What is voice search?
The way people search information online is changing gradually. People are using voice search on their tablets, laptops, smartphones or voice assistants to look up information of the internet. For instance, Siri is the best when it comes to Apple devices, and Google voice search is popular for Android devices.
As per a report published by Hitwise, approximately 60% of the searches are done through a mobile device. As more and more people use mobile devices to find relevant information, they find it easier to use their voice instead of typing it out. While this is going in the right direction, SEO professionals need to start thinking about SEO and content differently.
Now, mobile devices and home devices featuring digital assistants like Cortana, Siri, Alexa, etc. have already invaded our lives. These devices make it easier for people to ask a direct question and get relevant information using their device. The same allows a better and natural way to interact properly with machines using our conversational voice. The best part about the new technology is the interconnectedness of the voice search technology. For instance, a Google Home tip can show up on your laptop giving you advice on how best you can use Google’s voice assistant at home.
In 2016 the total number of voice first devices that were sold worldwide was a whopping 6.5 million. It is predicted that this figure will reach close to 27 million in 2018. So, the big question now is, how will the SEO professionals create SEO and content strategy to incorporate this new way of search behaviour.
How to optimize a site for search result?
Users have learned to properly enter keyword phases in the search engines to find information using a PC. Unlike such phrases, voice search is more conversational as well as it has a natural tone, and the same is focused on more localised search. For instance, your smartphone now deciphers where you are physically located and will show you the most local results based on your search query.
Since voice search keywords are more conversational, they are also typically longer than the text keyword search query. Thus, the main purpose of the new technology is for your device to provide the best and closest result for the searchers. In order to do this, your smartphone tries to find identifiable, relevant and short pieces of content to best serve the searcher.
What do now people look for?
As per a report published in 2016 by the Internet Trends Report, people search for local information and content with regard to local businesses. Thus, based on this, SEO firms should focus on strategizing for local voice search.
Google My Business Listing
Don’t wait any longer for claiming your google My Business Listing yet. It is high time you did so. Optimizing GMB is the best way now for Google to find more relevant information about you, your business, etc. like the sector or category of business, your business address, business contact information, etc.
Since, most of the voice searches are very local in nature, then having Google My Business listing claimed can help your chances of showing up in the search results a lot better.
Keywords are not just simple keywords now as they are long-tail keywords in the search results. It means that conversational phrases are needed to be put it while optimising the site for conversational voice search.
Therefore, your keyword strategy should consequently be more conversational in nature and also reflect how real people talk and converse verbally. SEO professionals now should think about questions that searches think of regarding your client’s business and start documenting the exact words they use to talk to any customer care representative. Based on this structure, you can start preparing a strategy for your content pages that focus on long tail keywords which are conversational in nature.
FAQ or Frequently Asked Pages
One of the best ways to use the data as mentioned above it by creating an FAQ page that focuses on such long tail keywords and phrases. You can group common questions on a single page for providing more relevant information. You can also go for natural sounding phrases instead of focusing on old styled keyword analysis approach that you are used to. In case if you feel like you need to create different pages to incorporate better results using the voice search technology, then go for it.
In your pursuit of incorporating voice search technology, you will have to anticipate more direct questions as well. Searches such as ‘cheapest flights’ or ‘the best coffee’ will gradually start to disappear and more hyper-specific search results will become commonplace. For instance, ‘Siri, where can I get the best coffee in Cyber City, Gurgaon’. This will provide succinct results to the searcher.
Structured Data Markup
You should also use structured data markup to lend these voice search devices better and localised information about your site or business. Structured data markup from schema is important for your site since it helps define unique information about your site and makes it easier for search engines to precisely parse and understand in context your content.
To all the SEO professionals – voice search is only the newest way in the digital world and it’s not going away. It’s high time for SEO professionals to optimize their sites to embrace the new digital world.