Okay, Google…“what is Voice Search SEO?

Smartphones, mobile devices and tablets featuring digital assistants like Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Alexa and Google Assistant (like Google Home devices or Amazon Echo) are invading our lives.

The digital world is consistently changing, and the latest trend that is here to stay is Voice Search. Despite being in the market for some time, Voice Search is more popular than it has ever been. A lot of people prefer a voice search rather than going old school and taking the effort to type. The plethora of mobile personal assistants in the market has just elevated its overall demand.

Voice search is easy, effortless, accurate and much faster than your average text search. Did you know that voice search is 52% faster than an average text search? Yes, voice search results take only 4.6 seconds to load fully, which is remarkable. Apart from its impressive speed, it is quite handy and convenient to use.

Therefore, in order to rank in Google voice search, make sure your site loads faster.

With more than 33 million voice-first devices in circulation, more and more people prefer to ask questions rather than typing them.

Voice Search SEO Guide

Who are the people using voice searches?

While delivering his keynote, Google CEO Sundar Pichai disclosed that almost one-fifth of the questions asked on Google are executed through voice searches. Voice search users are quite varied and extensive, and are found in every age group. Teenagers are the most significant contributors, with other age groups not far behind.

The rapid rise of mobile personal assistants is another reason for people shifting to voice searches. In a recent related survey, almost 71% of users 18 to 24 use mobile personal assistant daily. The numbers for other age groups are just as impressive, and have augmented the expectations from digital business to provide excellent voice search technology in their websites and mobile apps.

The new world of voice search SEO

With the rapid rise of voice search technology, optimizing it to enhance your digital presence is a no-brainer. Voice search SEO is quite diverse and needs to be handled differently. Gone are the days when you could use long and repetitive keywords to get your page optimized. Voice search prefers short, compelling, and conversational keywords. The answers are short, concise, and to the point.

The technology is entirely user-oriented and provides the visitor exactly what they ask for. Content from authoritative domains and with enhanced levels of social engagement generally tend to perform better.

Here are some features of Voice Search about which you need to know.

Voice queries are longer and conversational in tone

Image Credit: Purna Virji, citing Bing data

Typing takes effort, and that is why consumers go the shorter route using small sentences and concise phrases to find information. Voice search is different. Since we have to talk, people tend to get carried away. The questions are more prolonged, detailed, and conversational.

For example, when searching for a restaurant nearby, you might type, “best restaurants nearby”. But when it comes to voice search, your question might be, “Search for the best restaurant in the city” or even, “which restaurant is open right now?” You can see the difference.

So, how do you optimize your content based on this feature? If you think using long and conversational keywords will work, you are wrong. They might work in lengthy and detailed conversations but that doesn’t mean the results will be the same. Instead one can focus on the questioning aspect of the technology. Since the voice search is most probably going to be a question, you need to provide the right answer to get optimized.

Words like “what”, “where”, “who”, “how” need to be added to the content. It also gives you an insight into the user’s mindset. Users using such phrases or asking such questions are probably ready to opt for your product or services.

Users want fast and effective results

Voice Search SEOThe majority of the voice searches are related to personal assistance and require immediate results. Voice search users will ask for directions, search for local shops, restaurants, and so on. In such situations, the user wants a quick fix and will not visit your website for the info. If the user is looking for a café, generally Google will list all the places nearby with ratings, address, distances, timings, contacts, and more.

The user chooses the one deemed best, and is done. Therefore, it is crucial that your content appears in the snippet above the fold. Users generally check the top ten before choosing one. So, not only do you need to optimize your website on the list but you also need to be amongst the top ten for best results.

To utilize this feature to its optimum potential, digital businesses need to maintain a healthy and positive rating. Keeping your digital presence updated with any and every contact detail, office hours, physical address, phone number, email address, and such is critical. Getting your content featured in Google SERP’s featured snippet is the ultimate way to optimize your website.

The majority of voice queries are for local content

Recent research has proven that more than 22% of people utilize voice search to find local information. People who are on their way are bound to use mobile phones. As voice searches are more convenient while traveling, the numbers continue to creep higher.

People mostly look for “things to do nearby”, or “places to visit nearby” and related content. In a recent interview, Google disclosed that the “near me” searches have elevated to almost 130% of what they used to be. So, in order to leverage this characteristic, companies need to work on their local presence. Incorporating descriptions of your neighborhood and location, landmarks, and title of local institutions is a proficient way to build your local presence online.

Using keywords incorporating “near me”, adding meta descriptions, anchor text, and internal links are suggested. The SEO strategy needs to target the local users and provide precisely what they want.

HTTPS-secured websites dominate Google Voice Search results

Google has stated that HTTPS can give your website a “minimal boost” in search results.

Brain Dean discovered that 70.4% of voice search result URLs had adopted HTTPS (compared to only 50% of Google desktop results).

Key note: Voice search results are significantly more likely to use HTTPS than other websites ranking on Google’s first page. Therefore, implementing HTTPS may improve your chances of appearing as a voice search result.

Source: Backlinko

Voice search SEO strategies that will help you rank higher

Now you understand the intricacies of voice search and their importance. So, to always stay ahead of the competition, you need to start thinking about content and SEO differently.

Optimize your Google My Business listing

As the majority of voice searches are for local content, you want your customers to find you fast, and effectively. Sharing your business information, contact details, services, and more on your website’s footer is crucial. You will also need to optimize your website for every possible keyword. If you are a restaurant in Detroit, you need to utilize keywords like, “restaurants near me” or “best restaurant in Detroit”.

The most critical step is to claim your Google My Business listing to ensure any related voice search queries show your information in their results. Make sure all your details are accurate and include name, address, phone number, timings, email address and services. Uploading some high-quality pictures of the location and services will help you achieve a higher listing.

Well-structured content

Using structured and user-oriented content is the perfect way to boost your rankings. As voice search queries need contrite and short answers, search engines prefer content that is strictly structured and arranged accordingly. Providing relevant details in a quick and precise manner is key. Make sure your structured content is easily accessible; it should not be blocked or contain any technical glitches. If the search is for a local gift shop, your content should include the name, address, distance, hours, and more. Consumers should get the information they are looking for in one go.

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A mobile-friendly website

The majority of voice searches happen on smartphones. Therefore, it is crucial that you ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. You need to check every landing page and ensure that they are on par with various smartphones: Android, Windows, or iOS. Another factor that you need to consider is the speed. Your mobile-friendly website should be just as fast so that it can offer immediate assistance to the user. People want answers and they want them fast. Even the slightest delay may cause you to lose a potential customer as well as your Google ranking.

Is your web page mobile-friendly? Click here to know.

An additional page with informative blogs

An additional page filled with educational and user-oriented blogs is an efficient way to augment your voice search SEO. You can fortify it with relevant keywords, common queries and their answers, and any other information that the user might need. You can equip the content with those long and conversational keywords to enhance your digital presence.

Maintain high-ranking and positive reviews

Getting at least five stars on Google will go a long way to enhance your listing. Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews. Positive reviews can help you attract new customers and get better rankings on Google. Do not ignore the negative comments; it just portrays an unreliable and neglectful behavior. Reply to the negative comments, by asking them about their problems, and suggesting solutions.

Conclusion

With the rapid speed and velocity of voice searches, preparing and optimizing your presence is crucial. Update your SEO strategies and incorporate effective and scalable tactics to stand up amongst your competitors.