Not many people would have thought voice search would become an important part of our future. Back in 2011, when voice search was introduced, it sometimes gave informative answers and at times gave laughable responses. Now several voice-activated tools have become a part of many households. Voice search has a potential for search marketing and it is predicted that voice search will become an integral aspect of an SEO strategy.
Voice recognition technology today, has become highly accurate and versatile. Users understand the importance of the benefits of voice commands for searching. It allows them to multi-task, enables them to do things faster and empowers them by providing information instantly. While many people are still learning the benefits of voice search to get information, it has become a very valuable tool to simplify the process of search. As an entrepreneur, you must know how to optimize for voice search.
Optimizing for voice search SEO
To get the most out of search marketing, smart marketers have already adopted a voice search. Consumers use voice search when driving, making queries about store hours, information about events, customer support, information about deals, business location, etc. Every type of business should look to optimize for local SEO and should take voice search SEO into consideration.
Businesses make changes to their content in order to make it better suited for voice search results. This method can be effective but it will not be efficient in the long run. Businesses that want to stand out from the crowd for search engines need to know how to optimize for voice search right from Day 1.
Here are important elements you need to keep in mind to optimize for voice search.
1. Long-tail keyword research
When users search for information through a voice assistant, they behave like they are talking to a human. A lot of users do not use short keywords. Instead, they use long phrases and ask questions. This is why you need to use long-tail keywords and phrases that people often use when speaking and not while typing.
Your keywords should be phrased in a way people speak. Using long-tail keywords is not only good for voice search SEO but is also beneficial for traditional SEO. Keywords that contain more than two words show high chances to rank at the top and face less competition. It has been noted that people use questions for voice search in addition to long phrases. You need to brainstorm the questions people might ask related to your keywords and then create content surrounding it.
2. Content strategy
Whenever you build a content strategy to optimize for voice search, you need to map out questions considering the customer’s persona and journey. This will ensure that you are available through voice search across all stages of your customer’s needs. You need to identify customers based on how aware they are of your product or service, the stage of customer’s interest and their loyalty.
You need to set out questions for different customers keeping their persona in mind and then creating a content strategy around it. If you have the right strategy, you can ensure that every type of content penetrates in your site structure and will generate high visitors. Make your content informational, navigational, and transactional.
3. Local SEO
More than 50% of the consumers choose a voice search in order to find local businesses. It shows that most people search when they are driving somewhere or are walking. People use voice search in order to discover where they should be headed to. This means if you have not optimized local SEO, your business might not show up in search results.
If you own a shop in the city, you need to include your city when you optimize keywords. It is applicable to countries, states and, neighbourhoods, where your business works. A lot of people conduct voice searches where they use the phrase “near me”. This is where local SEO makes all the difference.
The search engine will use the user’s location to understand and identify places that are nearest to them. In order to appear in relevant results for such queries, you do not add “near me” to your content but you optimize the content for local searches. Use Business Listings Information and ensure that you have added all the necessary information like name, address, and opening hours, etc.
4. Data Optimization
Optimizing for search is very complex. Voice search will only return an answer to the user from the number one best-optimized result. Hence, the key to successful voice search optimization is to make your content as relevant as you can. You need to ensure that the pages are easy to crawl and if you have not done so, you need to build a sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console.
You can also use structured data markup. It will allow you to create metadata for the content which tells Google what it is about and does not affect how the content appears for the users. Structured data markup will not affect the rankings in a direct manner but it will give you a boost in voice search and will illustrate the relevance of your content with regard to queries. It will also help with overall SEO and will help Google feature elements of the content in your search results.
5. Mobile Friendly
With consistent updates in search algorithms over the years, mobile marketing has become crucial. It is not surprising that search results are optimum with a voice search. A lot of voice searches come from mobile devices and what you need to consider is what you can do to optimize for voice search, for your mobile application.
First and foremost, you need to improve the site speed. It is a mobile ranking factor because users always expect a quick result when they are searching for information. Hence, improving the page and the site speed is crucial. Further, use structured data to help make content more relevant for voice search results. And remember to optimize for local SEO.
6. Be flexible
These are a few steps you can take today in order to include voice SEO in your strategy but you need to remain flexible. People are learning more about the tools and will be willing to explore more of voice commanding capabilities in the coming years.
Major players in the industry are developing new features to help voice search grow. In order to stay at the top of the voice search game, you need to be ready for future developments and always remain flexible to make changes to your strategy as and when needed.
It is evident that voice commands will continue to have a strong impact on search marketing. In order to optimize for voice search SEO, you need to take all the necessary steps that will be beneficial for your overall marketing strategy.
Incorporate these strategies into your marketing efforts and ensure that you are prepared to capture new leads with voice traffic. The adoption of voice search will continue to grow and if you are not optimized for voice search, you could end up losing your customers to the competitors.
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