How we type our searches and how we vocalize our searchers are two entirely different things. Voice search relies on natural language.
It tends to be longer, possibly grammatically incorrect, and depends on contextual understanding. Just a few short years ago it was impossible to use because even if the talk-to-text programs could translate what was said into a searchable term, that phrase wouldn’t fetch very relevant results.
That has all changed. Due to the power of what is known as Natural Language Processing, computer algorithms can now extract keywords from a voice command and use those keywords to search for relevant listings.
It’s not perfect, but it is becoming better. More importantly, its need is growing.
It is estimated by comScore, a marketing analytics company, that by 2020 half of all searches will be done using voice. Currently, it is estimated that 40% of adults use voice search at least once a day. This increase is likely due to wearable tech and home AI assistants, as these tools do not have a text search feature at all.
The more these AI assistants and wearable tech penetrate the market, the more familiar users will become with voice searches.
Getting on top of voice search optimization is how you can rank well on voice searches in Google.
How it Impacts Your Website
Voice search is still relatively new, but getting on top of it can mean you boost your rankings. Most voice searches don’t result in the right format at the moment, so by following this guide you can provide more value to users seeking out your company and enjoy being at the top of a search.
How it Affects Your SEO Strategy
Voice search is natural, meaning your SEO strategy needs to focus on natural language and using tools and features that will provide Google and other search engines with the ability to provide contextual answers. This applies both to text and voice search. If a user asks when sliced bread was invented, they don’t want their assistant to show them search results. They want the answer.
Use Natural Language
Natural Language Processing is used to extract keywords from voice searches, so users don’t have to think about what key phrases they want to search to get the answer they are looking for. Instead, machines do the work for them. By similarly using natural language, you can improve your ranking.
Stick With The Basics, Don’t Get Technical
A study of over 10,000 Google Home searches revealed something very telling: the average result was easy enough for a 9th grader to understand. Technical content simply does not rank, especially in regards to voice searches, so stick with the basics when creating content.
Use Long-Tail SEO
As stated before, people do not ask for search results the same way they would type. Thankfully, search engines have taken a huge chunk of the challenge away from you. Instead, all you need to do is focus on creating content and ranking on natural keywords. This way Google can pick up on your keywords and match them with the keywords that it has picked up from the voice search.
When investing in backlinks, it is important to diversify your efforts. You want to rank on both short tail and long tail keywords. When investing in long tail keywords, however, it is important that the sentence stays natural. This means you need to invest in quality services from premium agencies. For instance, the writers and team from a link building agency will have a greater understanding of jargon and natural search terms and will improve your backlink profile for the future.
Use Google’s Featured Snippets
Another feature you should invest in is Google’s Featured Snippets. This will allow you to create a featured snippet designed to answer questions often posed through voice search. Optimize your snippet with long-tail keywords like you did for your backlink profile so that your page can get to the top.
Structured Data Markup
Use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper Tool to help search engines understand what content is on your site faster and more efficiently. This is ideal for websites that have information about things such as events, menus, prices, and opening hours.
Voice search is going to become popular because the Internet of Things, wearable tech, and voice-assistants are growing. People will naturally become more accustomed to searching for things with a voice command. Optimize your business now to get to the top and ahead of your competition, all the while offering your customers greater service.