If you pay attention to the marketplace’s dance, you’ll surely notice rising popularity of AI digital assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, or Google Assistant. The digital giants are in a continuous competition, each trying to deliver the best voice search experience for its users.
Along with the intelligent digital assistants that can understand you and perform your requests listening to simple voice commands, you’ll also find brand new, innovating physical tools such as Amazon Echo or Google Assistant. These small objects are extremely “smart”. Place them on your office desk and start talking to them. They will respond back.
Just like you see in movies, we’ll soon be talking to our digital and physical assistants on a daily basis. Why? Because they’re supposed to make our lives easier. Busy professionals are always seeking to improve their productivity, and getting into the voice recognition trend is surely a palpable opportunity to do so.
Statistics confirm it too: 60% of searches come from a mobile device. Moreover, according to a 2016 report, 20% of searches performed on Google were voice queries. Without a doubt, we’ll soon be using our voices for more than communicating with each other. Smart AI technology will change the way search engine work, and we must be ready to embrace the shift.
Voice Search on Google – What You Need to Know
Google is trying its best to improve its products and services. Obviously, Google’s main focus is to offer its search engine users the best possible results for their queries. Therefore, they sort out unimaginable amounts of information and signals with the purpose of displaying the best out of the best, for each unique keyword/key phrase that is typed.
Voice Search – What are Users Using It For?
As a webmaster, you need to make a clear distinction between text search and voice search. The reason for which people use voice search varies, but there are some search query elements which seem to be very common. According to a study performed by Northstar Mobile Voice, here’s what most of the users use voice search for:
As you probably notice, the requests are totally different compared to the usual text input. Whenever we search for something by typing it on Google, we expect to receive more information and more choices.
However, voice assistants make you feel that you’re talking to a person, therefore, your requests will be different. Voice search results are in fact one result. There will be only one answer, which will display the most relevant piece of content which exists on the web. This changes the entire SEO game. That’s the entire purpose of Google, remember? To bring relevancy to the table, so it will try to achieve that by any means
The Voice Search Industry Continues to Grow
50% of all the world’s searches will be voice searches by the end of 2020. That’s just one prediction that comes from Comscore. According to another study done by VoiceLabs, in 2017, about 25 million voice devices will be commercialized, adding up to the already existing 8 million which are already in use. This will lead to a total of 33 million voice search devices (that, of course, include AI digital assistants.)
Carl Meeks, an SEO Specialist who works at Edugeeksclub dissertation writing service, makes an interesting point:
“Soon enough, Google and the other tech giants (Amazon, Microsoft) will develop AI assistants which will be smarter than us in many ways (not all ways), and the game will change again! It never stays the same. As a webmaster or business owner, you’re ought to keep up with the marketplace’s movement and do the necessary changes when they’re required.”
WEBMASTERS – How Do We Optimize our Websites for Voice Search?
The answer you’ve been waiting for. Optimizing your website for voice search revolves around understanding several factors:
Acknowledge the Fact That Voice Searches Are Different from Text Searches.
For example, if someone wants to find “luxury shoes in New York”, that’s exactly what the user is going to type (text).
However, if the same user uses voice search and asks his/her digital assistant (Siri, Google Assistant) to find luxury shoes in New York, the query will probably be “where can I find/what’s the best place for/ luxury shoes in New York.” The queries are always very different, as words such as “what”, “when”, “how”, and “where” seem to be extremely used through voice searches.
List your Website on “Google My Business”
Did you know that there’s a thing called “Google My Business”, a place where you can list your local business and all the details related to it? Well, this feature helps all local business owners get listed in Google Maps and not only. If you want Google to find you quicker whenever people search through voice search, update Google with your phone number, main address, your business hours, and so on.
Because most of the voice searches have a “local nature”, which means that people look for answers related to their current location (city, zone), listing your business on “Google My Business” significantly improves your website’s odds of being featured in the only voice search result, brought by different search queries which you’re optimized for.
Understand Your Audience Very Well
You can’t have an SEO strategy (text/voice) without gaining a clear perspective over your target audience’s characteristics. You first need to know their needs, then their problems. You need to understand how they think and how they act. That is the only way you can approach in order to support most of their queries.
One way of better understanding how your target audience asks questions is to analyze your own customer support data. If you don’t have one, start looking into niche forms. What you need to do is analyze and understand the type of questions that are most commonly addressed by the ones you wish to sell to.
Use Longer, Conversational Key Phrases
Considering that you know your target audience well and you know how they think, how they ask questions, and what they generally want, you can start optimizing your website for longer, conversational key phrases and keywords. You see, when people ask questions, they’re likely to use more than a few words.
Once you confirm several keywords/key phrases which are used in queries that could lead to your website, develop awesome content around them. Just use them like you’re using keywords, optimize them normally, and expect to see results.
Take Advantage of Your FAQ Page
Your “Frequently Asked Questions” Page is a golden asset for your voice search optimization. Generally, the FAQ page contains many long-tailed key phrases, and that’s exactly what you’re looking for. The content displayed on the FAQ page should be optimized for Voice Search assistants. Whenever you post a question, try formulating it like a user would.
This might not be a simple task. However, it’s truly worth it. By listing more and more questions, no matter whether they’re chaotic in order and structure, you will help Google Voice identify, categorize, and suggest your content as the main answer to many search queries.
Even though there’s a big hype around voice search use, the voice recognition technology is still not completely functional. Yes, smart AI assistants can understand what you’re saying, but they can’t differentiate the “I” from the “Y”, they can’t fully comprehend accents, and they are lacking a lot of other things.
Still, these aspects will be perfected in a very short time, as technology is very unpredictable and surprising. Nevertheless, every webmaster and local business owner that wishes to leverage Voice Search in the future should immediately start preparing for it. Use the knowledge and tips you’ve received in this post and begin taking action right now!
Antonio Tooley is a marketing specialist and a blogger. He loves writing about SMM, marketing, education and productivity. He’s also crazy about riding his bike and bumping into new people (when he’s on foot). He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter.