[SEO STRATEGY]Is Your Brand Ready For ‘Voice Search?’
If you own a smartphone, then you’ve probably used voice search in the last year. Many phones come equipped with their own personal assistants to help facilitate these searches. Whether you’re using your phone to find the best Japanese restaurant nearby, information on the weather, or directions to a specific location, then you’ve likely used voice search with a search engine.
With popular personal assistants for devices like Siri, Alexa, or Cortana, voice search is becoming an increasingly vital part of peoples’ lives. This new way of searching is a trend that won’t be slowing down any time soon, and it is already started to shape the future of search engine optimization. If digital marketers won’t to stay on top of SEO, then they are going to have to find ways to adapt to the popularity of voice search.
In this article I’ll be going over the way that voice search is changing the way people search for and find brands to interact with, and what steps businesses and brands will have to make to be more ‘searchable’ and how this technology will affect SEO.
Voice Search is on the Rise
There’s no doubt that voice search is definitely becoming more popular, so businesses must adjust their SEO strategy to meet the needs of people who use voice search.
In our busy, digital-dependent world, it’s really a no-brainer that voice search has become so popular. Voice search interactions take far less time than text-based ones, which makes life more convenient for busy consumers who expect a stellar experience and instant gratification every time they interact with a brand.
When it comes to the rising popularity of voice search, the proof that brands and businesses need to start taking it more seriously is in the numbers:
- 40% of adults now use voice search once per day
- 20%-25% of all search queries performed now are performed via voice
- 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, according to ComScore
- 39% of voice search users are looking for business information
These stats make it clear that it’s never been more important for businesses to get on board with voice search SEO. It is a hugely popular emergent technology that will only keep getting bigger, and as it does it will change the way SEO is done. However, voice search is not just one more challenge that you have to overcome, it can actually be incredibly helpful to your business or brand.
When done properly, voice search SEO can help you improve the customer experience and drive more traffic to your site, helping you stay ahead of the competition. However, its rise in popularity makes it clear that voice search is something that your business cannot ignore.
So, how will you optimize for voice search? Well, the good news is that it’s not as unfamiliar as you may think. Optimizing for voice search requires different tactics from traditional SEO, but to be successful, businesses must understand just how voice search works in order to help consumers find exactly what they are looking for when asking by voice.
Voice Search is a Huge Opportunity for Your Brand
Voice search is an incredibly convenient way for consumers to find information. It is so much easier and quicker than typing in a request for information. The user can find the answer to their problems almost instantly. That is the number one reason why voice search has sky-rocketed in popularity.
According to entrepreneur and digital marketing superstar Gary Vaynerchuk in his new book Crushing It, “There’s nothing that’s going to disrupt marketing to the level that voice will since social media came in 2009.”
This means that your business must develop a voice search strategy to incorporate into your digital marketing plans, because voice is changing the way people search for and find brands to interact with. Adopting a voice search strategy isn’t just about remaining relevant—it’s also about creating a unique and optimized customer experience that will foster relationships and build brand loyalty.
For businesses that are successful with voice-optimized SEO, this could mean a great increase in traffic if you often appear as the top result or featured snippet that gets used for voice answers. This presents a great opportunity for your brand to reach new customers.
Voice search might also be a great tool for increasing web traffic and beating the competition, as long as you have a solid voice-optimized SEO strategy in place to get your brand to the top of the search engine result pages.
How to Make Sure Your Brand is Ready
There are 3 main components you will have to adjust for to ensure that your brand is ready for voice search
Like so many other aspects of digital marketing, businesses need to be able to adjust for voice search in the format that it is most popular. So much of consumers’ digital consumption occurs on mobile devices, and voice search is no different in this regard.
In fact, voice search is almost exclusively used on mobile, and it goes without saying that your website should be mobile-optimised. If it’s not, then users will simply bounce back. If a consumer using voice search finds you using their mobile device, but your website does not load or is not compatible with their mobile device, then you have already lost that prospective audience.
A negative experience as their first impression is a sure-fire way to ensure that customer will quickly forget about you and your brand.
Page speed also plays a major role in voice search SEO. The average voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds. You need to minify resources, compress images, leverage browser caching and follow Google’s checklist for optimizing your website’s speed.
Page speed should already be a priority when it comes to your SEO strategy, but it is even more important when you are optimizing for voice search inquiries. There are a number of helpful tools available that can help you assess your website’s performance when it comes to loading speed and other factors essential to good SEO, including Serpstat.
Long-Tail Keyword Phrases
For so long, a huge part of SEO has been keywords. And while keyword research is still going to be important, it has changed a little bit. Content isn’t going to have to rely solely on specific keywords, because voice search relies on much more natural speech patterns than traditional SEO keywords.
Truthfully, keyword research is even more important—and long-tail keywords just got longer. Voice search queries are literally spoken as people really talk, so shoot for optimizing for keyword phrases that are around 5-7 words. Additionally, keyword optimization will be all about natural language through long tail keyword phrases written in questions like where, what, how, when, who, and why. For example: Where is the closest laundromat?
While mobile optimization, page speed, and long-tail keyword phrases should be the key components of your voice search SEO strategy, here are a few more tips to keep in mind in order to place high in voice search results on Google or other search engines:
- Google has been pushing sites to become secure by purchasing and installing an SSL certification.
- Backlinko found that HTTPS websites dominated Google’s voice search results.
- Google likes short voice search query answers. The typical voice search result is 29 words.
- Authoritative domains produce voice search results significantly more than non-authoritative domains.
- Simple, easy-to-read content can help with voice search SEO. The average Google voice search result is written at a 9th grade level.
With voice search garnering a significant chunk of the total daily internet searches, it’s important for every business owner to optimize their websites for voice search. Using the right approach will help with increasing internet traffic for your existing keywords and also establishing new key phrases that will make your content, products, and services visible on search engines.
In this search results-based digital era, voice search will continue to be an integral part of SEO, and may even surpass the traditional text search option. Therefore, for your business to adapt to these structural changes, you must ensure that all your web pages are optimized for voice search.
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