Google voice search is an omnipresent choice for users on the move via their mobile devices. Voice search has made its way into our everyday life and the trends suggest that it’s here to stay. Voice search is a function that makes it possible for users to make a query via a search engine using their voice. They can either do this using a smartphone or home assistant.
This article analyses the uniqueness of voice search and why it should be part of your marketing strategy. We’ll show you how to optimise your content and website for this search trend.
How does voice search work?
This function uses speech recognition to understand spoken voice commands. When a user makes a query, it finds an online match that answers the user’s query.
In some cases, the users say a “wake” phrase that notifies Google to start analysing what the user is saying. The phrase is “OK, Google”. You can also do this by clicking the microphone icon to the right of Google search field or via a voice command.
When you conduct a voice search using a mobile phone, it’ll direct you to a web page. But, if you use smart speakers, the speakers will read out the answer to your query.
The Difference between Traditional Search and Voice Search
Apart from how users use voice search commands, there isn’t much difference between traditional and voice search. It is more convenient and much easier to speak your query rather than type it. The results returned by both methods are identical.
The 4 main differences between text and voice search are:
- The Length of the Query
When you type in a query, it will most likely be short. For example, if you are looking for the latest phones, your text query may be something close to “new phones 2018.” When you’re using voice search, your query will be a bit longer. You will ask, “What are the newest phones in 2018?”
- The Local Impact
The local impact is major for voice search compared to text search. Voice search is three times more likely to get used for local purposes and is more location specific. Location signals are getting more developed as the need for businesses to consider optimisation aspects arises.
- The Number of Questions asked
More questions get asked when using voice search compared to text searches. Short statements are usually 3-5 words long. The questions asked in voice search are usually longer and more natural.
- The Strength of the Impact
After the optimisation of longer key phrases, you are more likely to target a more specific niche segment of your market. The intent is strong because the user reached your site because of its relevant content.
How Do I Optimise My Site for Voice Search?
By now you’re wondering how to go about making your website more voice search-friendly. For those who are already utilising current SEO best practices, you are halfway there; there’s very little that you need to do differently. Those who aren’t already utilising current SEO best practices have a long way to go and tons of work to do.
Some of you may wonder whether it is worth optimising for other search engines other than Google. There are several problems with this line of thought. The first one being the market share and the second being the current state of SEO in general.
An important factor when optimising your site for voice search is the relevance and quality of the content. The type of search engine you use shouldn’t affect how you optimise your site.
Here is what you can do to make your website more voice search friendly:
Use Schema Markups
Schema, refers to the markup language that allows webmasters provide search engines with extra information about their website.
You are able to describe, in more detail, what the information on your website means. This makes it so much easier for Google to understand your website and boost its visibility. Using schema markup puts you way ahead of the competition curve.
Use Long-tail Keywords
The most effective way to optimise your website for search engines is by bidding on long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords, as their name suggests, are usually longer than the regular keywords. They are more specific and more competitive. Long-tail keywords account for about 70% of all search queries.
Spoken searches are often conversational and represent how we speak in everyday life. By using these keywords to answer questions, you stand a better chance of ranking higher in the search results.
Lastly, long-tail keywords boast of better click-through rates compared to shorter queries.
Update Your Business Listing on Google
Ensure your “Google My Business Listing” is up to date and completed. Current information is relevant and useful to customers interested in finding out about your business.
Another powerful technique in updating your business listing is the use of imagery. The images get displayed as part of Google maps results. Always make sure that you use high-resolution images. They work wonders at persuading customers to stop by your business premises instead of your competitor’s.
Optimise Ad Campaigns for “Near Me” Searches
If you’re an entrepreneur hoping to drive traffic to brick-and-mortar locations, there are some steps that you can take to maximise your visibility in the “near me” searches.
These queries represent an opportunity for business owners looking to advertise their local businesses. Google voice search can give you directions to any place you need to go to. Imagine the potential for integrating it with local search listings. By doing this you can help users find your store depending on what goods they want to buy. They can also find out more information about your business like opening and closing hours, parking, and more.
Utilise Local Extensions From AdWords
These extensions are a powerful way to ensure your ads get displayed on high-traffic sites. Sites visited by on-the-go shoppers. AdWords location extension allows you to get your business’s information displayed alongside your ads.
The information added to the ads includes your business’s address, phone number, and directions. This information also allows your business to show up in “near me” searches.
Use Google Maps Local Search Ads
Leveraging Local Search Ads in Google Maps helps you to reach the right audience at the right time and at the right place.
These ads show up above organic results in Google Maps and play a major role in driving traffic to your business.
Authoritative domains usually produce more significant voice search results compared to non-authoritative domains. The target website’s domain rating is usually measured on a scale of 0 to 100, based on size and quality.
A website’s authority refers to the strength of its total backlink profile. Businesses need to build backlinks as a way of optimising for voice search. In most cases the voice search algorithm may rely on domain rating rather than page authority to give results.
HTTPS and SSL
HTTPS secured websites usually dominate Google’s voice search results. Pages enabled with Secure Sockets Layer technology (SSL) will remain encrypted and protected.
Google tries to make sure that a high percentage of the top 10 results are secured with HTTPS.
Using easy-to-read content is really helpful with voice search SEO. Since most people converse in a language that is easy to understand, Google would also like to do the same and provide simple answers to the searcher.
Always ensure that your content is written in a simple manner, similar to the way people talk and conduct searches. Even though there isn’t an actual human being that responds to the queries. The results will engage the users to feel as if there was a human responding to them.
Google usually prefers short answers that are straight to the point. You will often find that concise answers are more preferred for voice search queries as long as they answer the query sufficiently. This makes things so much easy for the searcher because he/she doesn’t have to look any further to find what they’re looking for.
Why Should I Optimise My Website For Voice Search?
When you understand exactly how to go about optimising your website for voice search, you will do a great job in helping users to find you when they need to do it by voice. We’ll give you two reasons why you should optimise your website:
You will get more visibility on featured snippets
When Google answers a query with information from any website, it cites the source of the information. Google reads snippets from high-ranking websites that have a featured snippet.
As a marketer, when you fully understand the voice search queries, you will be in a better position to understand the types of queries that surface featured snippets. You can then devote your resources to providing the best answers for the most commonly featured snippets.
This not only benefits you by driving traffic to your site but also helps Google to provide users with the best answers.
You will meet your customer’s demands in a better way based on context
Voice search has made it possible for searchers to use queries that just don’t apply in typed queries. For example, users can now find out when the store peaks in volume and when there are fewer shoppers.
Voice searches are more likely to be action queries compared to typed queries. These days, searchers understand what type of voice search gives the best and most accurate results.
If you have ever performed a voice search the chances are high that you were looking for a very specific answer. Marketers need to understand which voice queries are used. At helps to structure your website and your content in a way that answers the searcher’s question.
There are still many unknowns when it comes to the future of voice search but one thing is for certain- voice search will continue to become more accurate, responsive, and intelligent. It’s the high time that you implemented this incredibly useful function in your digital marketing strategies.
We really hope that after reading this you will seriously consider the importance optimising your website for voice search and reap the benefits that it will add to your marketing campaigns.