Many individuals believe voice search is the future of the internet. Although no marketer should focus solely on this one area, everyone in the industry must understand its importance when it comes to search engine optimization and organic searches.
Statista, a few years ago, reported there would be over four billion digital assistant devices in place by 2020. More than 20 percent of searches were completed using one of these devices. Brands need to recognize this and make it a part of their content strategy.
Voice search uses speech recognition technology. It is conversational in tone and often focuses on local search results. As a result, search terms tend to be longer and the results focus on the user’s location. As people are interested in voice search, every business should optimize for this technology. What are five things to keep in mind when optimizing for local voice search?
Voice search can be used to move up in the search engine rankings. In addition, when done properly, voice search will drive traffic to a site, bring in new customers, and provide the user with an outstanding experience. To accomplish this, the site must have a solid SEO foundation and content that is engaging, relevant, and authoritative. This will draw people in and keep them on the site.
A person speaks naturally when using voice search. For example, they use full sentences. If manually searching, however, they use short phrases or single words. Optimize content by answering questions naturally. Use long tail keywords, but don’t neglect short tail keywords either.
Answer a Question
A person visits the internet to find an answer to a question or discover a solution to a problem they are experiencing. Help them do so with voice search. Create content so it answers their question or provides a solution. Voice queries include questions, and people tend to be specific to ensure they get the desired answer. Visit social media to learn about their questions and problems. This makes it easier to meet their needs.
Mobile and Local
People turn to voice search because it is faster than text-based search. They can do other things as they conduct the research and still get answers to questions they have. Smartphones remain the most popular device for voice searches, and many users turn to this feature to find a local business. Optimize content with this in mind. A mobile-friendly website is a great way to do this. However, pay attention to the page load speed and register with all local business sites.
Clear and concise content is needed to move up in the search engines, and the same holds for voice search. Google, the most popular search engine, emphasizes optimizing for voice search. It offers the featured snippet, which is a box that pops up with the answer to the question asked. Any site that appears in the top ten will have a featured snippet. Optimize for the featured snippet by using short sentences and paragraphs. Bullet lists and numbers are easily identified by the search engine, so use those together with longtail keywords. This increases the likelihood of becoming a featured snippet.
Voice search will continue to evolve in the coming years. Marketers aren’t the only ones who must recognize this. Content creators need to provide material that ensures the brand remains relevant. With the right tips and tools, doing so becomes easier. Make this a priority today.
I’m a writer, artist, and designer working in the gaming and tech industries. I have held staff and freelance positions at large publications including Digital Trends, Lifehacker, Popular Science Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, IGN, The Xplore Tech, and others, primarily covering gaming criticism, A/V and mobile tech reviews, and data security advocacy.