An Advanced Guide To Voice Search And SEO

Voice Search And SEO

Do you know why everyone in the digital marketing industry is obsessed with Voice Search and SEO?

Have you ever wondered the number of searches taking place through voice assistants every day?

Has your SEO services informed you of changes to your website to make it voice search and SEO friendly?

In the past year, no new technology has altered the fundamentals of SEO services as voice search has. From Brian Dean to Neil Patel, almost everyone seems to be writing about voice search and SEO.

This brings us to the most fundamental question- Is Voice Search as big a deal, as it is being made out to be.

The answer to this is both a ‘Resounding Yes’ and a ‘Not so enthusiastic No’!

Yes, because our homes have millions of Home Assistants. Assistants power not only that, our cell phones as well. This means that-

  • Amazon (Echo and Alexa)
  • Microsoft (Cortana)
  • Apple (Siri)
  • Google (Home)

You can be rest assured that if these billion-dollar corporations are doing something, you need to take note. No matter what any naysayers say, Voice Search and SEO is a thing of the present and the future.

Brands and agencies have two alternatives in front of them- get on the bus or jump by the wayside.

If you want the best for your brand, it is important that you alter your SEO services accordingly. In other words, you need to make your brand website voice search-friendly.

Voice Search and SEO- Changes in Human Search Behaviour:

According to experts, there is a fundamental change in the way human beings are ‘searching’. This is not to say that technology had no role in bringing about a change in human search patterns.

If there had been no voice assistants, would our search patterns have evolved? I guess not. Rapid strides in technological advancements have made it possible for voice search to become a huge phenomenon.

I am not only talking about hardware devices. I am also referring to rapid strides in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We often forget that the advent of ‘Smart Devices’ has brought about a major change in the way humans interact with tech.

Human beings have taken to voice search for a number of reasons-

  • There is a certain amount of ‘humanness’ to the entire process of talking to a voice assistant. The connection to a voice assistant is much more than it is with a gadget.
  • The flow of information through voice search is seamless and easy. There is promptness to the way information is processed and given.
  • It reduces human effort and the need to make search queries in difficult situations (driving, rains, cooking and so on).
  • The device learns as quickly about human behavior and replicates results based on past learnings. For example, ordering a cab. It notes the location and your normal destination.

voice assistant

Apart from this, it has a strong psychological dimension to it. Human beings have this innate tendency of ordering around. Getting things done while sitting down comfortably is something that is built into our DNA.

Voice search plays into this psychological propensity of man effortlessly.

Why should you make your Website Voice Search and SEO friendly?

SEO

This is the part of the article where I use solid facts to drive home the point of importance. As I already mentioned, there are many naysayers, which state that the voice search does not have any real effect on SEO.

For them, SEO carries a narrow and one-dimensional meaning. Namely, it does not help in climbing the search rankings in any way. Neither does it help in link building. So why give it so much importance.

They fail to realize that the ends of SEO are also contributing to increasing revenues, making more sales and generating quality leads. Heck, we do SEO primarily with these ends in mind.

  • According to Google, 55% of teens and 41% of adults use Voice Search daily.
  • 20% of all Mobile search queries are made using Google Voice Assistant.
  • There are in excess of 25 billion digital voice assistants in 2019.
  • According to Campaign Live, 50% of all searches will be Voice Search.
  • Home Based Voice Assistants like Amazon’ Alexa and Google Home will account for 30% of all searches by 2020.

I can probably cite thirty more figures from the big players themselves. However, I guess most of you would have gotten the point of this exercise.

According to Amazon, the most bought item in the holiday season for 2017 and 2018 has been Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Dot.

The fact of the matter is that voice search is definitely something that brands and agencies should take seriously. No matter its impact on SEO, voice search is impacting technology in a big way.

How to Optimize your SEO for Voice Search?

Most aspects of optimizing for voice search and SEO is exactly like traditional SEO. This means you do not have to change a lot. However, a few things need attention.

1. Natural Language/Conversational Language as Content:

I have already stated that human beings speak and type very differently. This holds true in the way we make search queries. When a search query is being made through voice assistants, it is much more natural and conversational in nature.

This is something that brands and agencies should focus on. We often tend to involve language and content that is too formal and official when we type. Content writers are also too technical in their SEO writing. I do not blame them. SEO services experts want to rank for unnatural keywords all the time.

