2019 would be the year of voice search. If its dominance in the search ecosystem grows at the current pace, it would overshadow other modes of searches by 2020. If researches are true, within two years from now, voice searches would be 30 to 50 percent of all searches conducted.
Recent advances in machine learning and Artificial intelligence have paved the way for major changes in the voice search. Google’s Assistant has already established its might by showing understanding of the English language with an accuracy rate of up to ~95 percent.
Voice Search Optimization: What’s the Buzz?
Optimizing for standard organic results and optimizing for voice are entirely different affairs. In either case, being on top is everything. Top 3 results in the SERP get the maximum clicks. And in case of voice, where top three results are for mobile and one result is for smart speakers, consider the traffic you website or app may receive.
What is Voice Search Optimization?
Optimizing your content, location, and brand information to improve the probability of appearing in voice search results is widely considered as voice search optimization. You will amaze to see the level of penetration voice searches have across different business niche. (Hitwise study 2017)
- Foods & Beverages: 72%
- Health: 68%
- Sports: 68%
- News and Media: 64%
Since Voice Search SERP shows up only three results, missing the top place means losing business. If you’re inquisitive about how voice activated devices fetch the information from, here is the answer. Yelp powers Amazon Alexa to get the information about the local searches. Likewise, Google fetches the information from Google Maps and Apple’s Siri takes help from Apple Maps. To follow suit, Microsoft’s Cortana fetches information from Bing.
How to Develop a Voice Search Optimization Strategy?
Following are the key Voice Search Optimization strategies you can put in place to get an edge in voice search results.
1. Start with Optimizing Your Business List:
To get the best benefit of voice search, it’s essential that your business listing is consistent and up to date with your name, address, and phone (NAP) data. Most businesses lose a hefty amount every year just because of putting missing and inaccurate listings. If you’re gearing up for voice search, it’s essential you’re providing accurate business information to users.
2. Focus on Site Speed:
Site speed is an equally important factor if you’re optimizing for voice search. This is because users need quick results when they conduct mobile voice searches. Moreover, Google has already rolled out its speed update to reward fast loading websites. Website pages that take longer than 3 seconds to load are considered slow. Therefore, if your website is struggling with speed issues, immediate fixing is the only way out. If your website isn’t ranking well in SERPs due to poor speed, you may miss huge in voice search opportunities.
3. Focus on Questions and User Intent:
Most of the people use their digital assistants to execute tasks and get answers for certain questions. This intent should reflect in your optimization. While optimizing the website for voice search, stick to the conversational, long-tail keyword phrases in your content. This is how you would be able to better answer natural language questions.
Try to optimize your content with natural language keyword phrases that your potential audience is most likely to ask.
4. Provide Answers for FAQs
The fact remains that most of the answers in the voice search come from featured snippets. Thus, an optimized featured snippet works well for voice search. Produce fresh content that answers questions. Update it timely for more conversions. Put it under ‘h2’ headers for maximum visibility. If there are questions left to answer on your Google My Business, answer them instantly.
If you’re running an e-commerce business, creating featured snippets would be the best strategy for voice search engine optimization. You can do it in two ways, by using existing content on your website or by creating an FAQ page. Like SEO, you can use standard SEO strategies to rank higher in search results.
FAQ pages are probably an asset for Voice Search Optimization. If you’re running a food outlet, be specific and to-the-point about your delivery options, hours of operation and menu items available.