With the implementation of voice recognition on cell phones, smart speakers, and even computer platforms, there is a real need to consider how companies can leverage voice search to optimize visibility in search engines. There are over 33 million voice search capable devices currently used worldwide, with many more on the way. Consider the meteoric rise of smart speakers from the likes of Amazon and Google and how they search the web: voice.
There are certainly, different considerations when optimizing for voice search over standard
search engine optimization. Since the way that we speak to a device is vastly different from how we would type in a search online, we must familiarize ourselves with these differences to remain relevant. Essentially, the idea is that we are humanizing the concept of SEO, making it more focused on how we, as humans, communicate with each other and utilize this to interact with our technology.
Over the last several years, long-tail keywords are gaining traction as a way to rank
websites. Long-tail keywords are longer structured phrases based on questions and answers. They are typically simple, though effective phrases that directly satisfy or ask questions, "Google, what is a long-tail keyword?" To optimize long-tail keywords, the tone of the piece should be conversational. Focus on utilizing these statements in titles and headings. It is best practice to incorporate bullet and numbered lists to keep your paragraphs short and to the point. Another effective way to draft long-tail keywords into your page, is to include question and answer type content. This will maintain an organic appearance for non-voice search users.
Many responses on voice search are sourced from featured snippets. If you effectively focus on long-tail keywords in question and answer format, you will be more likely to rank for a featured snippet. These featured snippets are a very competitive space, though play a large roll in your placement of voice searches--thus, worth consideration. However, don't underestimate the power of an engaging blog post.
Optimization for Mobile Responsiveness
Statics show that over 60% of all web traffic is from mobile devices for search queries. Even though it can be one of the most impactful design changes made to a website, many companies still struggle with mobile optimization. We see many companies still presenting
static sites that are impossible to read on a mobile device. Since search engines know that many of these voice searches will originate from a phone or other mobile device, being mobile-friendly will significantly affect your voice search-ability rankings.
Location Specific SEO
22% of internet users utilize voice search when looking for local solutions. This is because many are doing quick research while they have a thought, on the go. Targeting location-based SEO keywords immensely impacts your voice visibility. Consider how people search
locally and target words like, "near me" and/or, "in my area." You may not need location-based keywords visible on your site, but they are certainly worth considering in your meta and alt tags.
The question is not, "Is voice search going to impact my business?" The question is, "Are you ready for it?" If you aren't ready, you may start to see a decline in SEO performance on your companies' website, as Google and other search algorithms start to rank based on voice search-ability--in addition to standard SEO. Keep this in mind as you develop content for your site.
If you have questions about getting your site ready for voice search, contact us: