How to Optimize for Voice Search
The allure of voice search is undeniable- it’s faster, hands-free, and lets you multitask.
Voice search had made its appearance into the mainstream in 2011 with the launch of Apple’s Siri on the iPhone 4. In 2015, the Amazon Echo became one of the first established smart home devices. From there on, several competitors entered the voice search market.
By now, you have been exposed to at least one of these products and understand the growth of the audio market has translated many opportunities for your brand to connect with users, especially eCommerce.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search is the action of using speech to ask a questions or give commands to compatible devices like smartphones or smart speakers. The searcher speaks into the device and the device fulfills the command or answers the question.
How Does Voice Search Work
Without getting too technical, digital voice assistants work by:
- Processing and transcribing human speech into text.
- Analyzing the given speech to detect questions or commands.
- Connecting to external data sources such as the search engines to fine the relevant and sought-after information.
- Translating that information into a digestible format to fulfil given question or command.
As voice search evolves from voice recognition to voice understanding, Google gets closer and closer to its aim to transform voice search into an ultimate mobile assistant that helps you with your daily life so that you can focus on the things that matter.
If you haven’t started about thinking incorporating voice search into your SEO strategy, now is the time. Let’s look at some strategies that will take you into 2022, and beyond.
Strategies for Voice Search Optimization Success
At the voice search optimization core, it is similar to the SEO of today, but with a refined focus.
#1 Understand Your Customer and Their Preferred Device Type
Since the voice search algorithms utilize data, location, and several other data points to understand search context, marketers must dig deeper into understanding their consumer and their behavior.
#2 Focus on Conversational Keywords
We don’t believe that short tail keywords will ever disappear entirely, they do become less relevant when we consider the natural phrases used in voice searches. When optimizing for voice search it’s more important than ever to focus attention on conversational long-tail keywords. Come up with a list of questions that your product or service answers and incorporate those questions into your long tail research to capture the voice search audience.
#3 Create Persona-Based Content
Brevity, context, and relevance are critical to master when optimizing for voice search. Something that is different that your usual SEO practices is that now you need to also pay special attention to:
- Creating detailed answers to common questions.
- Answering simple questions concisely and clearly
Aim to create rich, compelling content that answers the questions that your users are searching for. A proven strategy that many websites have begun to adopt is to:
- Create content or a webpage with a headline that asks a common question from your audience.
- Immediately after the H1, provide a very concise or definition to the question.
- Use the rest of your page, after answer the question, to provide further elaborative detail on the topic.
The great thing about this strategy is that the rich, elaborative webpage has everything that Google is looking for to rank your page. On the other end of this strategy, the short-and-sweet information at the top will be optimized for voice search and has potential to become a featured snippet.
#4 Build Pages that Answer FAQ
Typically, voice searches begin with “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” “Why,” and “How.” Voice searchers are looking for answers that fulfill an immediate need. Think about answering these queries and make a FAQ page and begin each question with those adverbs. When doing something like this try your best to answer them in a conversational tone to help appeal to the voice search inquiries.
From a performance perspective, make sure that your website is technically sound and includes some schema. Ensure your navigation and informational structure are easy to find, and your page speed is fast.
#5 Think Local & Think Mobile
We already know this; we are moving to a mobile-first world where devices and people are mobile. Because of this, it is important to remember that mobile and local go hand in hand, especially for voice search. Mobile devices allow for their users to perform on-the-go local queries. In turn, voice search enables users to ask hyper-local questions.
Make sure things like directions to your location and XML sitemaps are readable to visitors and search engines on your website. You can also create different experiences for desktop and mobile users- i.e., optimize for “near me” type searches on mobile. Lastly, focus on your mobile strategy and make it sound as well as keep page speed and load times top of mind.
Not everyone is ready to move forward with voice search optimization as many that grew up in an age where technology wasn’t talking back to them still have a stigma attached to talking to phones. But the younger generations do not have the same hesitation, and most feel confident using voice search. Voice search is clearly on the rise, and it’s important that marketers start to become familiar with voice search optimization and best practices.
If You Are Looking for Assistance with Your SEO Strategy- Contact Spectrum Net Designs!
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