Are You Ready For Voice Search?

how to optimize for voice search

The only thing consistent thing about search engine marketing is change.

There has always been a constant push for search engine technology to deliver more accurate search results and a better user experience for their users, and this requires an ever evolving algorithm and new technologies. Convenience now plays a large role in the search experience and we’re seeing a drastic increase in the number of voice search devices being used.

It seems that everyone is talking to Siri, Alexa, Echo, Google Home, or any of the other artificial intelligence personas that live inside our home devices, phones and watches.

Voice search can no longer be ignored in your digital marketing strategies. We must adapt the way that we create content for our web sites and applications in order to stay competitive. Here are some voice search statistics and techniques that will help you rethink the way your optimize your content for voice search.

Interesting 2019 Voice Search Statistics

    1. By 2020, more than 50% of all searches will be voice searches
    2. 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information within the last year
    3. 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily

Voice Search Completely Changes The Way People Search

We don’t speak the same way that we type when using search engines. Voice search is different in several ways.

  1. Voice search queries are longer.
  2. The queries are less “keyword stuffed computer language” and more conversational.
  3. The majority of voice searches are question based and users are looking for an answer to a problem.

Instead of of typing in “Apple Store Houston”, someone might ask “Is there an Apple Store near me?”

Voice Search Changes The Way Results Are Delivered

Google is becoming an “answer engine” much more than a “search engine. By now you are probably very familiar with the “answer boxes” and “featured snippets” that are appearing at the top of search results. Google is working hard to deliver an answer to any question you may have. In many cases, these featured snippets and answer boxes are using by voice devices when it responds to your question. Approximately 40% of all voice results come from featured snippets.

Your content needs to clearly answer questions and optimize for the featured snippet.

It’s Time To Rethink Our Web Content

Studies have shown that the average voice search results is only 29 words long, but the answers are taken from pages with an average of 1900 words on them. This means that long form content is still winning the SEO game, but we need to craft short concise answers for users. Here are few tips and strategies we can use to optimize our content for voice:

  1. Utilize FAQ pages. This is the perfect place to create a long form content page that has short, direct answers to people’s most commonly searched questions.
  2. Implement schema structured data to help optimize for the featured snippet.
  3. Use long tail keyword phrases in your content.
  4. Use lists. Google featured snippets loves providing bulleted lists as an answer to a voice search query.
  5. Use question based keywords whenever possible. (How do I…Where do I…Who is…etc)
  6. Write is a natural conversational style. Studies have shown that most voice results are written at a 9th grade level or below. Avoid overly technical language unless you are in a very technical field.
  7. Don’t overlook the importance of your NAP consistency (name, address, phone). Your local business directory listings, such as Google My Business and Apple Maps, are absolutely critical to being found when users are searching geographically. For example, “Where is the nearest bank?” would trigger map listings and other geographic targeted local SEO citations. Make sure these are all up to date and fully optimized.

Voice search is still in its infancy, but is growing at an amazing rate. More voice search signals are being identified regularly and the landscape will continue to change. It’s important to have a digital marketing strategist that adapts to change and can help you stay on top of the latest trends. For more information about voice search or to discuss strategies for your business, contact us at any time.

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