Voice search has been around for almost a decade, and it has come a long way in that time. When Siri was first introduced in 2011, it was more new than useful. However, innovation has become a digital trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. According to a recent report, 50 million smart speakers alone have been installed, in addition to smart assistants on mobile devices such as Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant. As a top web development company, we understand the impact of voice search on search interactions. That’s why we wanted to share our tips on how to properly optimize your website SEO for voice search.
Is Voice Search the future?
According to recent data, voice search is the future and much of it has to do with advances in speech recognition AI. As of May 2017, the speech recognition supported by Google Machine Learning has achieved a 95% accuracy rate for standard English. As accuracy increases, more users will become more familiar with using voice assistants for search.
Currently, many voice assistants are used for basic commands, such as launching an app to complete a task such as a phone call. However, looking at the business landscape, it is very clear that Google and other market leaders expect voice search usage to increase. Many large test and audit groups have already started large-scale voice search input versus results assessments to clarify users’ intent and find which input-based content will meet the needs of most users.
The main reason voice search is the future of search interactions is ease of use. According to Google Insights, the main reasons people use voice-activated speakers are:
- Allows multitasking
- Direct access to information and answers
- Faster interactions
- Increases daily efficiency
- Website SEO optimization tips for voice search
- By taking the time to focus on SEO optimization of voice search websites rather than later, marketers can make the most of this emerging technology. Voice searches are already increasing in use with mobile devices, while people on the go are looking for specific information about companies such as hours or location. Therefore, companies should include voice search as part of their overall SEO optimization plan.
Extend the keywords used for SEO – People type differently than they speak, which is an important distinction when it comes to SEO. Voice search tends to ask questions or make more complete statements while people speak with a voice assistant like a person. Therefore, keywords for SEO purposes should contain long tail phrases and variations to better match the search input. A fantastic resource is Answer the Public, a website that converts search terms into frequently asked questions questions for those terms based on advanced data analysis. This is especially useful for FAQ pages.
Create a FAQ page – Building on the previous point, voice searches often involve people asking their device a question. The search algorithm then searches the best answer to that question. In some cases, the questions are a simple known question for something like the current temperature or the score of a baseball game. In other cases, the answer will be more specific and require a more detailed answer. FAQ pages are the perfect place for those detailed answers that also contain the natural formulation of the question. FAQ pages should use a conversation tone as if two people are speaking. Answers should be limited to about 30 words and the
active voice along with general terms. Ideally, a high school writing skill is appropriate to meet the needs of most users.
Google Business Listing – A company should always claim their Google Business Listing and make sure it stays current and optimized. Voice search at local level, like from a mobile user, is often used to find basic information that the offer offers. The GBL must have important important details, current photos, website links, menus, etc. and should always be updated when business aspects change.
Develop Voice Search Content – Take the time to integrate content that provides answers to common and important questions at different points in the customer trip. This ensures that your company is able to provide information through voice search at any stage the customer needs you. Along with FAQ pages, content such as manuals, how-to articles, product information, product comparisons and press releases should be integrated into the site structure.
Site Speed - Tests have shown that voice search results load faster than average pages. This would indicate that a premium is being granted to mobile users with faster results based on their mobility and needs. In addition to helping with SEO efforts, improving site speed improves the user experience. Optimize images, using browser caching, using accelerated mobile pages, improving server time, and other speed optimization techniques must be entered because page speed is a mobile ranking factor.
Develop skills or actions – Smart assistants can interact with your content or app when you create actions (Google) or custom skills (Alexa). For example The Tonight Show created a skill so people can ask, “Alexa, open The Tonight Show.” Smaller companies like regional radio programs have done the same. By creating new actions or skills related to your brand or industry, it will be easier for people to access and interact with your products or services.
The bottom line is that voice searches will be used more often and it is important not only to understand how to properly optimize your website SEO for speech search but also start immediately. As the market becomes more competitive, it is important to stay ahead and develop a niche instead of having to fight other companies for the niche they have already established.