The Impact of Voice Search on SEO
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of evolution in search engine technology, with companies creating improved search engines for internet users to get the best results. Companies such as Google have adopted new technologies such as voice search to improve search results through artificial intelligence assistants such as Google assistant to help users with questions and inquiries. With voice searches increasing daily, it is imperative to properly optimize websites to improve rankings on voice search results. Based on research by comScore, about 50% of all searches will be done by voice search by 2020.
How Voice Search Works
Voice search allows users to ask questions instead of typing queries on a search engine. For accurate results, it is important to ensure that your voice is clear. Short queries and question formats for searches generate the best results.
Why Voice Search is Becoming Widely Accepted
Voice search is becoming more accurate and commonplace with many devices that are equipped with the technology. According to comScore, voice search is used by 40% of adults daily. This increase has been boosted by Google’s 95% word accuracy rate for the English language.
Availability of Voice Search Assistants
There are a variety of voice search assistants that are being recognized worldwide. For example, Google has Google Home; Apple has Siri; and Amazon has Alexa. Marketers cannot ignore the importance of voice search due to the high number of users daily. According to HubSpot, approximately 19% of customers use Siri every day.
Effective Ways to Optimize Websites for Voice Search
Understand the purpose of voice search. Voice search involves understanding the statistical data to know the purpose of the searches and the number of searches done. For example, it is common for people to use a voice search to ask for directions or that businesses listed on Google My Business will pop up first.
Create question phrases that users will most likely utter. This involves creating short and simple question phrases. It is recommended to create a question and answer page format since Google ranks these type of pages higher. Having content that answers voice search queries generates more traffic on the website. Studies show that people who use voice search conversationally ask questions. The business should optimize their website content to be more conversational to boost its voice search results.
Design websites that are mobile and user-friendly. Websites that are easy to navigate and load fast on user devices typically keep users on a site for a longer period of time. According to Think with Google, 53% of mobile users will look for an alternative website if the first site takes more than 3 seconds to load. Increasing the loading speed of your website through optimization helps increase the website’s ranking in all searches, including voice search.
Use schema markup. Many voice search results come from snippets; therefore, using schema markup will allow you to add structured data which will help search engines understand the content better. When done correctly, it can help generate voice search results by connecting voice searchers with businesses effectively.
Create a FAQ page. Creating a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page will boost rankings in search results since it will contain keywords. By using queries from users, the business can evaluate and create a helpful FAQ page.
Create or update Google My Business profile. Google My Business is a free listing platform provided by Google for local businesses to improve their visibility. Google prioritizes nearby businesses with a user’s use of voice search to find a business or service. Thus, having your business listed in Google My Business gives it a chance to appear on the search results. It’s important to update business details such as location and business hours.
Optimize for natural language. Based on a report by Mary Meeker, nearly 70% of requests on voice assistants use natural-sounding questions or statements; thus, it is important for a business to optimize their content. Landing pages should be designed in a manner to showcase the long-tail keywords so that voice search results can easily find them.
With voice assistants attracting new users daily, businesses must prioritize voice search for their website for better rankings of their keywords. Making some changes to the website such as long-tail keywords, using conversational language and helpful FAQ pages are some of the ways to improve voice search result rankings. In the future, voice search will be an integral part of SEO and hence businesses should ensure that its web pages and content are well optimized for voice results.