This year, Voice-based search forms a new set of challenges for digital marketers but it also gives rise to plenty of new opportunities in the SEO landscape. We realize that search engines are getting smarter and voice search options are much faster than text based search as it amuses us with a smooth hands-free experience.
Who would have thought that we can practically have a full-fledged conversation with digital voice-activated personal assistants build right into our smartphone! The explosion of voice search is moving at lightning speed with artificial intelligent and virtual assistants getting a makeover with already famous voice search assistants like Google Now, Siri, and Cortana. Earlier this year at Google I/O keynote, CEO Sundar Pichai announced that 20 percent of search queries on mobile apps and android devices are conducted through voice searches. But what’s in store for SEO in this aspect! Let’s find out.
The reality check of voice search and it’s dominant influence in SEO:
Understanding the user intent is the most difficult part for search engines whether its a text or voice-based search query. People don’t use voice search the same way they do regular search. Questions starting with ‘W’ or ‘H’ are usually common terms while using voice search, especially on smartphones when users are more likely to ask questions when they’re on-the-go.
Think of all the time you said to Google Assistant “OK, Google” while searching on the web since it felt more convenient and a big time saver. Think yourself a user and find out what search results it may come up with. The obvious outcome is the conversational tone in the answer that will surely prompt you to revitalize the keyword research using longer search terms. Even ‘Domino’s Pizza’ has a ‘voice-ordering’ feature.
When creating content for voice search, it is better to focus on natural phrases that include Long-tail keywords rather than single keywords that will eventually help your website rank higher and funnel users to your site. So, it’s time to brainstorm the keyword research to be more precise.
The blessing of having a Mobile-friendly website
With the increased number of smartphone users and the device being used as the primary source to perform voice search, it shouldn’t be a surprise that more than half of the queries will be voice search by 2020. To make a first impression last in the world of web it is clearly evident to have a mobile-friendly website. But having a mobile-friendly website is a lot more than just having a responsive web design and creative content. SEO marketers must be aware of Mobilegeddon, Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update in the year 2015. To rejuvenate the mobile user experience make a checklist today of testing the website with tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and Page Speed Insights to make sure that your website is mobile-ready. It doesn’t just stop there. The icing on the cake is Google’s fresh update for flawless mobile optimization: AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), enhancing the mobile user experience. AMP results in rich mobile optimized contents and faster page loading time which works wonder for higher SERP ranking factor.
Importance of Local Search
Local mobile searches account for a vast majority of all voice searches. Why is that? Because people use this feature in their smartphones frequently to find out nearby movie theaters, coffee shops, gas stations and anything else you can think of. Even the personal assistants like Siri and Cortana are giving out directions. So incorporating location-based content like adding local language into the content and meta-data in your site along with exact NAP (Name-address-phone number) will be an added advantage in context to local search results. This will boost the text search results, and make the website highly visible on voice search results as well.
Natural Language Processing
The number of users adopting voice search is only increasing with 55% of teens and 41% of adults using voice search on a daily basis, report shows. One more feather in the cap was added in Google’s search algorithm when they launched Hummingbird in the summer of 2013 and it fired up the world of search: Semantic context.
Voice search is making SEO easier for content writers in many ways. This machine-based learning stimulates search engines to learn the user intent and thus executing accurate results. The effortless goal to understand the searcher’s query and connecting it to the most relevant context while delivering the solutions in a natural way is now easier, thanks to Semantic. Search marketer must leverage this opportunity to a great extent, simplifying the voice search process by accumulating natural long-tail phrases in the body of the content. This will enhance the search query experience as it will facilitate search engines to come up with quicker response to popular questions.
Optimize your website’s Microdata and provide rich context with Schema Markup
The increasing number of users adopting voice search acts as a major influence in the advanced SEO efforts. Google’s mobile-first-index put new emphasis on the importance of mobile search. When performing a voice search, users will often pay attention to particular details such as the exact location of a business, contact number, pricing of products, reviews and so on. So as a savvy SEO professional, do yourself a favor by adding rich snippets and structured data to help the search engines understand and crawl your data more efficiently and become part of the available knowledge graphs. Get acquainted with schema markup, if you’re not already, to get the best possible search results for your target audience.
As technology continues to evolve, voice search will become more prevalent. There is no denying the fact that voice search is actively shaping the future of SEO in this mobile age. If you want to stay top on the SEO curve and make the most of voice search optimization, it’s time to brush up the SEO tactics today.