In recent years, voice search has been dominating the SERPs landscape. Since the launch of iPhone’s Siri, voice search has become convenient for people to search for information online. This feature allows everyday users to speak into their devices instead of typing it out. Approximately 40% of users use voice search features and 71% of people prefer to speak rather than type. With voice search becoming the new normal for online users, it’s important to understand how it is dominating SERPs and how businesses optimise for voice search. First, let’s grasp a greater understanding of voice search.
From Text to Talk
As mentioned before, voice search allows users to speak into the device when searching rather than typing the keywords to generate results. The feature is essentially an audio technology that utilises automatic speech recognition (ASR) to comprehend the users. Applications such as Google Assistant, Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Alexa all use voice search functions. The voice search feature has attracted numerous users because it simply provides instant answers and gives them the space to multitask. Oftentimes voice search queries from users are conversational and include more long-tail keywords. Most of the answers given to users are pulled from Google’s featured snippets, so it’s essential to optimise for these features to capture more voice search traffic. Other devices such as Amazon Alexa gets answers from third-party websites such as IMDB, AccuWeather, Wikipedia, and Yelp. In essence, it’s critical for businesses to optimise their websites for voice search.
How to optimise for voice search?
Although voice search has its differences compared to typed search, you can still optimise content for voice results without completely sacrificing SERPs on desktops. The following strategies will not only help improve your performance in voice searches but also in traditional searches.
1. Ensure Your Website Loads Quickly
Just like the traditional SEO, you need to keep a good focus on common site speed practices. Voice search is in favor of websites that load quickly.
- Ensure that your site is responsive on mobile devices since users tend to use their phones to do voice searches
- Check if your images are optimised
- Files need to be compressed
- Lastly, use website caching to improve page speed
2. Create featured snippets for voice search
You may or may not have noticed, that featured snippets appear most of the time on Google search queries. A featured snippet is also known as “Quick Answers” which provides a summary answer from a web page. This is especially crucial because it is generally where voice search pulls their answers from. The four basic forms of featured snippets include paragraphs, lists, tables, and Youtube videos. Thus, in order to optimise your content for featured snippets, you need to provide high-quality and trustworthy data for searchers. It’s suggested to create an identifiable featured snippet by including a concise summary of your main content under 29 words. In addition, sections that have H-tags, lists, and bullet points are easy to understand for Google to look for answers.
3. Concentrate on local searches
Normally internet users use voice search to search up local things in their area. Nearly 22% of voice search queries look for location-based content. Local businesses and retailers should use this to improve their voice search SEO strategy. Thus, to improve visibility for voice search, you need to ensure that:
- Include relevant backlinks
- Website content is composed of long-tail local keywords
- Try using phrases such as “near me” and update the local directories where you have a presence in
4. Make your content more approachable
Voice searches are conducted in natural language so it is important to have content that sounds conversational to have better performance in SERPs. When users use voice search, they tend to speak in tones that are more natural and conversational. Instead of using short keywords in your SEO strategy, implement long-tail keywords and direct answers to users’ common questions. It’s suggested to write content that is between 1850 to 2500 words. Hence, reevaluating your content’s keywords to adapt to voice search will improve rankings and earn featured snippets.
Overall, voice search is becoming the new normal and is dominating SERPs slowly but surely. Although it will probably never replace typed search, voice search is still far more convenient for quick searches. Businesses don’t want to miss out on this sizable increase in search traffic.
If you have any questions regarding how to optimise your website for voice search or any SEO-related questions, feel free to contact us! You can also check out our website SEO Company Melbourne – experts in anything and everything SEO.