Voice search has been one of the most convenient inventions in the recent technological history. It has taken away extra steps for executing basic internet tasks, like making a shopping list, looking something up and even playing music. Utilizing voice search can significantly increase your chances at going up the SEO ladder. Optimizing your website for voice search makes it easier for Google to show your results to someone asking for a certain keyword verbally.
Humanity is still in its initial stages of trying out the voice search feature, but we have made a lot of progress since then. The market for voice search has become massive. Thanks to how much people leverage it along with the usage of natural Language processing. Google says voice recognition has become 95 percent more accurate since 2013.
Why should you put in the effort?
Voice search can be a difficult thing to incorporate into your website, unless you have the proper team or resources. It might be expensive, but it will be worth your while because of what a Google research had found out. It discovered the top reasons why people choose to use voice activated speakers:
- It allowed them to multitask
- It made carrying out basic tasks on a device much faster,
- The voice activated speakers allowed them to get information as quick as they wanted
- Allowed for a more efficient daily routine.
Adoption of voice search is still in its infancy stage, but it has already become a very important part in the growing of small businesses. Since it is still in its early development, marketers are optimizing it for it now so that they can reap the maximum benefits when it inevitably becomes a huge trend in the future. Small businesses and large corporations are already taking queries into consideration for voice search. But some businesses do it as an afterthought, where they alter the content to suit voice search, however the best move to make is to make content with the marketing in mind.
Here are some ways you can boost your company’s profits using voice search optimization.
#1. Keyword research keeping semantics in mind
There are significant semantic differences in how people type and talk. In fact, if you look at how different the keywords are for mobile users in comparison to desktop users (i.e. omitting prepositions, typing in the words that relate to each other vaguely) then you will understand how the different ways people communicate over devices.
So, if you consider a person wanting to buy a bass guitar amplifier but with a headphone output, that’s pretty specific right? On laptop they might type “bass guitar amp with headphones,” over mobile they might write “bass amp headphone,” but to a voice assistant they might say, “Show me bass guitar amps/amplifiers with a headphone output.”
What you need to do is brainstorm the kind of questions that people would ask and how it would relate to your target keywords. There are SEO tools that can help you achieve this after brainstorming.
#2. Content development and site structure
While creating a game plan for your voice search optimized content, you need to map out the kind of questions that a person will use to get from point A to point B, so that your result can pop up at every or any stage of the customer’s query journey. This is best illustrated with an example.
Continuing with the example from earlier, let’s say a person is searching for a bass amplifier with a headphone output. Their journey might start from:
“What’s the best bass guitar amp?”
They might move onto:
“Can I put my headphones into the bass guitar?”
And then the following queries might occur:
“What is the best bass guitar amp with a headphone output?”
“Is Fender better than Vox?”
“How much does a Vox bass amp cost?”
“Does a Vox amp produce distortion?”
“What other equipment can I use with the amp?”
Here, we have traced the customer’s journey like so: Awareness > interest > evaluation > purchase > customer support > loyalty.
Considering the three types of content types that work for voice search SEO, that is informational intent i.e. guides and how-tos, navigational intent and transactional intent, you can create content that incorporates the query map into one of the content types above, so at any step the customer can find a different subsection of your website.
#3. Structured data optimization
Voice search is hard not only because of incorporation, but also because voice assistants tend to offer only one answer, which is usually the best optimized result. The trick is to make your content as relevant as possible to Google for a specific query, since Google often looks at quality (of content) over quantity (of keywords). One of the important steps is to make sure your pages are easy to crawl, and one way to help Google bots process your content faster is to use a well-structured data markup.
A structured data markup is what creates metadata for your content to tell Google what your content contains, but leaves the appearance of the website intact to the users. You can help bots understand certain kind of information like products, people, places, events, organizations, reviews, recipes and so on. Structured data is great for SEO in general since it helps Google feature your content.
#4. Custom Alexa Skills or Google Actions
This is a pretty interesting and creative strategy that helps people engage and interact with your voice search optimized content in a more enjoyable way. You can make custom Actions for Google or skills for Alexa, which helps people interact with your content in a very individualized manner.
You are essentially offering internet services that are unique to your website. Create actions that are directly related to your content instead of simply putting it there for the sake of it: have fun creating these actions the way your users will have fun engaging with them.
#5. Mobile friendliness is a must
People who have been keeping themselves in the loop about SEO are scrambling to make their websites more mobile friendly. Google has already started shifting their algorithms in favor of mobile friendly websites. Here’s why:
Since 2013, the number of mobile users that interacted with Google and other search engines vastly outnumbered desktop users who accessed those sites. Since then, it has been important to make your website more accessible for the average mobile user.
A lot of voice searches come from mobile devices, since it is the easiest to access without a specialized voice assistant speaker. So what is most likely happening is that mobile users are asking the questions instead of typing them and seeing the results open up on their screen. This is where the other aspects of mobile friendliness come in, like site speed, structured data, less plugins, localized search and so on.
This is because if your website does not load immediately, or within 3 seconds, 64% of the people tend to close the website, a number which climbs to 95% when it does not open within 3-6 seconds.
Now you understand how voice search SEO can help you and your business reach the first page of the Google search engine.
About the Author!
With over 13 years of experience as a leader in digital marketing, Mansi Rana is Managing Director of EZ Rankings – SEO Company in India. Passionate about all things data; providing actionable business intelligence in digital, future tech; and venture bubbles categories for everyone, everywhere.