Is Voice Search the next big thing or here to stay and how can you optimise your website for Voice Searching?
Voice Search is a function that allows users to search the Web using Search Engines through spoken voice commands rather than typing.
Voice Search is no longer confined to futuristic sci-fi fantasy. It’s here.
Google claims 50% of searches will be conducted using voice search by 2020.
Voice recognition software is improving all the time and most AI will learn to decipher the broadest of brogues eventually using Natural Language Processing (NLP). Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have each got their own version now and its mostly about finding the one that works for you.
But why are we talking about this?
Well, 20% of all searches are conducted using voice, either by mobile or a smart speaker like the Google Home.
We know how important SEO is and how keywords work, to refresh your memory check out other blogs we’ve written about the subject.
Research and Optimization
Keywords have always been crucial to SEO. However, the keywords for voice SEO are not always the same.
To understand why this is the case, think about how you might ask a question of Google if you were typing.
If you wanted to know the opening times of a store, you would type: “opening times The Just Brand.”
However, with speaking is more natural to say: “Siri/Alexa/OK Google, what are the opening times for The Just Brand?”
One of the essential components of voice search optimization is long-tail keywords that are similar to the questions people ask of smart devices.
These devices encourage a more conversational tone.
You can ask the search assistant how they are, or what their favourite song is. Users are driven to engage with the tech as if it is a person.
This means keywords are often phrased as questions.
How can you apply this to your specific website?
Firstly, you need to think about the search terms that people may ask that your website can answer. Look at the keywords that have brought searchers to your site in the past.
These keywords can then be turned into questions. For example: “best marketing agency in Petersfield” becomes “What is the best marketing agency in Petersfield?”.
User Intent and Voice Search
If you’ve ever performed a voice search on your mobile or smart speaker, the chances are pretty good that you were looking for a very specific piece of information: the address or opening hours of a shop, the price of a product, whether a business offers a specific type of service etc. As such, it’s important that you bear user intent in mind when structuring your site and your content, and one of the best ways to do this is by preemptively answering questions.
Create an FAQ page for your site
A FAQ page will allow you to source further long-tail keywords about your content.
Ask yourself: “What questions I am frequently asked regarding my business, products, or services.”
For example, if you are a marketing agency, then you may frequently be asked:
“What is SEO and why do I need it?”
“Why do I have to move from Magento 1 to Magento 2?”
You have likely answered these kinds of questions using your expertise a thousand times before, but in this instance, these often-heard questions are incredibly useful. Why?
Simple: these questions you are overly-familiar with can lead to the identification of additional long-tail keywords regarding your area of interest, which your site can then seek to answer, and you can optimize.
Frequently asked questions will provide valuable content. Phrase the questions in the first person, as someone might ask them. Then offer short, informative answers.
It is also important to optimize for keywords that are genuinely conversational.
For example, take this example:
“Supermarkets in Petersfield”
When this is phrased as a question using a voice command, it becomes:
- “What supermarkets are in the Petersfield area?”
- “Where is the nearest supermarket to the Petersfield town centre?”
Target and Bid On Long-Tail Keywords
One of the most effective strategies you can adopt when optimizing for voice search is to target long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are search terms and phrases that – as their name implies – are longer than the typical search query. These queries are often quite specific, and best of all, many sites overlook them in favour of shorter, more competitive search queries. In addition, long-tail keywords account for approximately 70% of all search queries, meaning they’re less competitive – but no less important.
Something else to consider when targeting long-tail keywords is how people actually use voice search. Unlike a typed search query, spoken voice searches are usually conversational and reflect how people speak in everyday life. By targeting long-tail, conversational keywords and phrases and answering questions your prospective customers are likely to have, you stand a much better chance of ranking for these queries and appearing prominently in search results.
When ranking on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), if your website provides a clear and effective answer to a user’s query, it has a chance of appearing at ‘position zero’. This is the featured snippet box, usually a piece of text from your site that shows a quick summary of the required answer, and as such is super attractive for voice search users to click on.
If you can get it, the featured snippet lets you jump over the organic search results and place at the top, directly below the paid/advertised results. It shows that Google finds your site the most useful for that particular query. By effectively trouncing the competition you could see your site traffic jump 20-30%.
Update your Google My Business Listing
Other ways to improve your standing in Voice Search results is to keep your Google Knowledge Panel updated. This is the block that shows up when your company is searched for. You should make all details are current and every field completed. This will improve your chances of ranking highly in any search and particularly in Voice searches. You can access the panel and claim your business listing by creating an account. It’s quite simple, but please do ask if you are finding this difficult.
So a round-up….
Firstly…FIND out the voice and typed keywords that get people to your site and your competitors.
Then see if you can INSERT more of these into your site and social media.
Next, make SURE your Google Knowledge panel is up to date.
Add an FAQ page to your site, answering the IMPORTANT questions that will lead a user to your website.
And finally, TEST your website and make sure it is fully OPTIMISED.
Contact us if you require any help, voice keyword optimising your website.