient. But now those days are long gone and voice search is more convenient than ever. In a recent study done by Search Engine land they surveyed 620 persons with the question if voice search optimization really is a crucial marketing strategy, or just a big nothingburger? It turned out that 70% of their respondents used voice search at least a few times a week. They stated that: “paying attention to how users in different age groups leverage voice is also key and can help marketers to make sure they are focusing their voice search marketing efforts in the right place. The oldest searchers love their Alexa, making Amazon SEO and developing Skills a smart initiative for companies targeting that audience. Searchers under age 21 conduct most of their voice searches using Siri, which underscores the importance of optimizing one’s business listing on Apple Maps, or ensuring apps are optimized for the App Store, to reach these searchers”
While voice search starts to increase it is good to understand what the key reasons behind the growing popularity of voice searches are:
The search engines failed to understand the voice search queries quite miserably in the past. It happened due to the engine’s inability to recognize different accents and show the user the results he/she is looking for. For example, searching for ‘What is the best coffee’ very often resulted into ‘Hot is the best coffee’. Now search engines have become smarter, and better. This is mostly due to the fact that the AI technology behind voice search has become more accurate. According to Google the voice search accuracy has grown with 95% since 2013. The program can now understand complex accents and provide the user with the relevant result he/she is looking for. If voice search is accurate, than it’s easier than typing search queries as it saves time. Although voice search results are getting better most respondents out of the survey of Search Enigine Land are frustrated that search engines don’t understand what they are saying alltough most respondents agreed that the results were reliable.
Introduction of Smart Speaker Devices:
The introduction of Smart Speaker devices has made voice search much easier for the users. Amazon’s Echo, Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s HomePod are quite brilliant Smart Speaker devices that can work as a digital assistant. Voice search Google seemed like a fancy toy before the introduction of these really devices, but that is no longer the case anymore. On top of that, the prices of these Smart Speakers have become quite affordable in the recent days, bringing them into the buying range of the middle class.
Gradually, people started to understand the benefits of voice search as well. Voice search is very helpful for multi-tasking. Assume that you are doing something important in your pc, and don’t want to open another window to search something, then voice search is the best solution for you. You can continue to work on your desktop and give voice command to search for the information you are looking for. This will save both your time and energy. Voice search is still heavily used for performing actions instead of returning information via a search engine. The users prefer to use voice search to execute daily activities like messages, calls, or home device control. Knowing that voice actions are more focused on actions it is important that brands also see these opportunities and integrate this into the daily routines of their audiences.
The Key Indicators for Google Voice Search
Although voice search is not taking off as quickly as expected it is still relevant to answer the main question of this post, “What are the indicators for Google voice search?” Other search engines apart from Google are also trying to improve their voice search mechanisms, but Google is already quite ahead of the others in this game. On top of that, Google is the go-to search engine for almost every internet user, so from our perspective the Google indicators are the most important ones when it comes to voice search. Understanding these indications will help you come up with better voice search optimization strategies. The method for voice search is very simple and easy to understand. Google uses speech recognition technology to understand the query searched by the user, and then tries to find out the results online that answers the query. If the user is using a mobile device, then voice search will direct to a web page. On the other hand, if the query is made via a Smart Speaker, then the speaker is going to read out the available information on the web that matches the query best.
Length of the Queries:
It is quite understandable that the lengths of the queries in voice is going to be much longer than traditional searches. Making traditional searches usually requires more effort, as typing is definitely more complex and time consuming than simply speaking. That’s why making traditional searches is very different from voice searches. For example, if you are looking for purchasing laptops, then your traditional search would most likely be, ‘best laptops to buy’. On the other hand, if you are making a query via voice search, it would most likely be ‘what are the best laptops to buy?’ This is very important information, and one needs to keep this in mind while trying to come up with a SEO strategy for voice searches.
Most queries made through voice search are very likely to be questions or commands that are focused on actions. A high percentage of the searches will have Smart Speakers involved, the searches will include commands as well. On top of that, when someone is making a query verbally, that individual will be more specific about the question as it is a very common conversational trend. So, the searches will be ‘how to find a solution to hair fall?’ instead of ‘hair fall solution’.
As the users will be more specific about the queries than ever, the intent will definitely be much stronger with voice searches. This will lead to the SEO experts targeting more extreme niche segments. Someone will only reach your site with voice search if your site is highly relevant to the query asked by the user.
More Local Impact:
Speculations are that voice search usage is going to be three times more location specific compared to information searches. That means, optimizing for local SEO is very important if you are willing to cash in voice search. Location signals are getting developed as very crucial optimization aspects and every single SEO expert needs to take this into consideration quite seriously.
Depends Heavily on Demographic:
The demographic diversity will have a lot more impact on voice search compared to the text searches. It is going to occur because people from different backgrounds don’t ask verbal queries the same way, but they do insert text queries the same way. That’s why SEO experts should care about their targeted groups’ demographic characteristics and their way of making verbal queries. Especially, for experts who are emphasizing more on local searches, the research on demography needs to be spot on and accurate if better results are to be achieved.
