Why should you care about voice search optimisation? To many, it may seem like a passing fad. However, it’s important to realise that the way we interact with technology is constantly transforming.
As entrepreneurs and digital marketers, we want to make sure we are at the forefront of innovation. Additionally, there needs to be an understanding of what the customer experiences throughout their decision-making process.
Voice search is here to stay and will soon be how many of us interact with our devices.
Voice Search Optimisation and Google
Voice recognition has boomed in the past decade, with technology such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa being used worldwide. In January 2018, there was an average of one billion voice searches each month. The prevalence of voice search will only increase as more people adopt this technology and through innovation.
This has particular significance to SEO and digital marketing. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced that one-fifth of the queries on Google are voice searches. Being able to simply speak to your device is a huge convenience and improves the user’s experience.
To have an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to understand how voice search functions and how to optimise your content for it.
How does Voice Search Optimisation Work?
Google uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to discern speech patterns and attempts to understand the semantics for what is being said.
In the future, the accuracy in which NLP can pick up subtle accentuations and intentions will increase, making voice search a powerful tool. Having an AI-driven personal assistant is something that tends to be in the realm of Sci-Fi films. However, it is quickly becoming a reality. With machine learning already here, after each conversation the speech recognition programming becomes more accurate and useful.
When people use voice search, the queries used are commonly in the form of conversational language. This means that they are longer phrases and are likely to be in question form. Voice search recognition is catered specifically to this type of sentence structure, something that we can use to our advantage.
What are some Voice Search SEO Strategies?
When creating a digital marketing SEO strategy, voice search optimisation should be included. Here are some strategies that can help you optimise for voice search.
1. Longer Questions in headers
Since H1 and H2 formatting are picked up by Google’s algorithm as more important than normal text, it is important to write these as longer questions. This allows Google to recognise and match the user’s question to your content.
Think about your customers and what information they would want. Then formulate your content around giving them exactly what they’re searching for. Common question phrases people use voice search for are:
- What is?
- How to?
2. Local search
22% of voice queries are location-based searches. Many of these queries include “Near me”. You can optimise for this by including the phrase in your content as well as including notable landmarks.
Another method is to have a “My business listing” on Google. This gives your business a physical address that is recognised by Google and allows people searching to find you.
3. Featured Snippet
A Featured Snippet is a short segment at the beginning of the Search Engine Result’s Page (SERP) that aims to provide a concise and quick answer to a search query.
Voice Searches use these featured snippets almost exclusively if there is one available, which makes targetting this spot essential.
You can optimise for voice search and still get benefits for general SEO, as many of the strategies overlap.
It doesn’t take long to take a look at your current SEO strategy and see how you can implement it in your business.
To help you implement a successful SEO strategy, we offer digital marketing managers that will enable you more effectively promote your business online.