When is the last time that you picked up your smartphone and asked it a question? It is estimated that more than 50% of adults conduct at least one voice search a day. If you are one of these people doing this, then you are among the growing number of users that are utilizing voice search for their everyday needs.
More people are making use of the voice search functions on their devices to get the info they need. Statistics show that voice search is steadily growing and that by the year 2020, it is likely to make up half of all internet searches. To make the most of this as a business or digital marketing agency, you need to know how to optimize your content for voice search.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search is a technology that enables users to perform searches on the internet by verbally asking a question to their smartphone, computer, smart speaker, or other smart devices. They say the terms aloud, rather than typing them out into the search boxes.
How Does Voice Search Differ from Traditional Web Searches
While the main difference between a voice search and a web search is in the way you input questions, there are other differences between these two search methods. One of the main ones is the language used in voice searches. They are a lot more conversational than the typical short and basic queries made in traditional written web searches.
This is due to convenience, ease of use and is faster than typing out a long question. However, when it comes to voice searches, people have no problem speaking normally. As a result of this, voice searches have a more natural feel and are made up of longer sentences. A clear question is asked, and a straightforward answer is provided, or the closest answer to the set question.
Why Is It Important to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search?
Voice search is not a fad that is here today and gone tomorrow. It has grown significantly since its first release to the public and continues to gain more traction and support from users. After all, many of us remember the days when Apple’s Siri first came out, and the idea of asking your device questions and expecting a voice search result was absurd to most. Now, more than half the population does it on a daily basis with multiple devices and assistants.
It is not something that is fully accepted by just the youth of today (tomorrow’s target market). It is also quite popular among older generations that prefer speaking to typing. Many people have embraced the convenience of simply asking your device a question and getting a response quickly and easily.
Benefits of Voice Searches
As voice recognition technology improves both accuracy and versatility. Many users are starting to experience the benefits that voice commands offer. Here are some of the reasons why people prefer voice-activated searches over typing out queries.
- Simplifies Life and Allows for Multitasking
Many people use voice search in the middle of a task when they are looking for additional info or want to find a store nearby. A quick voice search enables them to focus on the task at hand and get the information they need. More and more people are using their smart devices in situations that would have been impossible to imagine 30 years ago — activities such as cooking in the kitchen, going for a run, or even taking a bath. A voice search is a hands-free way to get the information you need.
- Quick and Instant
A traditional search takes a little longer to perform than a voice search. With voice search queries, you get the information you need with less effort. Speaking and getting a response saves you a few seconds, and many people like that aspect of voice searches. Anybody can ask a question verbally faster than they can type it out, especially with mobile devices.
Optimizing for Voice Searches
While many people are still learning about the convenience of voice searches, it is still essential to optimize content for voice search. While it is not the go-to technique for the majority, it is definitely starting to be implemented by modern marketing agencies. In order to get the greatest amount of traffic in the future, it is important to think about voice search optimization now, and get ahead of your competition.
Build Online Presence (Local Businesses)
Many voice searches are used to find goods and services in your local vicinity. This means that local businesses have a lot to gain by optimizing for voice searches. To do this, they will need to get their business listed online. Start by setting up your Google My Business page. You will be able to input details, such as your name, services, phone number, website, and physical location. It is a big step in making yourself visible for voice and local searches.
Help Google Help you – Structure Data
Google aims to make users’ experience as smooth and informative as possible. It does this by analyzing pages to determine how much information a page provides and how user-friendly it is. You can have incredible advice on your site, but if it is not structured and marked properly, it is not going to draw in a lot of traffic.
The best way to get more traffic is to first create and submit a sitemap to Google Search Console, which will enable easier crawling. The second thing you can do to help Google bots understand and map your site is to use structured data (schema) markup. This helps create metadata for your content that lets Google know what it is about, while still being user-friendly.
Structured data is a good overall practice since it can help you stand out from other search results with a rich snippet, or even get you featured above other searches in the featured snippet section of SERPs. If you are interested in finding out how structured your data currently is, make use of Google’s Structured Data Testing tool.
Create Content that Answers Common Questions
Voice searches are all about quick, easy, and useful answers. As mentioned before, voice searches are longer and are more in the form of questions. This means that long-tail keywords are more likely to stand out. The best way to show up for a voice search is to have content that answers common questions in your niche.
Start out by brainstorming and finding questions that can attract a lot of visitors. Think of your business and the problems it solves, then start on some keyword research to see what buzzwords generate traffic in your niche. Once you have a list of keywords, break it down and look at what aspects people might have trouble with. Think of what kind of information would help them get acquainted with the topic or help them in doing something on their own.
A great tool to help you find common questions is Answer the Public. It will help you optimize your content for question-oriented searches and establish you as an expert in your field. Once you have a couple of blogs that are informative and optimized, you can also create an FAQ page that links it all together.
Make Sure You Are Mobile Friendly
Most searches are done on a smartphone. Mobile searches are so popular that many search engines highly prioritize mobile-friendliness. To rank higher and be noticed for voice searches, it is vital to make sure you are optimized for mobile devices.
Improve Page Speed
How fast your content loads is a huge factor in determining your ranking. Slow and delayed pages lose a lot of visitors, increasing the bounce rate of your site. This means that the majority of visitors will not even view your offers before deciding to search elsewhere. If you want to rank high, you need to optimize your site speed by reducing loading time. If you are interested in finding out your current page speed, check out Page-Speed Insights.
Always Keep Testing
It is hard to predict just how quickly voice search revolution will become the norm. However, it is steadily growing and shows no signs of stopping. It means that we have to adapt to technological changes and anticipate future digital marketing trends. Ignoring such a powerful trend can prove to be costly in the future. Get to the drawing board and start testing out SEO strategies that will include voice optimization.