Thought voice search was just a trend? Think again! Voice search is booming more than ever, and it’s time your business began adapting to this new way of search.
Continue reading to discover more about voice search, and how you can optimize your business for it!
What is Voice Search?
Voice search is, to put it simply, using your voice to search for things. Rather than sitting down and typing up your question on Google, you can just ask your question aloud. This can be done by beginning your question with “OK Google,” “Hey Siri,” or “Alexa,” (depending on your device) to prompt an answer.
You can use voice search in your car, at home if you have a smart home device, search engines on a desktop with a mic, or on your mobile device. Voice search using a home device (Google Home, Amazon Echo, etc.) provides a way for users to browse the internet without actually having to use a website. This means they only get the number one ranked website to answer their question.
Using voice search with mobile, however, will still provide the user with the top websites. It’s basically a standard search, but you use your voice instead of typing it on your phone.
With all this being said, how will it affect SEO and rankings if searchers don’t have a list of websites to view?
How will it Impact SEO Rankings?
First things first, ranking “high” isn’t going to be enough anymore. If people are using their voices rather than looking at a website, you need to be ranking number one in order to be heard by the user. Voice search is going to impact what keywords you need to use, what you need to optimize on your website, and what factors you need to focus your efforts on to rank number one.
Below are is a list of ways in which you can optimize your business for voice search.
How you can Optimize for Voice Search:
1. Identify the purpose of the search
Why is the user searching for this? What’s the end goal they want to get out of this search? Is the user trying to call someone, or are they asking for directions? Take this: 43% of teens and 40% of adults are using voice search for directions.
What does this information tell you? It tells you that you need to get your business listed on Google My Business and ensure that people can find your location. Ensure your website clearly displays your phone number and address. Also, don’t forget about your directory listings and make sure your contact details are correct.
When you can identify what people are using voice search for, it’s easier to know what to focus your efforts on to get your business ranking.
2. Ensure your website loads quickly
If people are using voice search, it’s because they’re busy doing something else and don’t have time to sit down and type in their search query. Voice search is all about convenience.
Not only is it for the convenience of the user, but Google likes websites that load quickly better than others. It’s another way to boost yourself up to the number one spot. Here are some tips to keep your website loading fast:
- Utilize website caching
- Ensure files are compressed
- Make sure your images are optimized
- Reduce the number of redirects you have
- Minimize server response time
3. Write how you talk
People aren’t going to be typing out and thinking about how to correctly phrase their question on Google to find the results they want. Rather, they’ll be asking what comes to their mind.
For example, someone isn’t going to say something like “best SEO company.” Instead, they’d ask, “What’s the best SEO company near me?”
It’s not just about writing conversationally. If people are using voice search for their questions, it will benefit you to add question phrases into your content.
Voice search results are usually written at a 9th-grade level at the most. So if you have complicated information, now’s the time to start breaking it down into simpler terms. It should be broken down so that anyone searching can be able to understand what you have to offer.
4. Focus on local searches
You should have the proper geotagging, exact and question-based queries, and an updated Google My Business. Honing in on your location could give you that extra little boost you need against your competition. A common phrase you could utilize would be “near me,” as people find restaurants, bars, etc. near their current location.
5. Mobile and user-friendliness
Mobile users dominate searches; hence it’s important that your site be user-friendly for people using mobile devices. In fact, 60% of mobile users have tried voice search at least once in the past year.
Not only that, it’s best practice to have your website optimized for mobile —- whether you’re trying to get into voice search or not. In fact, just over half of all website traffic is done through mobile. In this day and age, having your site work for mobile is a necessity.
What’s Next for Voice Search and SEO?
More than 20% of voice search queries have only 25 keywords or less, which means keeping your SEO simple. If you haven’t yet, your SEO is going to go through some drastic changes if you want to be heard during voice searches.
Voice search is only going to continue growing in popularity. In fact, 55% of teenagers are using voice search on a daily basis. By 2022, voice-based shopping is expected to grow to $40 billion. With statistics like these, it’s clear that there’s no slowing down for voice search.
As voice search continues to grow, changes to SEO will be a constant. Because of that, your business will need to be constantly adapting. Always make sure to look out for the latest news in SEO to keep that edge against your competitors!