It’s not new knowledge that search engine optimization (SEO) helps you earn more website traffic and revenue by ranking your website higher in search engine result pages. Even with that, you need to consider SEO campaigns for voice search.
Voice search has been around for almost a decade now. Still, with its increasing popularity in our contemporary digital world, voice search SEO is now even more compulsory than it was a few years back.
Without an SEO campaign, we know that it’s unlikely you achieve your desired rank on organic search results, and you could lose some potential customers. However, since content that ranks on top of search results would most likely appear as answers to voice search for that specific query, voice search SEO helps bring even higher quality traffic and leads to your website.
What is Voice Search?
Perhaps you already know that voice search functions almost the same way we perform our regular online searches. In simpler terms, the voice search uses a voice recognition technology to produce results when you speak into your devices such as your computers, smartphones, tablets, and other home assistant device.
Maybe due to the increase in smartphone usage and google core algorithm update, the last few years have seen more people perform voice searches via Google Voice Search and other search engines. This has made voice search a key component of several SEO services. Understanding voice search SEO and how you can incorporate it into your digital marketing strategy is no longer an option to doubt. To keep your website ranking high, you now need to optimize your website to include voice searches.
Differences between voice search and regular search
Here are some differences between speaking and typing to get results for a query:
Keywords for Voice searches are longer and conversational
Online searching using texts always depends on the specific keywords that would most likely generate the required results. The unrelated words are most times eliminated, reducing the speech to only the necessary keywords.
For instance, if you’re looking for how to make a chocolate cake, your search could either be “recipe chocolate cake” or “make a chocolate cake,” then you click the first result for your recipe.
On the other hand, online voice searches tend to be more natural, almost like conversing with your machine, which means more words and complete phrases. Arrangements like “how do I make a chocolate cake at home?” or “What are recipes for chocolate cake?” sounds more conversational with a longer length or keywords.
Voice search results are direct and straight to the point
The Google core algorithm update makes it that results from voice searches focus mainly on featured snippets from traditional searches to make answers quicker and immediate. Since Google uses knowledge graphs and snippets as responses to voice enquires, the results are prompt and direct.
The direct answers are the priority. These instantaneous responses are also read back to the researcher, which is why people are starting to prefer the voice search to the traditional search.
How to use keywords for voice search
No specific strict protocols guide the use of voice search, but as we have mentioned the differences in its characteristics from the regular search, the keywords for this search trends also differ.
Some point guiding the keywords processes for using voice searches includes:
- Since voice search queries focus on asking questions, your target keywords should include words like what, why, where, how, and when.
- Even though we’re most likely used to shortening the keyword phrases when doing the regular search, voice search is more of a real question involving all the long-tail keywords.
- Filler words like “the, of, on, to the, etc.” that are most times excluded from the regular research need to be included in the voice search to make the query more conversational.
Why Voice Search is more prevalent in today’s context
There are several reasons why online voice search is gaining more attention today than ever and why focusing on this transition is essential. If you consider the increased use of smartphones for most daily tasks, you will realize there have always been expectations of this event.
People find it easier to command a search query by speaking to their device than having to type or write the keywords on screens. Technology tends to change fast with time, and sometimes it beats our abilities to keep constant track of these changes. With most mobile device producers, and major software developers aware of this, they have started to incorporate more effective and accurate voice-activated tools and personal assistants into their productions.
As more people prefer to use Google Home, Google Voice Search, Viv, Cortana, Amazon Alexa, Siri, and other voice-activated personal assistant and search tools, voice search must be a powerful SEO tool for websites.
Here are some reasons why Voice search is gaining more audience
We use smartphones
For a long while now, Google has been the most popular text search engine. You’re most likely to hear “Google this” or “Google that” about a query; next, you see someone bring out a smartphone to do this research.
Most of us use phones that we carry wherever we go. Since in many cases, they’re more convenient to use and faster than computers. For situations where you’re on the road or in the kitchen preparing a dish, and your hands are so busy that you can’t use your phone, the voice command becomes your go-to.
Gradually, the ease of use and voice search assistant features on our smartphone has contributed to the voice search’s popularity.
We prefer faster answers
As we mentioned, results from voice searches, like google voice search are always direct and straight forward. When there is a query, and people know that they can have faster responses, they tend to trail the easier path instead of going for the other option.
