One of the primary reasons of technology is to make the lives of humans easier and more convenient. We tend to prefer what is easier for us, which is the whole reason behind the need of Search Engine Optimisation. This is the reason behind the growing popularity of voice searches too. It is much simpler to ask a question and get the results than to type the entire question. Hence, there has been a growing emphasis on voice search seo.
Voice search isn't a fad. It has already crossed the threshold of early adopters and it is here to stay. Not only teenagers and millennials, but people of all age groups have started using voice search.
Voice search is becoming increasingly popular with people using voice search on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, or voice assistants. Siri is popular among Apple users, Google Assistant among Android users, and Cortana among Microsoft users. Besides these, there are voice assistant devices like Amazon Echo, Alexa, and Google home devices.
Voice search is a step in the direction of improving the experience of users with semantics. It depends on Natural Language Processing to recognize your interests, behavior, patterns, and voice texture. Google learns your accent, language and other speech patterns that you follow.
Claiming your Google My Business listing is one of the most common voice search SEO strategy. If you haven't done it already, do it now! It helps search engines, especially Google learn more about your business, category of your business, address, contact details, business hours, and more.
Majority of voice searches are local in nature, i.e, to search for local businesses, restaurants, cafés, salons, et cetera. Having a Google My Business listing and keeping it updated can increase your online visibility dramatically. It will help your business show up in the listings when a voice search is done pertaining to your business category and location.
One of the biggest differences between normal SEO and voice search seo are the keywords. Instead of using short keywords, you are now supposed to use long keywords that are conversational in tone. The keywords in voice search are long-tail keywords.
Your keyword strategy should imitate how people talk in real life, ask questions verbally. Think about the questions you are asked when customers call you to ask questions. Record the words that they use while talking to you or your customer service representatives.
For example, when we are typing in the Google search bar, we will write something like ‘Best cafés, LA’ but when you use voice search, you will say something like ‘what are the best cafés around me?’
It's common knowledge that mobile friendly websites are almost futuristic. In the past few years, Google has made it clear that sites which are compatible with mobile are ranked higher in the search results listing.
This is double for Voice assistants, for when they make a search. Try to avoid or at least use fewer graphics, visuals, and flash, because Voice assistants can't ‘read’ visuals.
When voice assistants come up with search results, customers tend not to scroll down and search and sometimes, there isn't even an option. So, to ensure that your business ranks high, make your website/blog mobile friendly.
When people search for some specific question, they will most likely not read your entire article or even the headlines and titles. Make sure that voice assistants can scan your articles or website to get the relevant information. Put the relevant information and your business’ address, name, and contact details above the fold. If you make your readers search for information, chances are that your bounce rates will go off the charts.
Structured Data Markup, meaning, applying the correct schemas. Use structured Data Markup to give voice assistants more information about your website. It is absolutely crucial for your site as it is more specific in nature and makes it easier for search engines to understand your content and it's context.
Google already favors questions. Voice assistants prefer questions even more. You can group some common questions on the same page. Use the natural sounding questions and phrases instead of the old SEO keyword phrases that you are used to. You can even create several different pages to have a better chance of getting your content or website picked by voice search technologies.
Also, you should be expecting more direct and specific searches, like instead of ‘Mexican restaurant around me’, you might get questions like ‘Mexican restaurants around me that serve quesadillas and are wheelchair friendly.’
It is a difficult task, indeed, but creating individual pages and snippets of content which are center around such specific questions can help you show up in voice search results, and it can also increase your chances of featuring in a Google featured snippet.
Google had updated it's algorithm back in 2013 and it keeps evolving, when they made it evident that questions would play a very important role. The update was named Google Hummingbird. This feature goes double for voice assistants. Your need to make sure that your conversation style keywords are formatted correctly to ensure that your page is Hummingbird friendly.
By now, you must have understood the importance of voice search in today's times. It's not a phase, it's not likely to go away after some time, it will only get better and more advanced. And business owners always need to keep up with the growing trends and advancements in technology. It is time for SEO professionals to start optimising their websites for voice search so that you don’t get left behind.
I am a content specialist with an Oxford Comma OCD. My writeups follow the three C principle-Clear, Concise and Compelling, designed to make Google want to rank you and your visitors to revisit you. When I am not on my scribbling pad, I like to binge watch TV shows, read novels and walk my dog.
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