Lift Your Business: A Deep Dive Into Voice Search That Will Help Your SEO Strategy
Thanks to virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, voice search technology is revolutionizing the way people perform queries and look for content. This is a big jump from the traditional method of searching, where users have to type their questions into a search box.
Voice search’s convenience allows people to multitask. In fact, the global smart speaker sales reached 20.7 million units in the first quarter of 2019. As consumers and end-users become more familiar and comfortable with voice search, companies must adopt and recognize the value of this technology.
Given this, you have to review your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and optimize your content for voice queries. The key to staying on top of your game is to adapt to new trends and technologies, and voice search is more important now than ever.
Source: Andres Urena via Unsplash
So, how to get started with it? You must first understand how voice search changes search behavior and, in turn, influences SEO. This way, you’ll know how to adjust your SEO strategy accordingly and effectively.
The Undeniable Impact of Voice Search on SEO
Traditional text-based search queries utilize keywords or phrases. For example, if a user were to look for a digital marketing company, they’d type “top digital marketing companies.”
Whereas, in voice search, people perform queries as if they’re talking to a human—using a conversational, day-to-day common language. In this case, a user might prompt a question like this: “Who are the top digital marketing companies in the country?”
Tip: In your online content, use language that is natural and conversational to tap on your audience who are using voice search. If you use language that is too formal, voice searches may not rank your site content in the search engines.
Ranking for short keywords that are about 2–3 phrases is essentially the best practice. But, chances are, these keywords have high competition. According to Backlinko, voice searches are roughly 29 words long.
Long-tail keywords may be more descriptive phrases, but they have a higher probability of conversion than shorter keywords. Plus, they give a better context and enable search engines to understand your content further.
Tip: To make sure that your content is optimized for voice search, focus on long-tail keywords that are likely to be spoken when using voice search rather than short keywords. Perform keyword research and find out what specific wording your market uses to find businesses like yours.
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
Most voice searches are answered by Answer Boxes, which appears at the top of results pages. About 75% of voice search results will rank in the top three positions in the SERPs, meaning these sites are optimized for voice search, providing end-users the most relevant and valuable answer to their queries. The use of voice search keywords is one way to show up in Answer Boxes and Featured Snippet.
Example of a Featured Snippet on Google search.
Tip: To appear in the top-ranking positions or Featured Snippet, make sure to produce content that has the most useful, appropriate, and logical answer to user queries.
One of the most common uses of voice search is for geo-specific queries. Statistics show that out of billions of voice searches registered in January 2018, about 40% of it was local searches. This highly implies that local SEO must now be optimized for voice search.
“Near me” is a commonly used keyword in voice command and local SEO. For instance, when end users look for a nearby Korean restaurant, they would command their voice assistant to “show the best Korean restaurants near me.”
Tip: Invest in producing local content to rank for local voice search queries. In case people want to know information about your business or businesses related to yours, optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing based on your location. What this does is pull up your business details for queries that include phrases like “near me” or “nearby.”
Voice search-based inquiries are usually made up of (or start with) question terms, such as what, when, which, who, where, why, and how. Interestingly, these words are omitted when users type their queries in a search box.
Tip: Use trigger words — the most frequently used ones are how, what, and best. Marketers should also consider optimizing their content based on question-form queries. You can conduct keyword research or perform social media listening to find out your target audiences’ most burning questions, and answer them with your content.
Summing It Up
With voice assistants gradually becoming a part of many end-users' daily lives, it goes to show that the voice search revolution will only go up from here. That’s why businesses need to look into adjusting their SEO strategy to align with the new way people search. It’s time to keep up with new trends and take advantage of voice search to tap on more customers.
Written by Keely Closa
Keely is an Online PR Specialist at Spiralytics, a full-service agency that specialises in marketing that’s backed by data science. She is a young, energetic professional who enhances her company’s voice and presence through online and offline channels. Keely considers writing as one of her hobbies.