Voice search is not just a fad. It is moving to the next level very fast. It has started with Siri but now we have multiple voice assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, Bixby, etc. It is not just to navigate and use your mobile but to search on the internet without typing.
ComScore reports that more than half of all smartphone users are engaging with voice search technology in 2020.
It’s not just teenagers but different age group people use voice search. According to Google, 41 percent of adults along with 55 percent of teens are using voice search.
1 out of 5 mobile queries is voice searches, According to Google.
When people can able to finish a task without lifting a finger, they of course would go for it.
According to Gartner, 32 percent of people like to use hands-free technology where they can complete tasks on the go.
It’s not just on mobile phones. According to statistica, In 2020, there will be 4.2 billion digital voice assistants being used in devices around the world. People consider voice assistants are a necessity now. It’s no more a luxury.
The way voice search is moving on to the next level, it is important for companies to optimize their website for voice search or get outdated.
How Voice Search Change The Way You Search?
Let’s see how voice search is different so we can understand how to optimize for it
1. How users get what they are looking for
When searches follow traditional searches, they get thousands and thousands of search results to their mobile or desktop. How does it differ from voice searches? Voice searches can’t be thousands and thousands of search results. When you ask your voice assistant, it will respond to you with a specific answer to your query. How is that possible? On what basis, it selects your answer.
The answer is the featured snippet.
For your question, Google takes the most relevant featured snippet and read it out loud for you.
So ranking on position zero is more important now if you want to optimize for voice searches. In order to stay there, make sure it gives a simple and quick answer to user question as complicated answers are not welcome in voice search results.
2. Voice searches are more conversational
Unless traditional searches are primarily based on keyword or query type, voice searches are longer and conversational type. Like how two people talk to each other. For example,
Hey Google, what is the time?
Hey Google, will it rain tomorrow?
Hey Google, Show me the nearest restaurants.
Alexa, what is the age of Amitabh Bachchan?
Traditional keywords are no use here. As more and more voice searches are happening, your keywords need to be optimized in a way that it ranks for voice searches. The strategy has to be different than your regular page optimization.
To optimize voice searches, you have to first identify the queries your audience might be asking. Once you have collected different varieties of questions, you need to optimize for them in your content. You have to make sure the answer is simple and not so complicated for a voice search user to understand.
Take your root keywords, create conversational keywords based on them, build a list of conversational long keywords to optimize on your web page. As the searches have to be conversational, it is mostly question type.
How to decrease weight?
When to file a tax?
Why is it bad to take a bath after eating?
To find questions, you can use tools like Buzzsumo’s Question Analyzer.
3. Near me questions
According to Adobe Analytics Survey, 34% use smart speakers for asking directions.
While people use voice search on mobile phones, we can see a lot of navigational and location-based searches.
Top restaurants near me
Coffee shops near me
ATM near me
Libraries near me
Pubs near me
So, it’s a great opportunity for local businesses to step in and optimize their local shops.
How to Optimize for Voice Searches
1. Focus on conversational keywords
As mentioned before, traditional keywords can’t be used in voice searches. You can keep your traditional keywords as root keywords and create conversational keywords to optimize in your website.
Most of the voice searches are questions, so find the list of questions your users will ask to search assistants based on your traditional keywords.
To find questions, you can use tools like Buzzsumo’s Question Analyzer.
In traditional searches, users might type
Weight loss techniques
Lemon cake recipe
In voice searches, users might ask
How to reduce weight?
How to make a lemon cake?
What is the weather tomorrow?
Answer the public is a popular tool, experts suggest for this task. When you enter your targeted keywords, the tool will give you a list of related questions around your root keywords which you can select and optimize on your website for voice searches.
2. Utilize Schema Markup
As we found out that, Google uses featured snippet to find the answer to search queries, ranking for position zero gets more important now. Optimizing for the schema is more important than ever.
Use various schema markups to help Google understand what is your content all about. Schema markup helps search engines understand your site and help you rank on position zero.
It is important to select the right schema for the web page. For that, check out what is the existing featured snippet for your keyword like List, Table, Paragraph, Recipe, etc. Optimize for the specific type of schema helps you rank faster and get your content in front of voice search users.
Also Read: Voice Search Optimization Strategies
3. Mobile Friendly
More than 50 percent of voice searches are happening on Mobile and the domination will continue for a long time as people make searches on the go.
So, optimizing your content for mobile is one of the important tasks you should keep on your to-do list. Voices searches or traditional searches, keeping your website mobile friendly is a must if you want mobile traffic to your website.
Make sure your website is mobile friendly and responsive regardless of the size of the screen.
4. User Intent
Finding the intent of the user is a critical step. Without knowing it, you cant give the answer user is looking for.
Before Hummingbird, it was not possible to exactly understand the intent of the users with search queries but it’s possible for Google now.
By understanding the intent, you can give better answers to users than giving away a very generic answer.
5. Update Google My Business Listing
Updating your Google My Business Listing is an important task while optimizing for voice searches. Update every element in your listing to make sure the details are correct like Opening time, closing time, parking, holidays, etc
You may not want an angry customer leaving a negative review after getting inaccurate information.
6. Optimize For Local Searches
Mobile and local searches go hand in hand. As more voice searches are happening through mobile, it makes way for more local based searches through voice.
Optimize your content for near me type queries if you are a local business. The more you optimize your website for local searches, the better results you can get for those kinds of queries.
7. Improving Website Speed
Voice searches are faster than traditional searches and your website has to be fast enough else you can’t get the targeted results. Traditional or voice, there is no second thought about having a fast-loading website.
8. Create FAQ Page
Once you have the list of voice search questions you want to target, creating an FAQ page will be a good idea to target most of your questions in a single page.
Don’t limit yourself to creating one FAQ page for targeting voice searches. You can also include an FAQ section on your existing article, product pages to answer questions users might be asking.
Make sure you add schema to those pages for better results.
SEO is a very fast-moving industry. If you don’t run along, you will stay behind. Optimizing for voice search can keep your website ahead of your competitors. There is no more debate about if voice search will fade away over years. The popularity and usage will only increase in the coming years. I hope the optimization steps will help you optimize your website for voice search.
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