Search engine optimization is one field that has seen a lot of transformation over the years. Voice searches are growing in popularity and if search marketers do not have a plan for it, you are losing out! Voice searches account for one out of every five Google mobile searches and this number is expected to grow over time as the number of digital assistants and smart home devices become more and more popular. Manual text searches are fading away and voice searches have the potential of changing the search game for a long period of time.
It’s time we prepare for the voice search revolution. All the major technology providers are investing in virtual assistants and by extension, voice search. Google’s got Google Assistant, Apple’s got Siri, Amazon’s got Alexa and Microsoft has Cortana.
These voice-enabled digital assistants play a major part in consumer’s everyday life! Voice commands are being increasingly used to send messages, listen to mails, car navigation systems and such other applications.
It’s important that you optimize for voice search as well. Here’s how:
Although voice search is not yet main stream, it already has enough traction for us to begin taking it seriously.
Here are the key steps for optimizing voice search:
Think conversational content
Voice search queries differ from text search queries in terms of how they are structured. Voice searches are more conversational in nature. You will need to study search intend and base your content based on the types of question based queries a user might ask.
Long tail keywords are important
As voice search queries are more conversational in nature, the question words such as who, what, how, why and where are strongly associated with them. Brands should take time to find long tail keywords that also use question phrases. Develop content that expand your keyword list and target longer keywords.
Mobile as well as local
With the overlap between the mobile and voice searches, making sure that all content is prepared for mobile devices is a crucial step for optimizing for the voice search. Mobile friendly layouts could be the beginning – optimizing for speed is also important. Further, if you are a local business, make sure that you complete all your listings on Google, Yelp, Bing, Apple Maps etc.
Structure content and utilize semantics
Content must be written in a conversational manner. Think about natural language processing. Build content that answers questions quickly and make sure that structured data markup is integrated into your website. Your goal is to answer the questions that are asked in voice searches using the content that you provide. All of them should be included in your mix of content on your website.