Do you know that people’s way of searching is transforming? With The popularity of Alexa and Siri, voice search is acquiring more attention than ever before. It is alarming for those who aren’t optimizing their websites and businesses according to this trend.
Don’t Worry! We are here to guide you on the ways you can transform your business as per the need of voice search. Let’s get started!
Imagine searching the internet by simply speaking. With the power of artificial intelligence, your device can understand your voice and then enter your query into a search engine.
Although voice recognition has roots dating back to the early 1950s, it was in 2011 that IBM’s Watson, famous for its victory over contestants on Jeopardy!, emerged and gave real-world importance to this technology.
Today, everyone is using voice search. A survey uncovered that nearly 40 percent of internet users in the U.S. employ voice search, underscoring how prevalent devices with voice search capabilities have become.
Take a quick look around your surroundings – in your pocket, on your desk, or even resting in your hand – and chances are high that you’ll come across a voice search device. The widespread popularity of voice search can be attributed to its integration into virtually every device we utilize, ensuring effortless accessibility.
Let’s take a look at some of the voice search devices that people love, along with the search engines they rely on:
- Google Home: Uses Google
- Amazon Echo/Alexa: Utilizes Bing
- Google Assistant: Also powered by Google
- iPhone/Siri: Tied to Safari
- Android phones and devices: Leverage Google
- Microsoft Cortana: Relies on Bing
The exciting part is that whether you’re using your smartphone, TV, portable speaker, or any other gadget, they’re all equipped with the fantastic capability to search the internet just by using your voice.
When you input a query into Google, what’s your desired outcome? First and foremost, it must grasp the intent behind your query, which helps it discern the type of results you’re aiming for. Subsequently, it displays the most relevant results that align with your search.
How we formulate queries on Google distinctly differs from how we converse with our voice assistants. For instance, if you’re in search of a local restaurant to dine at, your searches might take the following forms:
- Typed: “Restaurants near me”
- Voice: “Can you give me a list of some good restaurants in my local area?”
When we type, our searches often revolve around keywords. However, when engaging with voice search, our queries adopt a more natural conversational tone. This transition necessitated search engines to sharpen their understanding of semantics: the ability to comprehend the contextual meaning of words.
Language usage is intricate, and machines face challenges in comprehending the nuanced meanings of words (consider the numerous words with multiple interpretations). Nonetheless, voice search has spurred search engines to enhance their proficiency in this aspect. Google has taken the lead in this evolution, implementing pivotal updates such as Hummingbird.
This update, alongside previous ones, reshaped the landscape of SEO by shifting the emphasis away from keywords (back in the early days, folks would just cram keywords into their articles) and redirecting it toward prioritizing user experience.
Voice search played a significant role in instigating this transformation, and its influence persists even today. The ongoing emphasis remains on crafting a satisfying user experience, surpassing the mere fixation on keywords.
Voice search has firmly established its presence for the long haul. You can’t miss the abundance of voice search-enabled devices, and the proportion of voice searches about overall searches keeps on expanding (there was a 12 percent increase in usage between September 2020 and early 2021).
The reassuring aspect is that you needn’t overhaul your existing SEO strategy to tailor it for voice search. Voice search aligns with the overarching trend of aligning with user intent and delivering top-notch user experiences. Consequently, the strategies you employ to optimize for voice search will inherently bolster your SEO efforts across the board.
A significant number of voice searches pertain to local information; they exhibit a likelihood three times greater for being local searches compared to text-based queries.
Consider it for a moment – the logic is evident. When you’re on the move and need a rapid response, it’s convenient to pull out your mobile device and pose a question. Consequently, directing your attention toward the local aspect of your SEO assumes paramount importance.
For numerous businesses, local SEO serves as an integral facet of their digital marketing strategy. Local searches constitute approximately 46 percent of the overall search volume, and these searches come from exceptionally engaged consumers. Residents are the individuals who are inclined to step into your store and make an immediate purchase. This underscores the necessity of appearing in the local search results, especially if you operate a brick-and-mortar establishment.
Local SEO operates on the same foundational principles as traditional SEO, with a crucial aspect (often overlooked by many websites) being the consistent communication of your local business identity. Ensure you craft content that directly relates to your local community and seamlessly weave local keywords into your written material.
The era of loading your content with keywords solely to cater to search engine crawlers has long passed. Achieving SEO success now hinges on authenticity, natural language usage, and the delivery of valuable content.
In essence, you need to embrace your human side (we all possess one, so this should come naturally).
Voice search epitomizes this notion, as individuals tend to communicate more naturally when using spoken language to search compared to typing queries into search engines. Your content should mirror the way people naturally converse with their voice assistants. However, this goes beyond voice search considerations.
