“OK Google, tell me where I should go today to have lunch?” or,
“OK Google, show me my messages!”
Sounds similar? It’s interesting how we are always looking for voice search assistance whenever looking something up. Be it on the internet, or scrolling through the phone. But, how did this come about?
The hummingbird update:
Google launched a major algorithmic upgrade in 2013, the Google Hummingbird. It began to consider the purpose of the user and the subjective meaning of the queries. Marketers needed to improve their strategy. We have come a long way from stuffing keywords in articles to addressing the specific problems of their target audience. Voice technology is another step towards developing user experience with technicalities. Over time, the way you talk, Google "learns" your language, accent and other patterns. Now, it concentrates on the semantics and the broader contextual relevance of the user's query.
This vital update changed how we search online. Voice search is one of the biggest digital marketing trends in the year 2020, continuing from 2019. This means that in the coming years if you are not voice-search ‘optimized’, you could be losing a large chunk of your audience.
So, coming to the crux of it, how do you optimize voice search to be in the marketing race?
In this competitive market, trying to optimize for voice search, using the same old tactics and methods won't take the business forward. Today Google Voice Search is fully compatible with hundreds of apps and devices. In addition, voice search has now become an essential part of Google's experience and has also influenced how Google's technologies handle different types of queries. Significant developments in the digital world have altered how we use the Internet and how we search online.
This has earned extra mileage because communicating with an assistant is more comfortable for a customer than typing. The voice search responses are faster too! Increased use of artificial assistants makes optimizing voice search, essential to your SEO progress.
So, how is voice search different from a regular internet search? How can we utilize this feature to our advantage? If you are curious, then read on to find out.
Voice queries have conversational terms and are longer
Whenever we search, we usually prefer to use short sentences to search for information as it saves physical effort. However, the difference between this and a voice search is, when you are speaking, it’s more like a conversation you are having with the virtual assistant.
So, instead of looking for "Best restaurants in Malaysia" which is a keyword term for search, you find yourself asking, say something like- “Which restaurant serves lunch now?” Can you see the difference? It’s very interesting to note that the artificial intelligence technology is equipped to hold a conversation with you now. The more you use the AI feature, the smarter the technology gets.
But here is a catch. You should not make the error of mixing voice search optimization with long-tail keywords in your text. Voice search is much more likely to include question phrases and keyword analytics tools that do not rank keywords/phrases that people speak while using mobile assistants.
Then, what’s the solution?
You just have to think about how your audience is talking about your business, goods, and services. As most long-tail keyword tools will revert back text-based queries. They will drag keywords and alphabetical variations of the LSI(Latent semantic indexing). To optimize your voice search, we suggest starting your research with a feature called Answer the Public. When you type in a keyword, a bunch of questions are returned.
Voice search is great for local business
Twenty-two per cent of voice queries are for local content. It was predicted that by 2020, 50% of all searches across the internet will be voice-based. The 2016 Internet Trends Study found that twenty-two per cent of people practised voice search engine to get local data. It makes good sense because people are using mobile phones on the go. Users use the search term frequently for things to do “near me." In fact, 20% of voice search queries are triggered by a combination of only 25 keywords.
How can you take advantage of this feature?
Did you also know that 50 percent of local mobile searches by the customer leads to a visit to the store every day? Since customers have a local purpose when searching their mobile phones, you need to get the right keywords. You can actually gain more business by carefully integrating the following keywords into your SEO strategy:
Add important words or tags
The phrases used by people to explain the neighbourhood all over your location.
• "Near me" in tags for the headline, meta description, internal links, and text for the anchor.
• Landmarks around your place of work.
• Local institutions names which are relevant to your business.
Users want instant results
The maximum use of voice searches is still made with the aim of personal assistance. Both teenagers and adults often use voice search to make phone calls and ask for directions. In fact, 55% of teenagers are using voice search on a daily basis.
However, just because you appear on the search results, it is safe to not assume that the users will automatically visit your website. When a person is looking for services they have a clear intention. Assume someone wants to have a haircut. He/she conducts a hunt for salons by voice. Google reverts back the search with the addresses, distance from the location of the user, schedules, and reviews to nearest salons.
This is where the trick lies. You can pull a user to your website only if you have a good amount of favourable reviews will be on your business website. Adding relevant and accurate information such as work hours, contact details, postal address on your website works in your favour. Use schema tags to your advantage and direct people to specific pages on your website for immediate conversions.
What’s the SEO strategy for voice search optimization
Exploit structured data
Start with creating material specifically for your audience.
Search engines often look at a lot of factors that determine the significance and position of a page in their search results, in addition to content. It's not seen by visitors, but microdata enables search engines to organize and categorize your content. It is a technique that is underused since it needs effort.
Now, let us guess your next query: how is microdata relevant to voice searching?
When users browse for local businesses they also check for hours of service, contact details, address, road directions, etc. You can use microdata to make sure that search engines categorize this information.
Voice search occurs mostly on mobile devices. It's clear your site needs to be mobile-friendly. Your website needs to load quickly, too. This does not come as a surprise with our limited attention periods that we want websites to be loaded instantly.
Users speak different keywords to relate to your goods, services, and company than those they type into search engines. For example, a person could type "salon nearby me," but they'd say "what's the closest salon near me," using voice search. You need to listen carefully to the words people use when speaking about you and optimize existing content for such requests on your blog and service pages.
The future of voice searching is very bright. It is gaining significant momentum, and that its growth will not stop anytime soon. Hence it is important that marketers use it to their advantage. Marketers who understand the significance of looking for voice and start to customize their content for it will be able to succeed in their particular business or niche. Therefore it is important that you get back to the basics and change your SEO strategy to implement voice optimization.