The use of voice search has become increasingly popular in the last few years among consumers looking for local products, services or information to inform their buying decisions.
A 2018 PWC report reveals that approximately seven out of ten consumers (71 percent) prefer to use voice searches to perform a search query over the traditional method of typing. The number of people using voice search in the US is expected to reach 122.7 million before the end of 2021.
As more and more consumers rely on voice search to search for products or services they need, it’s important for businesses to start including voice search in their search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
In this post, you’ll learn what voice search is, its benefits and how you can optimize your website to show up for voice searches when people are looking for products, services or keywords related to your business.
What Is Voice Search?
Voice search is a search option that allows consumers to speak to their devices such as smartphones when searching for a particular topic or business.
For example, someone who is driving home and wants to find a coffee shop will probably not want to be distracted by opening Google search and typing “coffee shot near me”. Instead, they’ll open a voice search and say “where can I get coffee”.
Voice search is an alternative to text search where consumers type out their questions in the search engines. It’s much easier and more convenient because you don’t have to type. The best part is, consumers can use voice search virtually on any devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and PCs.
Why is Voice Search Getting More Popular?
Voice search is faster and easier
It’s faster and easier to search for products or services in search engines like Google using voice search than using the conventional method of searching. With voice search, answers are delivered quicker, making it the fast rising search trend among consumers.
Voice Search is More Convenient
In a very busy and fast-paced world, where time is money, many people no longer like to type out their questions. If you had to choose between speaking and typing a query like “what is the second most valuable tech company after Apple,” you would probably choose the former option for obvious reasons.
Voice search is more appropriate for mobile
In the last decade, there has been a steady increase in the number of people who access the internet using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Smartphones paved the way for search assistants and smart speakers as users on mobile devices tend to leverage voice search the most.
According to BrightLocal, 56 percent of all voice searches are conducted on a smartphone.
Strategies for Voice Search Optimization Success
1. Understand Your Type of Customer & Device Behavior
The best marketing decisions are those driven by data. A successful voice search optimization starts with research to know where users are searching from, search context and customer behavior.
Having relevant information about your potential customers helps you understand how different people use voice search and the type of voice-enabled device the user.
2. Focus on conversation keywords
When people opt for voice search, they’re more likely to use a conversational tone than short phrases commonly used in text search.
For example, someone using text search will simply type out “roof repair service near me” when looking for a local roofing company in their area. But someone using voice search on their phone is more likely to use conversational long-tail keywords like “who offers the best roof repair service?”
3. Choose Long-Tail Keywords
Similar to the previous point, it’s important to start focusing attention on long-tail keywords if you show up for voice generated search results pages in search engines like Google or Bing. That said, you need to start considering local SEO and creating more location-specific content for each service area that you’re targeting.
4. Build Pages That Answer FAQs
When people ask questions using voice search, they typically begin with “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how.”
This means they’re looking for specific answers relevant to their queries.
To answer these questions, create a FAQ (frequently asked question) page with each question beginning with above listed words.
Then go ahead to answer these questions using conversational tone and relevant long-tail keywords to appeal to voice search.
5. Optimize your website’s loading time
Page loading speed is an important ranking factor both in traditional SEO and voice search. Voice searchers want to get immediate results, and if you have a slow website which takes several seconds to load, your content won’t rank for verbal queries.
The longer it takes for a website to load, the more likely for users to abandon it very quickly. That said, it’s important to optimize your page load speed at all costs.
Here are some of the ways to improve your website loading speed:
- Use compressed visual elements (images and videos) on your site
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- It’s recommended to use CSS3 and HTML5 frameworks as they load mobile web pages quickly
6. Optimize your GMB Listing
In the last few years, there has been an astronomical increase in the number of people who use location-based search terms such as “near me” both in traditional search and voice search. To rank for this search, you need to optimize your Google My Business listing.
A GMB listing is a way to let Google know that your business is located in a particular place. When a searcher asks Google for a product, service or business similar to yours in that area, your business could rank for that query.
Some of the ways to rank for “near me” include:
- Use correct name, address and phone number (NAP) in your listing
- Choose the right business category
- Include area codes
- Target keywords with local search intents
- Embed structured data using schema.org for improved performance in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
With each year passing, voice search’s popularity has continued to rise and will soon become a norm. Consumer behavior is constantly changing, and businesses and marketers must be prepared for the voice search trend to meet expectations.
Follow the steps highlighted in this post to improve your website’s chances of showing up in voice generated research results.
If you need further assistance with optimizing your website for voice search, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Please also visit us on Merchant Circle.