Today's article on optimizing voice search comes from Jessica Smith.
Jessica is a Digital Marketing Expert who helps clients increase their revenues by improving their organic traffic (with a primary focus on keyword rankings, backlink profile & on-page optimization) and building powerful campaigns through Google Adwords. She has been in the marketing industry for over ten years. Her core role is as the Principal Consultant at Outreachlinkbuilding.com, a USA based digital marketing agency specializing in SEO.
Over to Jessica…..
What You Should Know About Optimizing Voice Search
By 2020, it is possible that 30% of websites sessions will be accessible without the need of a screen. You might significantly ask “How?” Literally, this will be made possible by a voice-only search that can allow a user to browse consumer information, website, and the internet, without scrolling through desktop and mobile devices. The voice-based search engine listens when the user talks and ensures delivery of quality, accurate and easy to understand information from your website.
What is voice search
It is a speech recognition technology that allows users to speak, instead of typing words in the search query, to generate content from a website. This audio technology analyzes the voice query via speech recognition and orally delivers results to the user.
This might seem to be a new technology but the tech has already been there in the market. For instance companies like Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Siri, Amazon Alexa utilize this voice search approach as part of user experience in content search. Nevertheless, voice search technology concepts like speed-to-text and voice dialing are some examples. In terms of optimization, it is not only specific devices that can be optimized for voice search, but also websites, platforms, and brands.
Impact of voice search on SEO ranking
Voice search has significantly improved user experience in pursuit of related and relevant searches and it is because of this fact that by 2020 half of online searches will be conducted using vocal searches.
The aim of SEO is to provide the user with the most valid search result prioritized at the top for fast experience. Voice search is one of the most convenient user search interfaces.
In connection to that, many tech companies have employed blogger outreach services to ensure online consumers find them first on the top search page results. These services come at a cost for writing content that sells your business but once posted on guest sites it improves the SEO rankings of your site and also helps to raise the domain authority of your site.
Strategies to optimize for voice search SEO
Users adopt voice search with specific needs, for example, to complete an action such as listen to a song, access information or purchase a product. But regardless of the aim, Google (for instance) uses a common algorithm to rank sites being visited. Below are several tips on how to improve voice rankings irrespective of user intentions.
Ways of improving voice search ranking
Use of long-tail keywords
Different search engines deliver results to meet people's requests, while taking into consideration the intent and context. This makes it become quite important for inclusion of long-tail keywords; phrases that are highly searchable and demonstrate clearly the intent of a user.
Microsoft has discovered that voice queries are generally longer than typed words. For instance “Christmas eve discount new Samsung Galaxy 5” is a long-tail query suggesting that the user is seeking to use a Christmas holiday offer in pursuit of buying a Samsung phone at a cheaper price. This search brings better results than having searched for Samsung Galaxy 5 which can bring other things like the latest information concerning the device etc.
Optimizing mobile device and voice search
Getting a quick answer can be easier via talking into a phone than having to type on sometimes a tiny screen or even stop to tap away when you are driving. Already mobile queries are normally made by voice and the number is expected to keep growing over the next couple of years to a predicted 50%.
Google moved towards “mobile-first” indexing in 2018; that made its site more friendly. Taking action to verify the version of your site for mobile device and avoiding flash, helps to minimize load time and ensures that each page is ready quickly.
Also, whether you create a platform that runs on a desktop, mobile app or website, remember to include voice recognition features to meet certain clients' special needs eg. those with physical disabilities such as not being able to type.
Use of structured data
This makes search engines give more accurate results after scanning and understanding your site's content by use of the said structured data. A reference can be sought from Schema.org on a full list of standardized formats that will meet your website page info and classification in an easier way for Google to digest.
SEO's top rule applies
This means creating valuable content that speaks to readers' challenges, addressing their pressure points. Moreover, from Google's search quality rating guidelines, we can see that “lack of purpose pages should be rated lowest quality.” To avoid this it is important to integrate meaningful answers for popular questions from precise and captivating content. You can go a step further and read out loud what you have written; if it is sensible then Google voice recognition will capture it too.
Use local searches
This involves searching based on nearest location (i.e include “near me”) in order to get your best-related results. Many people around the world search for what could be nearest to them. In relation to this, many consumer platforms use location-based queries to bring the best search and results. For instance, you can search ‘cheap housing in California' instead of ‘cheap housing'. The latter will give very generalized results showing housing anywhere in the world but the former will only take you to California related results.
Ensure your website loads quickly
Many search engines prefer to prioritize websites that load quickly to give users fast results. According to Moz, one of the signals adopted by Google to rank pages is site speed.
You can speed up your site's load time by doing the following:
- Avoiding post-click landing pages.
- Enabling compression.
- Speeding up server response time.
Am I able to view my voice search ranking?
Voice search is critical to the improvement of brand awareness and higher conversions so that you can see your voice search rankings and track improvement. We have digital agencies you can recruit that are able to run queries, track and give rankings report to its clients. Briefly, the point is to keep optimizing the above-recommended voice SEO practices and ultimately you will see the fruits of your labour.
Voice search is currently being adopted by a majority of platforms, to make interactions between user and content more convenient. It is therefore of great importance that those in online business adopt this too alongside collaboration and adoption of other SEO tools.
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