Navigating Voice Search Optimization, Content, and SEO in the Digital Landscape
If there's one thing we know for certain in the world of SEO and digital marketing, it's that nothing stays the same. Technology continues to change the way we shop and search the internet.
As of 2023, 27% of searches in the Google App were done by voice, and 1 billion voice searches occur each month via mobile and voice search devices. We know this is a trend that will only continue to increase over time.
Voice searches are not only an evolving method for searching the internet, it's also changed the words and terms we use when we do so. While five years ago we may have typed the words "Chinese food delivery Fresno" into our Google, we now may find ourselves speaking to our phone instead, saying something like, "Hey Siri, what is the best Chinese food delivery place near me?"
When using voice searches, we search the internet using more conversational speech, Google's Search algorithms keep getting smarter so that they can deliver the results users are expecting. As a result, the way we create content must also adapt and change. Content should be meaningful, helpful and answer questions people are asking
Now that we've established the importance of Voice Search Optimization, here's a little crash course to answer common questions surrounding it.
What Is Voice Search?
Voice search refers to people using digital voice assistants — like Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and other virtual assistant personas built into mobile devices, smartphones and smart speakers — to search the internet for quick answers to questions by simply speaking a search query rather than typing it.
The voice assistant then provides what the voice search algorithms determine is the best, most relevant answer.
Why Is Voice Search Optimization Essential?
As more people use this technology as they search for the things they want and need, you will be losing their attention — and losing potential sales — if you haven’t optimized your web pages to be relevant to their voice search queries.
And more people will use voice search in the very near future. While there were 4.2 billion digital voice assistants in use worldwide in 2020, Statista forecasts that number will double and go up to 8.4 billion in 2024.
You simply can’t afford to ignore voice search in your digital marketing.
How Do I Optimize My Website for Voice Search?
Think of your voice search optimization strategy as an extension of traditional search engine optimization (SEO).
There are a lot of things about traditional SEO strategy that also help you show up in voice search. These include:
mobile-friendly responsive design
a robust Google Business profile
Likewise, optimizing for voice search can also help your SEO and ranking on traditional search engine results pages (SERPs). That’s because optimizing for voice search really is optimizing for the people doing the search … providing a good user experience and making your pages relevant to the answers they’re seeking.
And search engines reward that.
How Do I Write Content Specifically for Voice Search?
You shouldn’t! Human readers should still be your first priority when writing content. That being said, the following tips can make your content valuable to your audience AND help it be found in voice search:
Use conversational language. Using personal pronouns like “you” and “we” and other words found in natural language makes your content feel more like a conversation. That’s what you’re aiming for. Voice search algorithms see that type of content as being more relevant to conversational voice queries.
Answer common questions people are likely to have. When it comes to frequently asked questions (FAQ), think of the 5 Ws and an H — who, what, when, where, why, and how. Pose the questions in your content, and then give relevant answers that help your potential customers. This goes beyond a designated FAQ page or an FAQ section of your website and should be incorporated throughout your website content. Learn more about how create content to help SEO here.
Target long-tail keywords. While we tend to use as few words as possible when we’re typing a search query, we aren’t as concise when speaking. We generally include more details when speaking … just as long-tail keywords are more specific and focused. But it’s not just the number of words that makes a difference. For best results with your voice search SEO, incorporate question keywords as well as conversational keywords into your long-tail keywords.
What Is the Difference Between Voice Search Results and a Traditional Google Search?
In addition to the difference of speaking rather than typing search terms and specific queries to get answers, voice search users also get results differently.
Instead of many options to choose from listed out on a search engine results page, voice search results are often limited to a single answer pulled from the most relevant featured snippets related to the search.
This is why careful attention to user intent and specific keywords in your content is so crucial.
Does Voice Search Have Any Implications on Local SEO?
People frequently use voice search on their mobile devices to find local businesses. An example would be asking Siri “Where can I get good coffee near me?” while driving your car in an unfamiliar city while on vacation.
These local voice searches are perhaps most similar to traditionally typed local search queries. And if you’re a local business, you probably already have a Google My Business listing — now called a Google Business Profile — with your address, phone number, business hours, etc. listed so that people can find you on Google Maps.
If you don’t, you should, because using local search terms and keywords can also improve your chances of getting found by people doing voice searches that aren’t necessarily mobile searches.
Need Help Navigating Voice Search Optimization, Content, and SEO in the Digital Landscape?
Implementing digital marketing strategies that incorporate voice search optimization, content, and SEO is going to be critical as more and more of your target audience become voice searchers ... if they haven’t already embraced the technology.
There’s a lot to think about and manage. Even if you have content marketing and SEO experts on staff, you may need extra help. And if you don’t have an in-house team, getting help navigating voice search is even more critical.
We’re here to give you the help you need.
We invite you to contact the team of digital marketing experts here at WorldLight Media to talk more in depth about voice search optimization and how you can successfully navigate it in our ever-evolving digital landscape.
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