I have seen sentences like ‘Law Attorney Missouri’ as a website keyword. The sentence was not making any sense. However, the keyword was ranking No matter whether it was grammatically correct or not.

Read more: SEO Content: The Complete Guide for 2019

2. Increasing use of Long Tail Keywords and Questions:

Long Tail Keywords

This point follows from the first one. On voice search, the keywords tend to be longer and in the form of a question. This is just on account of human search behavior. When we are talking to voice assistants, we tend to form longer sentences, often beginning with a query.

For example, if you were making a search query through typing, you would write-

‘Boiling egg’.

However, when you are making the same search intention on voice, you say-

‘How to boil an egg at home’

This is more complete, more conversational and begins with a query.

It is very important for brands to use long-tail keywords on their website. It is equally important for brands to have an exhaustive FAQ section on their website. I would recommend a product-specific FAQ section on every product page.

4. Mobile SEO Optimization and Responsiveness:

Mobile Optimization

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the importance placed on mobile phones by search engines, I have a fact to share. In 2018, Google announced a ‘Mobile-First Indexing Policy’.

Meaning that every new website will first be indexed on their mobile versions. Post this Google will index its desktop version. We have already noted how cell phones account for 70% of all search queries.

This makes mobile responsiveness critical when it comes to voice search. A website should have the exact same design form, content, pages and other features as a desktop version. It should also have a lightning-fast loading speed.

According to experts, if a website does not have a loading speed of fewer than 3 seconds, the bounce rate increases by 60%!

4. Pay attention to Local SEO Services to improve Voice Search Optimization:

Local SEO

There is a particular manner in which voice search works. People are using voice search in public places. This was something that most people did not do some years back. Why? Well for starters, it was weird talking to your phone.

However, things are changing and more and more people are using voice search in public places. According to Google, the ‘Near Me’ search has grown by over 150% in the last two years.

This means that in terms of voice search, people are using this search query a lot. For brands, an active Google My Business page is necessary to rank in this specific search query. Local SEO can also stretch to consider platforms like Yelp and other Local Directories.

People do not pay Local SEO Services the kind of attention that they should. If you are looking to increase footfall and directly increase sales, there is nothing better than Google My Business.

5. Featured Snippets for Voice Search and SEO:

You need to remember that unlike a desktop’s search result page, Home Assistants do not have a screen. They just read out the first Google result. This is why featured snippets become very important for a brand website.

If you have been able to get your answer of product in the featured snippet, you will always be able to top search queries on Alexa and Google Assistants.

According to Brian Dean of Backlinko, nearly 41% of all searches on voice come directly from featured snippets. It is crucial that you rank for featured snippets on Google search. If you do not, you will never ever get exposure from home assistants. That is sad, to say the least.

In addition to the above five points, the basics of traditional SEO help in optimizing for voice search. Some of these elements are-

  • A fast loading website
  • Secure hosting provider
  • Higher Domain Authority
  • Long-Form Content (it gives scope for long-tail keywords)
  • Easy readability

The Final Word:

Sure, voice search and SEO are important. However, they become far more important, when it comes to Google’s ecosystem.

What do I mean by Google’s digital ecosystem?

It means that Google Search. Google My Business and YouTube. If you are optimizing videos on YouTube, you will need long-tail keywords to drive up your search queries.

This means that Google Assistant on your phone is far more likely to show a YouTube video with a long tail keyword right on top of the search results.

We need to understand that Google is slowly transforming itself from a ‘search engine’ into an ‘answer engine’! It is not only about helping users with information. It has become more about helping them find the right answers.

AI and ML are contributing in a big way towards this ‘answer engine’ mission.

With voice search, Google is going to bring down Organic Clicks. It starts displaying results on the search page itself. This is a relatively new trend. Bear in mind, this is only going to keep on increasing.

I hope this article has been helpful in presenting some idea about voice search and SEO. I hope many of your SEO services query regarding this topic has been put to rest.

Do let me know, what you thought about the article.

Feel free to reach out to me if you need any help in optimizing your website for Voce Search and SEO.

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Part-time blogger, full time dreamer! Ejaz Ahmed likes to think about how technology will ultimately transform human lives for the better. He is deeply fascinated about using technology to democratise the spread of useful information on the internet.

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