Voice search technology allows a person to speak directly into a device instead of having typed the query to get the answer. Speech recognition is possible through audio technology. The technology understands what users are saying with extreme precision. Voice technology isn’t new. Speech-to-text has been operational for quite some time. There are programs like Microsoft Cortana, Google Assistant, and Alexa that all operate through voice search technology. Anything that can improve a user’s experience impact SEO rankings. As a result, 2020 is the predicted year that online searches will start with voice search.
Google is already placing emphasis on voice search optimization. Search engine optimization exists to help rank websites accurately. The goal has always been to help users find the information and products they need in the shortest amount of time possible.
Marketers need to remember that SEO for voice search and SEO for a traditional website is different. There are factors that may affect website rankings that may or may not have a similar effect on voice search. This also applies vice versa. The key is to balance both SEO strategies so that you can rank for voice search and typical search listings.
Here are several recommendations to help improve your rankings for search. Keep in mind that users employ voice search when hoping to complete some type of action, gain information, or purchase a product.
- Make sure that your website loads fast because Google’s voice search favors those websites. Optimize the images, compress files, and employ other methods that can help speed up your website.
- Write content for search in ways that people often speak. For voice search, you may have to use long-tail phrases. Your users may ask a question differently. Keep this in mind when optimizing for voice search. Also, keep your voice search phrases simple and short. Even if the information you seek is high-level, break your information down to a ninth-grade reading level. Long-tail keywords rank better for traditional search and voice search. Long content works better as well for articles. Just make sure your content is always relevant.
- The average voice search is around 29 words. So how can you up to the odds that Google will identify your content and read it out to voice search users? Featured snippets are the answer. Featured snippets work well for traditional search, and can benefit you just as well for voice search. You should include a short summary above the webpage fold. Use your long-tailed keywords for the content of the featured snippet.
- Local search is still a critical component of SEO. Invest in local content and your chances of landing more of those voice-search customers will increase. Include the words “near me” in your local content.