Voice Search Optimization: 6 Actionable Strategies!Orhun Karadag
Voice search optimization is a relatively new area in SEO. In the last 20 years, technology has taken leaps and bounds. GPS technology was invented, internet technology was advanced, Smartphones came into the world, the list goes on and on. And with all of these advances in technology came another one – speech recognition.
Voice search is substantially faster and easier than typing a query. Making a search with voice is extremely convenient, the number of voice search users increases steadily. Naturally, voice search quickly became one of the vital topics in the search industry.
You may remember when Siri first came out in 2011. Voice search has improved a lot since then. There are a wide variety of voice-activated technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant now.
But what exactly are speech recognition and voice search, and how can you optimize your voice searches? Let’s take a look.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search is a type of speech recognition technology that takes the need for a keyboard out of searching. Instead of typing what you want to search for on Google (or other search engines), all you have to do is say it and bam – there it is! You can also use voice technology to perform other actions like looking for directions, creating notes, or making phone calls. Voice searches are most commonly performed on smartphones, but can also be done on laptops, computers, and even smart TVs.
What is Voice Search Optimization and Why is it Important?
Let’s start with the basics. In order to understand Voice Search Optimization, you must first understand search engine optimization. By now, you probably already know what Search Engine Optimization is, but just in case let’s give a quick definition.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of using different techniques to increase your rankings on search engines and drive organic traffic to your pages. It can include things like generating backlinks, technical SEO, creating quality content, website speed, correct URL structure, incorporating keywords, local SEO and so on and so forth.
Voice Search Optimization then, is very similar in that it involves techniques used to generate organic traffic. The only difference is that you are optimizing for voice searches instead of keyboard searches.
Why is it so important? Share of the voice search in all search-related activity grows pretty fast. To be more precise, the latest statistics demonstrate that almost half of the adults use voice search at least once a day.
That means if you aren’t optimizing for voice technology, you’re already behind the pack.
How Can You Optimize for Voice Search?
Let’s learn ways to optimize for voice searches.
1) Optimize for Rich Answers
Recent research shows that around 60% of all answers returned from voice searches used a Featured Snippet result. Rich answers are used by Google for providing satisfactory search experience to users.
A majority of smartphones that allow making voice searches, return similar answers to specific queries. The answer is usually a rich answer from Google for the relevant question.
Keywords are one of the most important things that you can do for search engine optimization. But keywords are different for SEO than they are for voice engine optimization. Why? Because people speak differently than they type.
It is necessary to make the optimization for long-tail queries. While someone might type “best dog food brands”, they will probably say, “What are the best dog food brands?” In return, you need to amend your keywords to suit the voice option.
3) Content Relevance
In both traditional SEO and voice search optimization you want your content to be extremely relevant. But when it comes to voice search optimization, relevance is even more important. You need to prepare your content marketing strategy in accordance with it.
Why? Because when you search for something in a search engine, multiple results show up. But when you ask a question on voice search, only the most relevant answer is displayed.
For this reason, your content for voice search optimization must be highly relevant in order to make a difference.
4) Page Speed
When people are using voice-activated software, they are most often in a hurry. “Where can I find dog food?” “What’s the best dog food brand?” These are all questions people want immediate, quick answers to.
In return, page speed should be a very high priority when optimizing for voice searches.
5) Google My Business Listing
When it comes to voice search opportunities for local businesses are huge!
Quite often people use voice search for queries such as
- Cafes and restaurants services near me
- Local fish and chips delivery
- Opening times for…
- Is … open today?
It is crucial to get your Google My Business listing relevant and up to date. A Google My Business listing with precise and relevant information will be highly useful for prospective customers. Especially “near me” searchers who have a high potential of turning into actual customers.
Making your Google My Business listing is detailed and comprehensive will have positive results. Information such parking space availability can be very useful for the customers.
6) Mobile Friendliness
Aside from benefits on user experience, mobile-friendliness of a website holds great importance on search rankings. Google rolled out mobile-first indexing in 2018. Mobile-first indexing simply refers that Google uses the mobile version of a website for indexing and therefore rankings. With algorithm updates in the last few years, “mobile-friendliness” has gained even more importance. As most of the voice searches are performed using a smartphone, it is a must to have mobile-friendly website.
We’ve covered useful techniques you can use to optimize for voice searches. You can consult a digital marketing agency to learn more and optimize your website.