Voice Search Optimization

A website ready for Voice Search is a website ready for the future.

Voice Search: Will it impact SEO?

Strategically speaking, yes. On average half of a website’s visitors come via mobile devices. An ever-growing part of these visitors is coming through voice search. Google states that voice searches are driving 20% of their searches. It’s forecast that voice and image searches are going to make at least 50% of all the searches by 2020. Voice search has impacted the way that users interact with search engines. This is seen is the rise is instant answer results and long-tail keywords. As we find that people are relying more on Siri, Google Now, and/or Cortana to search the web.

This shift is causing SEOs to shift their tactics. Traditional keyword targeting has changed. As Spoken word searches tend to be much longer than text searches. So Digital Marketers such as myself have noticed that long-tail keywords are the best way to target a broader audience.
Voice Search

How can you improve your website for voice search

This brings with it new demands and trends in online marketing strategies. Many digital marketers are currently missing the mark in voice search. Strategies should be in place to leverage the increase that we are seeing in personalized search. First, think like an online consumer. Consider how and where they will search. Know what their search intent would be. Then serve your content to best serve your potential visitors. Ensure that the name address and phone number of your business, opening and closing hours, or any other query that aims to address the who what when, where, why, and how of your business is in the page content and using appropriate markup.

Most voice search queries are to answer who, what, where, why, when, or how. For example, when talking to Amazon’s Alexa or Echo devices you wouldn’t just say “Morgan Freeman” and expect a relevant result. More likely your query would be similar to, “Where was Morgan Freeman Born” or “What is Morgan Freeman’s Net Worth”.
Some ways to improve your on-page SEO and content to include more personalized keywords is by adding an FAQ page, comment section, testimonials, and reviews.

1. Advanced content labeling

Schema.org structured markup is not directly intended for voice search. However, it will become very important. Tagging data by type allows search engines to better understand the context of the text. So it is easier to classify them in the automated response they produce. If desired, they can also be read by the user, for example with the review snippet. As Schema.org continues to develop strongly and rapidly, it will bring with it the demand for continuous learning, and even more so after upgrading your website. Labeling content using schema is imperative to highlight more of the content. Devices like Siri can read responses based on the structured data on your website.

2. Rich cards

Rich cards display previews of content directly on the search engine results page. The example below shows how Google extracts a piece of text from a web page and displays it as a rich card.
Featured Rich Snippet
Rich cards are not associated with a voice search, but it’s important that the text is not highlighted, but Google still understands – meaning that it can be processed and presented as a voice result.

3. AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages

Website load time is not directly related to voice search. However, allows the website to be viewed as quality and user-friendly. Many small business websites are very slow and behind the curve using AMP. Many major news outlets are using AMP to quickly display their content. If you were to search for national news. More or less all results on the first page of Google have already AMP. And for AMP not only news portals are suitable, but all types of websites, including online stores. Fast responsiveness on mobile devices will not only put your website at the top of search results but will also prepare it for incoming voice searchers.

4. Long tail keywords

Long tail keywords become even more important. Often users use short keyword when entering keywords in a search engine, more or less because it’s easy. When making a voice search, nobody asks the keyword “laptop,” but asks: “Where do I buy the cheapest laptop?” Speech queries are therefore becoming more important and place more emphasis on content. It will rarely be a response to a voice search product in your online store, and much more often the answer to it will be a contribution to your website.

When choosing the keywords to target it’s best to prioritize them based on their click-through-rate (CTR). Our content must be carefully crafted to use a more conversational tone. Nearly 70% of all the searches made online are in natural or conversational languages thereby a conversational question that one can put to its smartphone can be much more specific in nature. It is best to create a persona of your average customer. Use language and verbiage that is fitting for this customer. Avoid using jargon that doesn’t fit your customer’s persona. A simple way to meet the demands of voice search is by personalizing content. Frequently asked questions and reviews are great methods for this. They are exactly the same as the ones they ask the users of the phone. “Siri, can I change an Internet provider without exit costs?” The result Siri will read will not be a URL, but a frequently asked question, which is written in a similar fashion.

Conclusion

So what does this mean for your site’s strategy?

SEO techniques are ever changing. Website owners should always look for ways to improve their websites. The above-mentioned recommendations are a great starting point. Google and Bing often make suggestions for improving the user experience. Often they award websites that provide the best experience for the user the best ranking. Keeping up to date with their best practices and guidance is never a bad idea.