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Voice search: The new power in your SEO strategy

29.01.2020

Voice search is growing momentum every day, with more and more businesses optimising for voice-based search. With voice-based commerce is set to hit $40 billion in 2022, it is now a trend digital marketeers can not ignore.

Voice search should now be an important consideration when crafting your SEO strategy. We take a look at voice search and what you can do to optimise your SEO voice search strategy. 

How is voice search different?

The most distinctive difference between voice search and regular search lies in the fact that humans talk differently when speaking compared to typing.

This is, without a doubt, making all searches more conversational. Instead of having to choose specific keywords, users can just ask simple questions.

Modern search engines will understand what a user is looking for and provide a valid answer from credible web pages.

One simple number is good proof that this kind of search provides great results. There are almost 1 billion voice searches every month. So, yes, this works very well even though it’s different from traditional searches.

Moreover, the biggest reason why some people prefer voice search is simply because it’s really convenient. When using voice commands, people can make phone calls, internet searches, and even more while driving, for example, if their devices are equipped with AI assistants (e.g. Siri).

On top of that, this type of search allows for more freedom. With regular searches, you have to look and scroll through web pages, but with voice search, you have more freedom to multitask.

How to optimise for voice search?

It’s common that users rely on voice search when they want to find something online. This can range from playing a YouTube video to purchasing a product or finding a specific piece of information.

Below you will find some useful steps to help you improve voice search rankings.

Loading time

There is no doubt that Google voice search favours websites that load quickly, so the first measure you have to take is making sure your website is loading quickly.

Your website has to be responsive both on desktop and mobile devices with all images optimised and files compressed.

Additionally, you should utilise website caching to improve page speed. 

Write the same way you speak

When people look for something online, they usually write in short phrases. For instance, if a person wanted to find a good movie to watch, they could type ‘best movies 2020’ into the search bar.

But, if a person uses voice search, there is a higher chance that a person would simply say ‘What are the best movies to watch at the moment?’ or something similar.

In order to optimise for voice search, it is important to include these long-tail keywords that sound more natural contrary to shorter, snappier keywords that perform well in desktop SEO.

And if your information is presented in a high-level language, you might want to break it down in a way that is easy for anyone to comprehend.

Add featured blocks of content

The average voice search result is around 29 words long. However, even though we know that shorter answers perform better, how can we guarantee that a search engine will identify it and read it to users?

A good way to achieve that is to create a featured snippet. This is also called position zero, answer box, or quick answers, and it is essentially a summary of the answer from a web page.

These snippets appear just after the paid ads but before the regular search listings on desktop devices.

To optimise your content for an identifiable featured snippet, include a concise summary of your main content above the fold under 29 words.

Focus on local searches

A significant 22% of voice search queries are looking for location-based content. That is almost a quarter!

So, if you invest in local content, you may have a better chance of driving traffic through voice search. A simple tip would be to include a phrase such as ‘near me’ into the content.

How to include it in your digital search marketing?

Now that you have realised how important voice search is, you probably want to start looking for ways to include it into your search marketing strategy.

If so, you will make great use of what follows below. Here are a few ways to include voice search tips into your overall strategy.

Voice keyword research

As it was mentioned above, people do not type and speak the same way. Therefore, it is important to consider the semantic differences in queries.

It’s wise to spend some time figuring out what kind of questions people might ask related to your target keywords.

For instance, you could try Google’s ‘People Also Ask’ feature to help yourself get more question ideas. Just type in a question you have already brainstormed and it will show other related questions.

Tailored content

You have to be careful when producing content for voice search optimisation since you will want to map questions onto the various points of your customer journey.

This will ensure you are available through voice search whenever the customer needs an answer. Try to group the questions you brainstorm into different categories that map onto the customer journey.

In general, there are three main content types that work well for voice search optimisation:

  1. informational intent (guides, how-to’s, etc.)
  2. navigational intent (store locations, services, press releases, etc.)
  3. transactional intent (videos, product information, reviews, etc.)

Additionally, you could integrate FAQ pages into every major section of your website.

Website optimised for mobile devices

Recently, search algorithm updates have made search engine marketing a mobile-first environment.

No one can really tell if one day it will switch to prioritising voice-friendly results, but considering the benefits of voice search and its growing trend, that would hardly be a surprise.

This means that you should try to optimise your website for mobile devices. And unsurprisingly, a lot of what you can do to optimise for voice search is also beneficial for mobile-first optimisation.

This includes:

  • website speed optimisation
  • local search results optimisation
  • using AMP and structured data

Be one step ahead

There is no denying that you should invest in voice search optimisation. If you optimise now, you will have better chances to stay ahead of the competition. You will also see strong voice search rankings that will effectively help grow your organisation.

As a full digital services agency, we offer support in all aspects of digital marketing so get in touch today if you want to optimise your SEO to stay ahead.

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