What is Voice Search?
Reaching the top search results position for dozens of keywords is the ultimate aim for many content marketers. Still, Google keeps throwing curveballs our way to make that crusade even more difficult. One recent update that is shaking up how we optimize websites for SEO is voice search optimization.
Voice Search permits users to use voice commands rather than typing to search for what they want. Users can search by opening their browser, clicking on the microphone icon, and speaking whatever phrase they usually type. These search phrases can be as simple as coffee shops or coffee shops in northwest Bellingham open on Monday at 7 AM.
With this feature being available on both desktop and mobile, the voice search alternative is quickly growing in popularity.
Why Should You Consider Voice Search Optimization?
Some industry experts consider the growth of voice search is the end of SEO as we know it. Nevertheless, other major SEO influencers believe that voice search is changing digital marketing for the better.
When it comes to ranking, it’s all about producing relevant, succinct content that answers a question. If a home assistant user searches for specific information, Google will pull the content that best accommodates this purpose.
But, when it comes to finding a local service provider, search results are more concentrated according to Google on these three factors:
- Relevance – How accurate is the local listing relative to the user’s search?
- Prominence – How regularly searched and well known is that location?
- Distance – How close is the listing to the user who searched for it? For example, suppose you’re typing a search into Google that says, plumbers San Antonio, TX. In that case, it will likely find companies with the best optimized local SEO profiles (i.e., verified, with accurate information, with a high number of positive reviews, provided current photos, etc.).
If you’re using a home assistant device in a neighborhood within Bexar County and say, “Hey, Google, I need a roofer,” Google will use your current location. Results will be drawn from Local Services by Google, HomeAdvisor, or Porch before picking organic results based on the three factors above. Soon, you’ll have a list of local roofers in your email inbox.
I think that local services will be the thing that is going to be most interesting because there are multiple layers to the query. So I can say, “Okay, Google,” or “Alexa, Where’s the best place to eat lunch right now?” It’s probably using Google’s example.
Just 4% of businesses ‘voice search ready,’ says analysis of nearly 75,000 companies. – searchengineland.com
Is Voice Search Optimization the Future of SEO?
Google has declared that voice searches are 30 times more inclined to be action queries than text searches. In reality, people want to find places and buy things through their digital assistants. While standard desktop searches may imply that people are merely looking for information, mobile device searches (such as find X near me) and voice searches (such as “Hey, Google, where can I buy X?”) suggest that people want to do something specific with the information they get. Depending on your business, this could give you a considerable advantage and increase your revenue over time.
Voice search has seen an enormous increase due to Google’s algorithm changes, mainly the Hummingbird update. Hummingbird was released in 2013 and dramatically changed the search landscape. Instead of relying on single keywords, this new algorithm placed more importance on natural language and semantic searches.
Another critical piece to note is that 40.7% of all voice search results came from a Featured Snippet (from Google search). These snippets are currently the most straightforward and relevant answers to a query. While this isn’t an excuse to abandon your content’s voice and flow, it can be an effective strategic action toward your voice search optimization.
Building out a successful voice search optimization (VSO) strategy is not going to be easy. Still, the better you know your users, the better you can address their search demands. Voice queries are all about intent. How well you can answer the questions of where, when, and how will go a long way toward determining your search position. Hence, asking and answering questions within your own content is an excellent chance to align with these voice searches.
By the same token, it is critical to be short and concise when answering these questions in your content. No one wants to listen to a long drawn out answer or one that is too complicated and complex.
Is it Possible to Optimize for Voice Search?
As the above research suggests, there are specific benchmarks that companies can use to track how well their VSO efforts are going. Still, like all SEO, it’s tricky to tie negligible improvements to precise outcomes. There’s a lot of overlap in traditional search engine optimization and voice search optimization. According to some SEO experts, the two often blend together. (thecreativemomentum.com)
Voice search is undoubtedly the future of how we will do most searches. There’s really not too much you can do to optimize for VSO that is different than traditional optimization. Since Google’s goal will always be to return the best result based on the person, location, and history, it’s difficult to predict the most appropriate answer for a search query.
So, is it a waste of time to fret about specific VSO improvements? In our view, not at all. Voice search is the future of SEO. With mobile adoption growing commensurately with voice queries, it’s not an area of optimization you can afford to put off. SEO moves slow, regardless of the industry or niche. Companies that want to position themselves ahead of the VSO curve need to start sooner rather than later.
To ensure your listing shows up in voice searches, you’ll need to optimize your Google My Business page. Be sure to update all of your online directories where your business appears and maintain that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent. Google will penalize you with lower rankings if there are inconsistencies.
Need Help with Your Voice Search Optimization?
We know that the idea of VSO is a new concept. Like ADA website compliance rules, most business owners don’t even know about Voice Search Optimization. If you would like to learn more, or need help with VSO for your website, we can help you. Please, make sure you leave a comment below and subscribe to our newsletter.