Over the years, search engine optimization has changed, with several technologies making inroads into the landscape. One of the techniques that have disrupted the conventions of SEO is voice technology. The reason is very obvious, as you cannot expect people to search the same way by speaking as they do by typing text. Voice searches are bound to be different because they are natural and effortless. And the fact that a majority of searches online are done this way makes it critical to understand the impact of this technology and realign your SEO strategy to match it. Before delving deeper into the concept of SEO for voice, let us understand what voice search actually is.
What is a voice search?
As the name implies, voice search is audio technology, which enables the users to get results to their queries by using a voice command rather than entering relevant keywords into a search engine. The growing use of smart speakers, smartphones, and tablets has made voice search popular these days. Voice assistants such as Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana also utilize voice search capabilities.
The technology that powers up voice search is speech recognition, which helps the search engines understand the voice inputs of the user. Further, they can interpret them with the help of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing technologies. So you can well imagine how complex the entire process is, even though it appears so effortless and straightforward on the surface. The voice revolution has taken over the internet and is soon going to disrupt the entire landscape. The best way to gear up is by optimizing your website for voice searches, which is best done by realigning SEO.
Voice and SEO- Understanding the impact
When it comes to realigning your SEO strategy for voice, you need to sharpen it more than ever. In terms of relevance, voice searches are quite similar to text searches because it makes use of the same principle to identify the most relevant answer to the user’s query. But there’s a difference here! With textual searches, the user gets multiple results and can click first or tenth or whichever they want on the list. With voice search, however, the user gets only one result, which means that only the site on number one wins the race. Experts at SEOJet.net explain those brands need to go the extra mile to be on the top of voice searches. And this is something that you cannot afford to ignore, considering that a majority of searches will be done this way in the near future.
How to get your SEO strategy ready for voice?
Now that it is clear that you absolutely need to realign your SEO strategy for voice searches, let us see how you can do it.
Use of natural language
As voice recognition systems get smarter than ever, voice technology is capable of following the language that people use every day. This means that users can now provide commands to search engines as if they are speaking with humans. So winning the SEO game is all about keeping your content conversational, with the focus entirely on user intent. If your content speaks to the potential user, there are good chances that your website will be picked up as the number one result for voice search queries.
Leverage long-tail keywords
While you need to make the content more conversational, the use of apt keywords is another aspect that needs attention. If you want to optimize your site for voice, prioritize long-term keywords instead of the conventional ones. This is because people tend to be less concise with spoken searches as compared to typed ones. Obviously, there queries will be longer than the conventional three to four keywords. Therefore, you can up your chances of showing up by having long-tail keywords and keyword phrases in your content.
Include answers to question words
When people search via voice, they often use question words such as how, where, what, when and which. SEO professionals need to make sure that their content answers as many questions as the user may ask. Here, it becomes essential to step into the shoes of the user and imagine the questions they may want to ask. Accordingly, you need to have comprehensive answers to these questions so that the content serves value to the users. Since search engines prioritize websites that deliver the best user experiences, you are bound to make it to the top, if your content offers answers to the questions of the users.
Pay attention to semantic search
Thanks to Google’s RankBrain, query handling has become more sophisticated than ever with semantic searches being the key. Such searches move away from literal keyword matches and focus on the user intent instead. They rely on other factors such as user location, search history, and keyword spelling variation to provide the most relevant results. To win the voice search game, you need to understand the concept of semantic and enrich your content with keyword variations accordingly.
Don’t forget local search
Voice technology puts a greater emphasis on local searches because users who search via voice are more likely to search locally rather than globally. Almost every user who wants to look for products and services will first prefer to search using “near me” or “nearby” terms, such as “best salon near me” or “top gym nearby.” So it becomes vital to optimize for “near me” queries if you want your website to rank in the local voice searches. Moreover, your local SEO game should be healthy otherwise as well because this is one segment of the audience that no business would want to miss on.
While you will need to do a lot to capitalize on the voice trend, you cannot forget the basics too. Speed and security, for example, matter as much with voice SEO as it does with conventional SEO. Your website has good chances of turning up on top if it has a superfast loading speed. Similarly, a majority of voice search results are taken by sites with SSL or HTTPS. It is definitely worthwhile to make conscious efforts on all these fronts!