Technological advancements have changed the way people search the internet. As voice recognition technology is now near perfect, it is possible to speak out any search query instead of typing it. The tradition of typing search queries is now set to change in a great way. By using voice search, users can naturally frame their questions just as they speak. One can conduct voice search across all devices from smartphones to computers, and this raises the possibility of conducting website sessions without using a screen. According to studies conducted it is likely that by 2020 almost 30% searches on the web could do well without using a screen.
What is voice search?
Speaking to a device to communicate with it is replacing traditional typing of words to frame a search query. Search engines recognize the voice input by using voice recognition technology and can precisely understand what users are saying. The results are available through voice only that users can hear and there is no need of any screen for viewing the result. The transition to voice search seems quite logical because the technology was already in use in some other areas like using speech to text programs and voice dialing that we are already familiar with. Voice search gained much more popularity with the launch of virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortona, Amazon Alexa, Siri, etc.
Just as it is possible to optimize any device for voice search similarly, it is possible to optimize websites, platforms, and brands for voice search too. This facility allows using virtual assistants for shopping on Amazon, scan Wikipedia or search through Spotify when looking for some specific music just by speaking to the device to pose the search query. Brands are now optimizing their interfaces to make it compatible with voice search.
Impact of voice search on SEO rankings
It is not only because of technological advancement that voice search is gaining popularity but also because it enhances user experience. It is not surprising that the experts at Kotton Grammer SEO Miami believe that voice search will dominate searches and by 2020 it will constitute almost 50% of all searches on the web. Google that always tries to improve user experience is ready to embrace voice search optimization which is going to become the order of the day. Google tries to rank websites as much accurately as possible so that searchers get the most appropriate answers and the best information to their queries almost instantly and it revolves around providing the best user experience.
SEO for voice search is surely different from traditional SEO, and you must remember that the ranking factors that influence traditional SEO may not have a similar impact on voice searches and vice versa. It needs some learning and preparation to adopt SEO suitable for voice searches and what would be the way forward in optimization should become clear on going through this article.
Create a fast loading website
The speed of websites matter most for users who want to have a pleasing experience, and the aspect gains more importance as Google also favors speedy websites. Moreover, website speed is even a ranking factor. Remember that in voice search only the method of communication with the device or system is different, but users would like to see the search results displayed in the same way as it happens of traditional searches.
Use responsive design for creating mobile-friendly websites and use compressed files and optimized images that facilitate quick page loading. Other ways of improving the speed of the website are to reduce server response time, better use of website caching and any other optimization techniques that make websites speedier.
Include long tail keywords in the content
Keyword phrases that used to consist of just a few words have undergone changes first due to the introduction of semantic keywords that led to the discovery of user intent and now due to voice search. In traditional searches, people used only a few words scantily to express their query. For example, a typical search query could be ‘Top steel door company’ which implies what the searcher is looking for. Things started changing with the introduction of voice searches as people started asking complete questions. The same query in voice search would sound like ‘Which are the top Steel door companies in the world.’ It means that to optimize for voice search, you must include long tail keywords in the content instead of short and crisp keywords that do well for traditional searches.
Focus on featured snippets
Even the best content may go unnoticed if not promoted in the right way. You must ensure that your content draws the attraction by standing tall and away from the crowd so that search engines can quickly understand its quality and pick it up as the first choice against specific search queries. Moreover, readers too must get a glimpse of the content to select it over other content. For increasing the visibility of the content, you must create featured snippet which is a small box that appears with the search result and contains a brief summary about the web page content that demonstrates its relevance to users. Google creates featured snippets programmatically, and you must optimize your content in such a way that there are distinct elements to draw from for creating a summary of the web page.
Focus on local searches
Voice searches have a strong local connection because 22% voice searchers look for content that has a link to some location. To capture the traffic generated by voice searches, brands are aggressively investing in local content as it has a higher conversion rate because searchers are in the advanced stages of buying.
The impact of voice search on the SEO rankings is still not clear because there are yet no signs in Google Analytics reports. But there should not be any doubt that voice searches increase traffic flow to websites. And we eagerly wait for the day when the results of enhanced brand awareness and conversions from voice searches would become just too much evidence.