Voice search is a software that turns speech into text and performs a search of a query in a search engine database to give you an answer. Nowadays, it is used regularly and as such, it is necessary to implement voice search SEO into your website.
It came to be more commonly used in 2008 when Google created a program for Apple. At the time there were other engines like Yahoo’s oneSearch and Microsoft’s Tellme, but couldn’t compare to Google’s program. It had an AI system that would listen to the user and improve itself.
The same technology is used to this day on almost all modern voice assistants. Just last year, Google released an update for Google assistant which can now set up appointments for you and even answer your calls and speak in your name with the caller.
Nowadays, voice search is used regularly and as such, it is necessary to implement voice search SEO into your website.
Voice search assistants are everywhere!
You have probably noticed that every major tech company has a dedicated voice search assistant. Google has Google assistant, when Microsoft released Windows 10 they also released Cortana, Samsung did the same when they released the S8 with Bixby, Apple has Siri, and let’s not forget Amazon’s Alexa.
But why would they do that? It’s not easy to make a program that will understand humans.
Why go through that effort?
The answer is simple and is partially mentioned earlier. Firstly, the AI can improve the search results as it starts to better understand the person talking, but it can’t improve by itself. Secondly, every company wants to prevail on the voice search market or better said, gain the popularity that it will bring.
Is voice search popular?
Well here are some numbers for you. Around 60% of all Google searches are done on mobile, and every fifth user does that by voice. If you add searches done by smart speakers, you get a number of around 15%. It may seem like a small percentage, but that’s still around 600 million searches on Google alone.
Bing, on the other hand, has a much better-optimized voice search. Microsoft and Amazons voice search assistants use Bing and are used more, percentage-wise. The only record that I could find from Bing was in 2016 and it states that 25% of all searches are done by voice.
In conclusion, I would say that around a billion searches are done by voice, taking into account both search engines. It is believed that in the year 2020 the number of all voice searches will more than double and 50% of all internet searches will be done by voice.
What are the benefits of voice search?
Sure, voice search is pretty popular these days, but what are the reasons for this?
Aside from the aforementioned benefit of voice assistants having a better understanding of what people are searching, there are a few other important benefits of this new trend, so let’s look at them.
Has a song ever randomly popped up in your head while you were doing chores and you suddenly had the biggest urge to listen to it? Or you were driving and suddenly felt hungry and you wanted to know where you could get the best burgers in town? This right here are your maybe biggest benefits of voice search: multitasking and convenience.
Additionally, voice search saves you valuable time you would have spent on typing on your phone and correcting your mistakes. It instantly gives you an answer, without you having to look for one. Very efficient, isn’t it?
Tips for voice search optimization
Now that we know why voice search is so popular and becoming more important by the day, let’s look at the tips for voice search SEO optimization.
1. Keywords should be used differently
When we are using computers and typing out search results, our searches are often short and chopped up. But when it comes to voice search, we don’t have to use our hands and have all the freedom in the world.
Additionally, when we speak to our voice assistants, we tend to speak to them as if they are people and we ask them more grammatically correct and better-structured questions, as opposed to our typed searches. For example, if I’m doing a typed search, I’ll type into Google: ‘web design trends’. However, if I’m speaking to my voice assistant, I’ll say: ‘Hey Siri, what are the most popular web design trends in 2019?’.
This is why people that search by voice use more words, which is why longer keywords are an important part of voice search SEO.
Also keep in mind, when you place keywords into your text, put them into question form as people tend to ask the voice assistants for answers in most cases. Include words such as ‘who’, ‘why’ and ‘how’. Of course, you should follow up with an answer which should be short and get straight to the point. So, squeeze in as much information in the shortest form possible.
Here’s some questions the people looking for this post would ask their voice assistants:
- What is voice search SEO?
- Is voice search widely used?
- Why is voice search so popular?
- Is voice search use increasing?
- How can I optimize my website for voice search?
- Do keywords work the same for voice search optimization?
- What does mobile browsing have to do with voice search?
- Why is local SEO important and what does it have to do with voice search?
2. Optimize your website for mobile phones
As the majority of searches done via voice are done on a mobile phone, it’s only logical that you optimize your website for all mobile devices. Besides making sure that your website is responsive, everything should also be optimized: optimize your images, compress your files, use browser caching. There are websites designed specifically for this purpose: after scanning your website, they will tell you what needs to be optimized.
People who are using voice search are most often in a hurry or doing something else while using the voice search. This is why voice assistants choose websites that have the fastest loading speeds. Making sure that your website’s loading speed is fast is of significant importance. Because if your website is too slow, Google won’t consider it as one of the options. Instead, it will just display other websites that are faster than yours.
Also, optimizing your website is not only important for voice search SEO, but for SEO in general.
3. Structured data and Google My Business
For Google to trust your site, it is required that you have a schema markup of your site because the way search engines learn about the content of your websites is through their bots that crawl and index your website’s content.
The schema markup is a code that you can put into your website to help a search engine read your website better so it can display a better search for someone.
Marking everything on your site would make it possible for Google to display all the information about your business. So, when people ask for the location of your business of the phone number, Google knows the answer.
Also, keep in mind that you should add your business to the Google My Business listing. This service provides Google with the relevant information when it searches its query. Google My Business is free and easy to set up and a necessity for managing your business presence online. Using it, you can include photos of your business, a phone number, work hours, location, and the link to the official website for your business. Also, your customers can leave reviews.
4. Featured snippets
A featured snippet is what appears on top on the search engine result page. But why does this matter in terms of voice search SEO?
The featured snippet is the summary of the answer to your question that Google deems most relevant and fitting. So, after you ask Google a question, the featured snippet it provides you with is the one it thinks is the best answer.
If you want your website to be the one Google chooses, there are certain criteria that you will have to fulfill, all of which we have already mentioned: use of a long-tail keyword, optimized content and a responsive website.
Featured snippets are not only the answer to a question someone is looking for, but Google will also display them on top of its search page, which increases a website’s traffic, an advantage to both voice search SEO and SEO.
5. Local SEO
According to a report, 58% of people use voice search to find local businesses.
As already mentioned, most people are using their hands while doing voice searches, so while they’re driving or getting ready to go out, many people ask their voice assistants about places near them.
Do keep in mind that despite the fact that most people that are using voice search to discover local businesses are including the phrase ‘near me’ in their search, but it is not necessary to include it into your content, because the search is location-based. Search engines will use your Google My Business listing location information instead.
Optimize your website for voice search SEO today!
Not only has mobile browsing overtaken desktop browsing, but voice search is becoming more and more popular by the day. It is estimated that in 2020, the number of voice searches will double and will take up half of all internet searches.
The benefits of voice search are numerous: they enable people to multitask and perform other actions faster and more efficiently. Additionally, voice search saves time and is more convenient than typing.
There are a few things to keep in mind when optimizing your website for voice search. Keywords should be used differently because voice search is all about questions, and make sure you include a schema markup, which is an important code that enables search engines to read your websites better. Additionally, do keep in mind the importance of featured snippets and local SEO when it comes to voice search.
Optimize your website for voice search SEO today and get more traffic and clicks!