Current rankings pivot on user experience. Pages that provide the best answers to users’ queries while delivering a superior experience ascend to the top of the rankings.
To achieve this, you must promptly furnish people with the information they seek (being concise) in an engaging manner (using a natural, conversational tone). In doing so, you align not only with the language people utilize in their voice searches (capturing user intent), but also foster engagement through your authentic brand voice.
Try this experiment: Ask your voice-controlled device the question, “Who was the first President of the United States of America?”
What do you notice? Chances are, your device will promptly respond with information about George Washington.
However, this information is extracted from a lengthy page dedicated to George Washington. So, how does your device determine which segment of text to read aloud? The answer probably lies within structured data.
Search engines assess various factors beyond just content to ascertain a page’s relevance and placement in their search results. Proficient SEO practitioners capitalize on these supplementary factors to further refine their content for optimal search engine performance.
One such factor is schema markup, also recognized as structured data. Although it doesn’t directly influence rankings, it can provide you with an edge over your competitors, particularly concerning voice search.
Essentially, schema markup functions as metadata: information about the content on your website. It’s embedded in your site’s source code, hidden from visitors’ view. Microdata, however, assists search engines in organizing and categorizing your content. This strategy remains underutilized primarily because it demands dedicated effort.
Now, we bet you’re thinking, “How does microdata fit into the picture when it comes to voice search?”
When individuals search for local businesses, they frequently seek details like opening hours, contact details, location, directions from main roads, and similar information.
Microdata can be employed to guarantee that search engines accurately categorize this type of information. Let’s take a moment to search for the population of Dubai. Google promptly fetched the figure, thanks to a markup.
Want another compelling incentive to put effort into your structured data? A research study revealed that more than 40 percent of voice search outcomes originated from the featured snippet. Just as in the case of voice search, featured snippets require accuracy in delivering the precise information you’re seeking. Therefore, it’s plausible that structured data plays a role in determining what information should be showcased.
Your Google My Business Listing plays a pivotal role in both local SEO and voice search. Given that voice searches are frequently utilized to acquire vital information about your business – think contact numbers, addresses, and opening hours – Google must possess precise data regarding these particulars.
While your website and structured data significantly contribute to ensuring Google has the correct insights about your business, Google strives for an exceptional level of accuracy. To achieve this, it closely examines your Google My Business listing.
This listing furnishes Google with comprehensive details necessary to comprehend your business’s nature, target audience, operating hours, location, and much more. This precise information aligns with the inquiries posed during voice searches, rendering it a swift and dependable means of obtaining accurate answers to users’ queries.
How do most voice searches happen?
To ensure your appearance in results via mobile devices, it’s crucial to deliver an optimal mobile experience. This forms a pivotal component of Google’s algorithms, but surprisingly, there still exist websites that haven’t been tailored for mobile optimization.
If your website falls into this category, visitors might click on your site only to leave immediately due to the page malfunctioning on their device. This rapid departure signals to Google that your page isn’t up to par for ranking, adversely impacting your position in both voice search and traditional queries.
As we mentioned earlier, modern SEO revolves around user experience. Given that the majority of traffic, including virtually all voice-based traffic, originates from mobile devices, this becomes an aspect you can’t afford to disregard.
There are a myriad of small steps you can take to enhance your website’s mobile-friendliness. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure your website provides an impeccable experience for individuals utilizing voice search.
When people engage in voice searches, they tend to opt for a question format. The remarkable advantage here is that Google offers a valuable window into the questions that frequently arise.
Try inputting a question that pertains to your website, and observe the results. You’re likely to come across a section labeled “People also ask.” This FAQ segment often appears for various queries, providing insight into the inquiries your target audience frequently poses.
With a clear understanding of the questions people are using to seek information, you can embark on crafting exceptional content that directly addresses these queries. As we’ve emphasized throughout this piece, user experience takes center stage, and to provide a rewarding experience, the foundation lies in valuable content.
By addressing people’s questions, assisting them in resolving their challenges, and infusing an element of enjoyment, you can distinguish your content. If you excel in this regard compared to other websites, your odds of securing a high rank substantially improve.
To enhance your organic traffic, it’s essential to strive for strong rankings in voice searches. Beyond the sheer volume of daily voice searches, the strategies you employ to optimize for these inquiries constitute a core aspect of contemporary SEO.
Voice search has fundamentally transformed how individuals seek information, prompting search engines to adapt through algorithm updates. Your response matters too. By aligning with searcher intent and delivering an optimal user experience, you can effectively ensure a surge in organic traffic stemming from voice searches.