Voice Search Techniques
Not only are search engines continually making alterations to their algorithms, leaving SEO experts to adapt, but the way people are searching for things is changing too.
More and more businesses with an online presence have to adapt to the new realities of voice searching. With that in mind, we’ll look at some of the ways to optimize your website content for Google voice searches!
Why Do It?
Cost-effectiveness is a big deal in the world of SEO; we don’t always have the time or the budget to do everything that we’d like. Considering that, should you spend your resources on an effort to optimize your website content for Google voice searches?
After all, there are plenty of trends that help you rank on Google – is this one worth it?
In a nutshell, yes. Unlike fads that come and go, voice searching is here to stay. And all estimates show that it will only get bigger as time goes on. In the next couple of years, voice-activated searches will make up half of all online searches.
This is due to the advent of smart speakers and home assistant devices; people that have Alexa or Google Home in their households are more likely to resort to voice searches.
The future of online searching is here, and it’s your voice. Thus, long-term optimizations of website content are necessary. And we’ll tell you where to start:
- Keyword Optimization
- Long-form Questions
- Local Search Optimization
Adapting To Keywords
We should note that many of the tweaks you’ll do while you optimize your website content for Google voice searches complement the SEO guidelines you’re already following.
The fact that voice searches will become a bigger deal in the near future doesn’t mean that you should forgo other aspects of optimization.
Whatever happens, website design will still play an important role; your website’s functionalities and visual appearance are still the primary way people interact with your online business.
Still, some aspects of SEO will have to be improved. For instance, the way we approach search keywords is fundamentally changing.
The keywords we’ve used so far are, from a linguistic standpoint, often short and slightly unnatural or awkward.
But now that voice searches are widespread, the focus shifts towards long-tail keywords and entire phrases. Indeed, voice searching makes logical use of the way we naturally talk.
After all, how we type online is radically different from how we speak in real life.
But when we use search engines via digital assistants, it’s a more intuitive process. People will utter entire sentences as their search phrases of choice, and your website content needs to be optimized for that.
“How’s the weather in New York this morning?” is something you’d ask a digital assistant like Google Home, but you’d never type that into Google if you were seated in front of your laptop.
Instead of this natural language, you’d probably go with “new york weather”. Considering this difference is crucial.
While voice searches often come in the form of long sentences, it doesn’t mean that they are less specific. The queries posed to a digital assistant are still precise; after all, you don’t have actual conversations with Alexa.
But the logical question here is: How can you optimize your website content for Google voice searches without looking spammy?
Actually, it’s not that difficult. As a business owner or a niche marketer, you need to think about the long-form questions your target audience will ask most frequently.
You may already see where we’re going with this, but you’d be smart to add a Frequently Asked Questions section at the end of your blog posts or other content.
This tactic is likely to pay off in terms of increased traffic and other positive website analytics. Follow these steps:
- Search the Internet for niche-related questions about your topic, ones that your visitors ask digital assistants most often.
- Create an FAQ section at the bottom of a blog page.
- Structure each question as a subheading that’s succeeded with a paragraph answering the question
- Use long-tail keywords in the subheadings.
This also gives a new degree of quality to your content. If you ask the right questions and answer them in a useful way, Google will reward the effort with a better ranking..
Studies indicate that a majority of voice searches are local. That’s logical, as people use voice search with digital assistants to find daily services and products. It’s rarely something abstract.
That’s why businesses need to do their best to keep their Google My Business profiles perfectly updated, with consistent contact information across all online platforms and. Here’s how to achieve that:
- Enter your accurate service area and business address
- Don’t choose too many categories while describing your business, as it will make it harder to find
- Only have a single profile for your business to avoid display issues on Google Maps
For example, if you’re a local deli owner, this means including detailed information on opening hours, the exact location of your store, etc.
Of course, you also need to optimize your website content for Google voice searches that are specific, such as “best meatball sub” with a local twist.
While this may seem simple, you’d be surprised at how many businesses fail to complete such tasks promptly. Yes, crucial information like opening hours and street addresses should be available on your website.
But you also need to make sure that Google’s crawlbots can parse this website content.
It’s vital that you don’t put such information in images. Sure, it’s easier for people who actually view your website or Facebook page to see stuff like that, but for Google’s sake (and your ranking), you need to ensure this can be found in HTML as well.
