Voice Search SEO: A Complete Guide

Digital Marketing

Hey Siri – or should we say, marketers? There are over 4.2 billion active voice assistants worldwide, with 7 in 10 consumers choosing voice search over traditional type searches – and it’s having a major impact on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). While voice search practically screams convenience for users, it is cause for marketers to step back and reassess their SEO strategies.

We unpack its impact and discuss how brands can leverage it to boost their search rankings.

What is Voice Search SEO?

Voice search SEO, also known as VSEO, allows users to search the internet by spoken voice commands instead of typing. This search method is a quick way of finding answers and is popular for people who search on the go. It is enabled by voice recognition technology as well as several Internet of Things (IoT) technologies such as smart speakers, connected cars, and smartwatches. As it stands today, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Alexa are the top voice assistants.

Source: SerpWatch


Why Voice Search is Relevant

The development of modern technologies is influencing the way people browse, shop, and spend time online. In turn it is driving the demand for better customer experiences. Google’s latest algorithm update reflects this. It gives preference to sites that prioritize User Experience (UX), making voice search optimization a vital step for a chance to rank in the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Aside from the obvious benefit of enhancing UX, voice search SEO also offers brands the opportunity to reach a wider audience and increase brand recognition.

3 Ways to Approach Voice Search Optimization

  1. Think Mobile

Over 20% of all mobile searches are voice-based, highlighting the importance of mobile optimization. What is more, most voice searches are conducted through hands-free devices, while people drive or do other tasks.

Brands can make their sites more mobile-friendly by:
– Utilising mobile responsive website or blog themes
– Improving site speed
– Compressing images

While we can’t overstress the importance of having a mobile compatible website, we also want to warn against abandoning desktop optimization as 75% of sites that rank well for this will appear in the top voice search queries.

Read More: A Beginner’s Guide To Mobile Marketing

  1. Think Conversational

The biggest difference between VSEO and traditional text search is the way search queries are phrased. VSEO search queries tend to be longer than typed ones and are often formatted as a question. In fact, a significant percentage of voice-based queries start with one of the 5W’s – Who, What, Where, When, Why? Therefore, using longer, question-based keywords is the first step to changing your SEO approach. Natural language is another key differentiator when it comes to keywords. Voice searches are often spontaneous, meaning your keywords should be tailored to this.

According to Serp Watch the average voice search result is just 29 words long, highlighting the importance of keeping your content simple, clear, and to the point. For this reason, creating an FAQ page is a great strategy to use. It will allow you to utilise question-based search phrases and supply concise answers.

Optimizing your website for rich snippets is another way to enhance your VSEO strategy, as Google is reliant on these to solve voice queries.

  1. Think Local

Searches for “near me” have dramatically increased in the past few years, which makes adding this term to your content an efficient and simple way to improve your chances of ranking. Another way to appeal to these local searches is by using location-relevant keywords. This could be the name of your town or city or a top search query in this area.

In addition to this, creating a Google My Business listing is a further way to address local searches. By including the relevant information, tags, and keywords, brands can increase their chances of being indexed and therefore appearing in search results.

In Conclusion

As we enter a world where voice search is gaining traction and is even predicted to become more popular than traditional type searches, brands can adopt these three key approaches to enhance their VSEO and set themselves up for future success.

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