Did you think that just including the usual keywords is enough for SEO?
Well, think again. With the introduction of Google Voice Search, the whole world of SEO is in for a whirlwind change to accommodate the differences in search that comes with the voice search feature.
What Is Google Voice Search?
Google Voice Search is a simple-to-use function that allows users to search on Google by just talking to it.
That small ‘mike’ symbol that’s present next to the search bar is the icon used for Google Voice Search. So, instead of typing in the search bar, users can speak to Google and search their queries.
Why Is Google Voice Search Important?
The number of people using smartphones is steadily on the rise. This is supported by a statement from Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, in 2016, who said that 20% of queries on their mobile app are from voice searches. In a PWC report conducted in 2018, it was found that 90% of the surveyed people were aware of voice searches, of which 72% are already using it. Among them, more than half of the people (57%) use voice searches on their smartphones while people who use voice searches in tablets, laptops and desktops comes at a second position with 29% each.
Just consider the recent influx of voice-enabled devices like Alexa and several other smart refrigerators, smart ovens, etc. in the market. All of these voice-enabled devices are making people grow accustomed to voice searches, which many users find easier than simply typing their query.
So when the main crux of your online presence – your website – isn’t optimized for the voice searches, you are potentially losing out on those who use voice search to find the products or services that your business provides.
How to Include Voice Search Optimization with SEO?
There are many ways to optimize your website for voice search. Below are some of the most common and easy ways to take advantage of the voice search features and increase your SEO score.
Use Structured Data for Featured Snippets (also known as Position Zero)
Remember those short paragraphs that appear at the top of Google’s search engine results? Well, if you can find your place there, then it will do wonders for your conversions!
If you pay attention, you can frequently notice the presence of featured snippets for simple and direct question-type searches. As we saw earlier, most people who use voice search tend to speak with a question similar to how they would speak to another person. So to get featured in these snippets, optimizing for Google voice search is the way to go!
The problem is, websites don’t accidentally find themselves in the featured snippet position. It requires specific customization of the content that makes Google consider it to be featured and this is where we realize the importance of structured data markup.
Structured markup data, in short, is a collection of information that quickly provides the answers a user is looking for. It considers how direct and straight forward the information is in accordance with the user’s search. Google tries to provide as much information as possible in that short space using the structured data markup. Google has a specific tool that helps users with this – Structured Data Markup Tool – which will give you an idea of how you need to optimize the content.
To get your website into this featured snippet section,
- Focus on the frequently asked questions by your customers and include crisp and short answers, such as bullet point or numbered answer.
- Include targeted, long tail keywords found in voice searches when optimizing your content.
- Work on the schema data or structured data,which is essentially the metadata, that is crawled by the search engines to identify the content of a webpage.
- Create different web pages for some of the common questions your customers have.
Once you start including these points when optimizing your content, then you can begin your journey to be featured at the top of the search results!
Think like Your Users Speak
In the usual Search Engine Optimization, we generally think about the search terms the user will TYPE their question into search engines. However, voice searches don’t work the same. When we say that the website content has to be optimized with the keywords for voice searches, it automatically means you will need to focus on long-tail keywords.
Think about it. As a user typing in the search box, we tend to type as little as possible. However, when we want to talk, we typically use more words than if we were typing the same thing. So, for voice search optimization in SEO, you need to include many long-tail keywords that feel like a conversation.
Let’s look at an example. When we type in the search engine, our search query may look something like “plumbing services near me.”
However, when we are using the voice search, we don’t use the same phrase. It looks something like, “Tell me the plumbing services that are available now” or “Which plumbing companies near me are open?”
If you look closely at the example, you can see that the question phrase feels more natural. The voice searches are much more similar to the questions that someone would ask a friend or family member. This forces us to consider optimizing the way we would talk.
Prioritize the Local Search Queries
It is found that 22% of voice search queries are for local content. So, if you run a local business or if your business is location-specific, you cannot ignore optimizing for voice searches as a part of your local SEO strategy. When you look for keywords for voice searches, make sure that it’s a good mix of local keywords too.
Also, don’t forget to update your Google My Business Listing to include these local keywords, especially those ‘near me’ ones, which is common jargon for local voice searches. Keep adding the recent details of your services on the Business page, add photographs if possible, check the accuracy of the map’s locations and the contact details present.
Keep the Page Loading Speed to a Minimum
This is usual for any SEO strategy. The page loading speed has a significant hold over the SEO score of your website. Especially in times of voice searches when the users enjoy the luxury of searching by speaking instead of typing, they expect a short wait time.
Generally, websites that load within 5 seconds have better conversions and revenue. In a survey by Google in 2016, it was found that websites with less than 5 seconds loading time have 70% longer sessions in comparison to websites that take 19 seconds to load.
You can do a lot to reduce the page loading time.
- Have a responsive web design that doesn’t take too long to load.
- Reduce the size of the images and avoid using elements of large loading space.
- Use a Content Delivery Network to allow access to the same information uniformly to multiple users simultaneously with the same efficiency.
- Continuously check the loading speed of your website and try to minimize it more than earlier.
Keep in mind that even a second less difference in the page loading time will make a lot of difference to your SEO score.
At YellowFin Digital, as a part of our SEO services, we also optimize your website for voice searches. We perform extensive analysis to understand how your target audience uses voice search and include it in our SEO strategy. Looking for an SEO specialist to help you with voice search optimization? Contact us now.