Technically, Google does parse images as well, but you don’t want to leave this up to chance.
While you optimize your website content for Google Voice searches, there are basic tenets you need to keep in mind; relevance, context, and conciseness.
This can mean a different SEO strategy compared to what you’d usually do before voice searches became an integral part of the online browsing experience.
Voice searches are one of the reasons why personalized browsing has become important in the past couple of years. Google has worked to combine all of its different services into a cohesive system of user profiles.
Apart from being able to provide a better-tailored experience to users, this has also given advertisers more power in terms of audience targeting than ever before.
In terms of marketing strategies, this means that person-based marketing has become the pinnacle of digital advertising.
This methodology for product placement gives advertisers the ability to target their prospective leads with more precision, simply based on how they behave online.
In the past, this had amounted to our browser history. But as language processing tech improves, Google Voice search will gain the ability to learn things about our life through our voice and the background audio.
That information will be used for product placement with our other personal information.
The Future of Google Voice Searches
Once you begin working to optimize your website content for Google Voice Searches, you will realize that this isn’t just about working within the confines of today’s technology. You also need to look towards the future of web searches in general.
Google’s voice search technology has proven to be the bedrock of Google Now — the company’s virtual assistant. The way Google has combined cutting-edge language processing technology with its complex search algorithms has produced something unparalleled in its niche.
Today, Google Now is more powerful compared to all of its biggest competitors, including:
What does this mean for website content in the future? Well, if you think that search engine optimization has been disrupted with voice searches so far, you haven’t seen more than the tip of the iceberg.
Platforms used for conversion tracking, such as Google Analytics, are beginning to take stock in voice searches. Google is adding data from voice queries into its all-powerful Google Search Console.
Indeed, Google is aware of the fact that single-device tracking of conversions is going the way of the dinosaurs. These days, our online environment is multi-device and multi-media.
That means our approach to searching for data and information has changed, as have our purchasing habits.
Rising Voice Queries
Data provided by Google Trends suggests that voice searching is becoming more significant by the day. In the previous decade, the number of voice searches has been raised sevenfold.
This is, in large part, due to call functions and navigational queries to Google Maps. Still, the advent of virtual assistants has ushered in an age of increasingly complex voice searches.
How people use voice searches also depends on their age — an important factor when performing audience targeting. For instance, adults most commonly utilize voice search to get local directions.
That’s completely logical, seeing as using such a hands-free option is far safer when you’re driving.
However, younger people have other uses for Google Voice Searches, more relevant to website content. Younger millennials use Google voice searches for local service queries, text message dictation, and playing music.
Why Is The Popularity of Voice Search Increasing?
The incredible growth of voice recognition solutions in tech is due to a couple of different reasons.
Their implementation in both mobile devices and the increasingly valuable niche of smart home solutions (Alexa, Google Home) is constantly improving. And the main reason for that is: it’s easier to speak than to type.
Someone who doesn’t have experience with typing can complete about 40 words each minute. However, an adult can speak almost four times as much in the same period with less effort.
The use of voice searches for hands-free phone interaction in cars is just one example. A quarter of all voice searches happen when people are in situations or locations where typing is not ideal.
Apart from that, voice search is becoming more popular because it’s just getting better. The problem with voice recognition technology in the past was that it was too imprecise and clumsy.
Ten years ago, attempts at voice searches and voice commands looked laughable, with the digital assistants constantly misunderstanding their users’ queries. Indeed, this tech was the butt of many jokes in pop culture.
However, this situation has vastly improved.
These days, Siri and Google are capable of adapting to the unique speech patterns of individuals. After all, each one of us has its pronunciation quirks.
When you factor in accents and different local colloquialisms, even the most basic query can be hard to understand. However, these two platforms have made strides in machine learning that allow their voice recognition software to adapt using complex metadata.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is information that any local business should include on their listing for voice searches?
Pet friendliness, working hours, WiFi availability, parking, accepted payment methods, and contact information.
- How accurate is Google Voice Search?
According to estimates from 2017, Google Voice recognition has reached a 95% accuracy level.
- When was Google Voice Search created?
The first iteration of Google Voice Search features was made public in 2012.
- What languages does Google Voice support?
Currently, it supports English, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, German, and French, though most users still use English as it’s the most precise.