SEO Techniques to Influence Voice Search
As now you understand how the indicators and search trends work when it comes to voice search, now it’s time to get into the game. That is to say, have an overview of the SEO techniques that are effective for getting higher ranks in voice search. Though voice search SEO techniques are different from text search techniques, there are some areas where both of these optimization methods are in common. If you have a strong understanding of overall SEO, then optimization based on voice search will not sound Hebrew to you. Let’s dive into it!
It all starts from the very basic, keyword research. Proper keyword research does half the trick in terms of good SEO. As voice search is not totally akin to text search, the keyword researches for voice search is not going to be akin to text search as well. For finding out proper keyword ideas as well as the suitable ones to optimize your site with, you should do your research through voice search as well. Don’t search for keyword suggestions by queries like ‘plumber services’. Rather make the query like as you would do if you actually needed the service. It can be like: ‘what are the best plumber services in my area?’ This way you are acting exactly like a user. Finding keywords this way is much easier and more effective than the traditional techniques. Optimization: Optimizing your site and its contents with the right keywords has always been very crucial, but for voice search it is not exactly the same. The voice search keywords are going to be long tail,questions and have the intent for a certain action. If you simply try to randomly place these keywords in your website’s content, the content is going to lose value at it would never look natural and original. That’s why you need to focus more on answering the questions that you find as keywords. It depends a lot more on the relevance of the content rather than the number of times the keyword appears in the content. You can write entire articles based on the question keyword you have researched. For example, if the keyword you have found is ‘what are the side effects of weight loss supplements?’ then you can turn this into an article title for your site with a well-researched and detailed piece of content.To structure this content we use the Awareness, Interest, Desire, Purchase model to create content based on these customer journey phases:
Awareness: “what is the best football shoe for men”
Interest: “On which surfaces can I use this football shoe”
Desire: “Which football shoe is better X or X”
Purchase: “Where can I buy football shoe X”It is important to understand that each phase has it’s own content questions and you can also divide these topics into three main category intents:
Informational intent: how to content
Navigational intent: store locators, services, customer services etc
Transactional intent: product or service information, reviews, videos, photos
Improve Site Speed:
It’s no secret that Google prefers websites that load quickly, so that the user can get an answer to the query as soon as possible. User satisfaction is very important for the search engines, and bringing sites that load fast in the top ranks of the result pages is a policy for ensuring that. Use compressed files and optimized images to reduce page sizes without losing that much quality. Don’t forget to utilize the website’s caching for better page speed. Make sure your server’s response time is not too much either. And lastly, it is a must that you make your site as responsive as possible, because half the queries searched in Google are from mobile devices. If you site is mobile friendly, then you will get favor the search engine robots.
Featured Content Blocks:
The average Google voice search result length is 29 words. But in many cases, the answers the users are looking for are not too detailed and short. In cases like this, using featured snippets is a great idea to make Google identify your content and read that to users. Your featured snippet should give a quick and short answer to the question. For having your site’s link featured at the snippets of Google, all you need to is to include a short summary of the main piece of content above the fold. Make sure you keep it under 29 words. It is even better if this section is created with H-tags, bullet points and lists.
It still comes down to how well you rank within the search enigine itself. Therefor authority and content that is highly used by other domains is still one of the key drivers to get mentioned in the voice search results.In the survey that Brian Dean did he found out that 74,9% of Google home results came from page rankings that were listed in the top three. This is why organic positions are still highly relevant for getting used for voice results as well. Organic keyword position growth can be done by using a strategic linkbuilding strategy for example.
Emphasize on Local Searches:
As almost 22% of voice search queries are looking for location based suggestions or content, you need to emphasize more on local searches to drive traffic in your site. Use phrases like ‘near me’, ‘in the area’ etc. to get the benefits out of local queries. Moreover, if you are optimizing your own local business site, then you should also list your business site in Google My Business. You should want your site to appear in local place suggestions at the very top of the result page.
Schema markup implementation;
You definitely would expect that schema would play a huge role in the voice search rankings. According to Backlinko 36,4% of voice search results come from pages that use Schema. This is only a small but higher than the worldwide average of 31,3%. We always recommend using schema while it is not only used for voice search and it can help make your content more relevant with higher click through rates. If you want to understand Schema in a better way we recommend reading about how to implement structured data to help Google understand your content.
Feature an FAQ Section:
The FAQ section is the place where you can directly optimize the voice search queries. As the FAQs are based on questions real users would ask, you can directly input those questions in the FAQ section before you give answers to them. This way Google will find out that those keywords are available directly in your site in a natural way. Chances of getting better ranking will increase a lot.
Voice search is getting more popular, the number of users is going to be only higher. Probably you will still not get a ton of traffic from voice searches at the moment, but it is a great strategy for securing the future of your site or your business. Our SEO specialists have already started to take voice search very seriously, and making themselves prepared for the time when the floodgate opens. In a nutshell it still comes down to the three basic SEO optimizations like: Architecture, Content and Authority. Make sure you’ll focus on these three categories and rethink how you would interpret the content when you would search with voice instead of typing it in.
What do you think of the importance of voice searches? Are you optimizing your site already? Let us know in the comment section.