People are no longer shy of being seen speaking to their phones in public. No, they haven’t started to consider their mobile to be a human. They are just using the convenience of voice search. A high percentage of internet searches today is done using voice search. Read below about the importance of voice search optimization:
What Is Voice Search?
You have used search engines for long. You need to type in the search string you are looking for. For example, if you need a restaurant recommendation, you type ‘Chinese cuisine near 12th Main’.
In a second, you get your results. Voice-enabled search allows you to speak that instead of typing it. Voice search uses voice recognition technology to understand what you are speaking. A voice search would usually be longer than the 3-4 words generally used in a typed search. The reason is that voice search is more conversational in nature.
In the restaurant example given above, the voice search would be very different. For example, it might be ‘Can you help me find a good restaurant near 12th Main where I can order Chinese takeaway?’
What Is Voice Search Optimization?
SEO tries to use keywords and several other tools. The purpose is to ensure that a webpage gets a good SERP rank. Voice Search Optimization attempts to do the same. But it has to take into account the way the search is spoken. Only paying attention to keywords might not help. More about our subject you can find here.
Till a few years back, only a tenth of searches came through voice. Now we have a third of all searches being done using voice. By 2020, experts believe more than half of all searches will be done through voice. It can be clearly observed that voice search optimization is so important for any website today.
Why Is Voice Search Optimization Important?
Till now, we have understood that voice search optimization is important. Now let’s check out the below-mentioned four reasons why voice search optimization is imperative:
1. Strengthen Traffic
A match on voice search will help your website in the same way as a conventional typed search. It will direct more traffic your way. Without optimization your website wouldn’t feature at the top search engine result pages (SERPs).
2. Doorstep Delivery
Voice search is often done by customers on the go. If your website is optimized and shows your physical address, that is great news for you.
Instead of going to your website, the customer might land up at your shop or office directly. That will save you a couple of steps. You can begin doing business directly.
3. Help Decide
The visitors using voice search would be looking for quick answers. If your website has good reviews, then his decision making can be quicker. This is possible only when you optimize your website for voice search.
4. Provide Authority
An optimized website would feature on SERPs more often. As its rank improves, it would be quoted more and more as an authority. That would help it to get authority status.
How to Optimize For Voice Search?
By taking care of or following the below-mentioned factors, you can do voice search optimization:
a) Responsive Website
The popularity of voice search has followed another development. People are doing most of all the searches using mobile devices. People no longer wait to power on their computers. They just flip open their mobile handsets and start their search. So your website will need to be responsive.
That means it should be easily seen and accessed on a mobile device. Navigating the website should also be easy on a mobile device.
Most search engines now have your real-time geographical location. That is why the voice search is likely to end with the phrase ‘nearby’.
For example, ‘Is there any AC repair nearby?’ That is why any small business should ensure it has the correct category in its listing.
c) Apply Schema
The voice search would be in an informal tone. That’s why your website needs to provide as much information as possible. Only then it will be able to match the voice search and feature in the results.
That is why you should use structured data markup in your website. This will provide useful context to the search engines. That way all nuances of the question will get covered.
d) Long Tail Key Phrases
This is the biggest change from conventional SEO. The key phrase has replaced the keyword. So you need to understand these common phrases. A good source would be phone enquiries.
The way people speak when they call you would help you here. You need to incorporate those phrases into your keyword strategy.
e) Crawl Friendly
Bots crawl across websites to find matches to search terms. The website needs to be informative for these bots. Doing that will help get more matches to spoken phrases and sentences.
Unless the bot gets the complete and accurate sitemap it might miss your website.
f) FAQ Page
A ‘frequently asked questions (FAQs)’ section is very helpful to the visitors. It also helps in optimizing your website for voice search. This is because the questions in that section are very similar to the tone of the voice search.
That is why chances of a match are much higher.
g) Everyday Language
All the tips mentioned above are related to this change in some way or the other. As we already said, people speak differently than they type. This will impact optimization for voice search.
The content of websites would need to be suitably modified. A casual and conversational tone would help in optimization.
h) Useful Details
Websites will need to answer questions efficiently. For example, let us imagine that someone is looking for dinner very late. His question would be almost certainly in a certain tone.
He would ask ‘which restaurant is still open?’ To effectively answer him, your restaurant’s website would need to contain your closing times.
i) Provide Lists
The best answers to voice searches contain listicles. The website would need to have such lists, because that would help it show up in search engine suggestions.
Voice search optimization will soon become the start of any optimization exercise. Any website needs to be well prepared for voice searches, so you need to study the most common voice search questions. Then you should modify the content of your website as per those trends.
If you want to improve your website more, we recommend you this article about on-page SEO.