There’s no need to spend time typing an entire question and scrolling through pages when your answer is a speech away. With the prompter response and convenience the voice search feature offers, it’s only understandable that more people start to prefer this option.
Content Strategies to Optimize for Voice Search
As the voice search becomes the new marketing frontier, learning when the application is most effective and commanding good results is important. For marketers and SEOs to have successful campaigns, you need to make it and habit to optimizing your content for voice search.
We’ll look at the seven most effective content strategies to optimize for voice search and increase your ranking.
1. Optimize your content
Voice search keywords are more conversational and natural than the traditional search since their entire point is to create quick and concise answers. This means for your content to be more voice search-friendly, you need to restructure the layout such that it has questions and answers.
According to Backlinko, Google results for voice search queries is only about 29 words. For this reason, you need your content structure in such a way that the search engine can get snippets from it and rank higher.
One way to optimize your content is to use pointers to divide your content into small fragments, so it ranks better.
Also, include frequently asked questions (FAQs) and question keywords on your websites. For this, use questions that searchers are likely to ask verbally. Since most queries are in question format, it’s essential to include these factors so that Google finds it easy to pull results from your website content and display them as snippets.
2. Use conversational content
For your content to gain the proper attention from voice search queries, you have to reduce your use of robotic languages in the content and make it very conversational.
Using natural languages helps increase your content’s chances of matching the verbal questions from the voice search. You also have to think like the researchers study how they make queries and understand their intents while using oral questions. Some of the points to note during this study are:
- The question keywords your target audience will say.
- The style of conversation
- The most asked type of question
- The best-suited answers for these queries
- The answers are most likely to be displayed as voice search results.
Leveraging this helps to have an idea of what people want from their verbal search and increase your content’s chances of appearing in voice search results. Also, natural conversational tones help to engage your audiences more efficiently.
3. Make your contents easy to digest
People prefer contents that are relatable and easy to read. Using complicated tenses that don’t fit would discredit you from featuring in voice search results. Rather than trying to sound overly knowledgeable, write at an understandable level, such that your audiences can quickly assimilate with what you’re relaying.
Make the sentences short and concise to include only what is absolutely necessary. Also, use multimedia like infographics, images, and videos.
4. Create long-form content
Long-form contents are those with 2000 words or more. SEO pros already know the benefits of long-form content and how it helps regular search results. However, it’s also advantageous for voice search results.
Google has a likeness toward pages with lots of useful content that proves expertise in your field and keeps their ranks high. Studies show that google voice search prefers to favor pages that contain an average of 2313 words.
You need to create long-form content that covers almost everything about the topic you’re relaying. Remember also to break the content into subtitles to make it easily readable.
5. Improve the loading time of your page
Even though your website page doesn’t entirely load when people use the voice search for queries related to the page, the loading speed also affects the website’s rank.
People using the voice search often intend to get quick answers to their inquiries, and slowly loading pages can’t offer them just that. Websites that take too long to load are abandoned too quickly. This is why you need to optimize your website to load faster and improve your chances of getting featured in voice search results. Google Page Speed Insight is a useful speed test tool for this process.
Backlinko study’s shows that the average loading time or voice search pages are 4.6 seconds, which is 52% faster than the average loading speed of websites. With this, it’s quite clear that the page loading speed is an important factor for conversation rates on voice searches and website bounce rate.
6. Make your website responsive
Presently, a larger percentage of voice searches are by the younger generations with mobile phones and lesser patience. It’s essential to have a responsive website
Enabling your website to have a “desktop view” feature such that the user can view your website on their small-screened mobile phone the same way it would appear on a desktop makes it responsive.
A web designer can optimize your website so that it is responsive, and when someone encounters your website through voice search, they can easily find their way around the page and get what they need.
7. Leverage your location
A very high percentage of voice queries on google voice search targets the searches towards local businesses. Most people want the quickest answers to their “near me” inquiries. It lets Google know your business’s location, so when someone searches for similar businesses in your area, your company ranks for that query.
Include your business name, business category, area code, and contact address in your listing. You can also add posts on news, updates, or special deals to give your business more attention.
Optimizing your page for local searches, especially for businesses located in a particular place, is always smart. Leverage tools like Google My Business and BrightLocal to improve your local SEO and increase your chances of getting featured.