Searching by voice is the future of the web as it is predicted that by 2020 almost 30% of all the online searches will be done with voice without the need of a screen. The trend which was initially thought to be just a new phase which will soon pass-by has managed to stay on. The mileage it attained was due to the fact that it gave the users to ability to speak to a device rather than type to search. The beauty of voice search is that it makes web searches possible by users without the need for them to scroll different sites.
The trend which was caught and spread by the teenagers soon transgressed all age-groups and demographics. It has also led to an increase in number and kinds of digital assistants which makes optimization for voice searches as imperative for businesses. Voice technology made its way to the top as it added to the seamless user experience. The technology operates on the Natural Language Processing for identifying voice textures, behaviours, and even the interests.
Characteristics of Voice Search
- Conversational Tone: It has been largely seen that the queries via voice searches are generally longer and in conversational tones. People actually speak to their devices as there is no physical effort so they do not check their words. For a marketer, this information is highly important. You now need to think about how your audience will speak about your business, services, and products. It has been seen that the phrases with the natural languages are replete with insights about the person’s intent, basic mindset, background, etc. All these things are useful and can be taken back to the marketing funnel. Most who or what questions typically signify a research phase while questions with where suggest the user is very close in the purchase decision.
- Voice Searches are Directed Locally: As per the Internet Trends Report, it was found that nearly 22% of people who resort to voice searches are looking for local information. This, in fact, makes sense as people use their mobile devices while they are moving and make ‘near me’ searches most often. These have shown a huge growth of around 130% YoY. The biggest catch here is that 50% of all the mobile searches by people often result in a visit to the store and if things go fine, also a sale. So, optimizing for voice keywords in your SEO strategy can make a huge difference. Here are a few pointers:
i. Phrases often used by people for a description of your neighborhood.
ii. Use of ‘near me’ in your SEO like in meta description, internal links, title tags, etc.
iii. The naming of landmarks which are close to your location.
iv. This one is different, yet effective. You may consider the titles of the local businesses which are relevant to your business.
- Immediate Results: Voice searches have increased the importance of immediate results. It has been seen that most voice searches either by teens or adults are instructions to call someone, asking for directions, etc. The intent is clear. Even in the case of informational searches, the idea is to have quick results. You can work this to your advantage by ideally having a good number of positive reviews and constant updating of the office hours or address. This helps in getting the page in the featured snippet but nothing is sure. Looking at the above prominent characteristics, you definitely feel empowered to make the right twitches to your SEO strategy for bagging the coveted #0 spot on the search page. Here are some guidelines which will only make it better for you.
- Work on Load Speed: Google voice search has shown an obvious inclination for websites which load faster. So you have to ensure that your website is highly responsive, files are highly compressed, and has been optimized for images.
- Write just the way you Speak: Crazy as it may sound, but in order to optimize for voice search SEO, it is essential that you write in the same tones as people speak. This means that it is imperative that you increase the use of long-tail keywords as opposed to more scripted snappy ones. Also, keep it simple. No matter how high-end your information basically is but it has to be broken down for easy comprehension.
- Featured Content Blocks: Commonly referred to as the answer box, or position zero, etc. a featured content block refers to the summary answer of a web page. In order to figure in here, you have to work on content optimization and include a short summary of your primary content in only 29 words. Longtail keywords should definitely be included in this block.
- Go Mobile-Friendly: Most voice searches happen on mobile devices and there is no second thought to the fact that your website has to be mobile-friendly. Most WordPress themes have responsive designs. To ensure you may check it on the Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool wherein if you punch in the domain of your website and is all is well, you will see a message saying “Page is mobile-friendly”. Else Google will enlist the steps which need to be taken. Also, the design should be appealing to mobiles and it is important that you use a lot of white space. Keep simple in words and short sentences.
It is not absolutely possible to know the future of voice search but all we know for now that it has gained a lot of light and is all set to grow for the coming years. You need to sit on your desk again and work out a fresh SEO strategy which is optimized for voice.
You have to bring in closer to how people speak as searching by voice is merely talking to your device while you are busy doing other chores. There is no room for the delay as you have to harp on the bandwagon and crush your competition.