Voice Search for SEO

Will Voice be the Future of Search Engine Optimisation?

Sherin Sebastian
Sherin Sebastian/January 6, 2020

As of today, most of the smartphones are launched in the market with the advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, enabling us to conduct searches with voice rather than text-based queries.

Since voice search technology has emerged in recent years, the way we search online is evolving. Now you can browse the internet without actually having to skim through sites on desktops and mobile devices. Apparently, new user behaviour surrounding voice search creates new opportunities for brands.

Why do people love voice search?

Voice search means you are allowed to perform a search via voice commands instead of typing keywords to produce results. Audio technology integrates speech recognition technology to understand users language and then deliver the results verbally to the user. When giving a voice command, instead of using search keywords, we use a conversational style like we would when talking to family or friends. Both teens and adults seem to use it, with 43% of teens using it to make calls and 40% of adults to ask for directions.

30% of web browsing will become voice-activated by 2020
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  • 30% of web browsing will become voice-activated by 2020
  • 50% of all online searches will be voice searches
  • 20% of searches on mobile phones are voice searches
  • 55% of households are likely to own a smart speaker device by 2022

How to optimise for voice search?

How to optimise for voice searchWith voice search becoming a trend as time passes, modifying your website to new consumer trends would help win more traffic and help users who would like to purchase your products or service. Here are some useful methods to optimise your website for voice search.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section in the website

Searches like “best smartphone” will start to disappear. But “Alexa, where can I find a waterproof smartphone with excellent storage capacity?” gives quick answers to users.

Question keywords are soaring year after year (as voice searchers typically begin with “what”, “who”, “why”, “when” and “how”) – so FAQ pages are perfect for voice search.

As this ‘question and answer format’ is similar to the way someone would have a conversation, your pages can be optimised easily for voice search. Try to arrange commonly asked questions on the same page by considering natural keywords and phrases opposite to old SEO-keywords you’re using. You can even go for separate pages, so that voice search technologies have a better chance of collecting data from your site. Also, it’s a good practice to add more direct questions from users.

Get your business listed locally

One of the best ways to optimise your website for voice search is getting your business listed on all relevant listing sites and directories. Sites like Bing, Yelp, Facebook and Google My Business can establish a strong online presence.

For a business to be voice search ready, add your business name, address and phone number. It would be more convenient if your listing is as comprehensive as possible so that it is easier for your prospects to find your business online. Be sure to give a unique description of your business, business hours, customer reviews, photos and more to ensure you have excellent visibility.

Use schema markup

Schema is a structured data markup language that enables search engines to recognise the context of your website content. With schema markup, you can better control the way you present information about your business, and the way machines read it.

Context can refer to previous questions, location, or even an individual person. Hence this tool helps SEO marketers to not only be rank better in normal searches but also be relevant in specific queries made through voice search.

Usually, users search common business information such as opening hours, address, contact details, directions. Update this information in the schema markup to find the potential and relevant customers. Adding structured data provides rich snippets which can increase click-through rate and drive traffic to your site.

Improve your page speed

PageSpeed appears to play a major role in voice search SEO as users expect immediate results when searching for information. A page that loads in just one second is more likely to appear in voice search results than a page that takes five seconds to load. Voice search is widely used on mobile and mobile speed is more important than desktop for voice optimisation.

To optimise your page speed;

  • Minimise image size to ensure quick loading time – high-resolution images are heavy and take longer time to process.
  • Apply CSS3 and HTML5 frameworks which enable mobile pages to load quickly
  • Do away with redirects and reduce the number of plugins you use
  • You may use a content delivery network (CDN) such as CloudFront to reduce page load time.
  • Minify all JavaScript and Style Sheets on your mobile site
  • Parsing of JavaScript by mobile browsers increase the page load time

 Look for ‘Conversational Language’ keywords

Keyword-based search is the process of splitting down a query into the most important forms, removing unnecessary connecting words “what”, “how”, “is”, “the” and so on.

But voice searches are more natural and conversational than text-based searches. That means when you are optimising your website for voice search, you should focus on long-tail keywords. Use keywords that are more like phrases along with the location. For instance, “shopping centers in oxford street London ”.

SEO marketers need to change the way they can get their results to show up on the page for voice searches.

Focus on the mobile experience

To win the voice search queries, design, content and overall functionality of your website should be mobile optimised. Make sure that all content and resources are crawlable to ensure your website visibility on mobile voice search queries. Don’t block valuable files with JavaScript, CSS, or the robots.txt file. Finally, test the site speed for mobile as most online business is happening through mobile devices.

Is your business voice search ready?

As voice search marketing is rapidly expanding, only those marketers who are able to adapt will be able to acquire the advantages. Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Now are being adopted widely. One almost certain thing is that voice search will continue to become more responsive, intelligent and reliable plus more prominent in everyday life.

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