Why and How to Optimize for Voice Search to Stay Ahead in 2020

Trying to search for information using your keyboard on your laptop or mobile can be quite challenging if you are multitasking. A PWC report reveals that as many as 71% of the people surveyed displayed a preference for using voice search compared to conventional methods of searching the web. According to https://www.forbes.com, by the year 2020, around half of all online searches will be done using voice commands. The reason why this is simply more than an interesting fact for marketers is that due to the difference in the way the query is framed in voice search, the results displayed in the SERPs are likely to be quite different. This means that if you have not optimized your website for voice search, you could potentially be losing out big time to your competitors. A few useful tips to get your website up to speed for voice search: 

The Need to Optimize Websites for Voice Search 

Even as digital voice assistants are increasingly used by users to access information from the web, it is apparent that the sources of information too must be optimized to deliver the most relevant and accurate information. There is no denying the fact that voice search has already emerged as a significant part of searches and is likely to dominate in the future. The worry about gearing up for voice search stems from the fact that different results are obtained from typed searches and voice searches, this means that the method of optimizing your website must necessarily also be different. Another major concern about voice search is that mobile users will get only one result, the top result is also being called as “position zero,”, and as may be obvious is every marketer’s target result. 

Essential Factors in Optimizing for Voice Search

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are displayed in a box at the top of the search results page and are Google’s response to the search query that pulls out content that it considers most relevant. You can be confident that if the results that a voice search query generates contain a featured snippet, your voice assistant will pull out the desired answer from there. Google pulls out featured snippets from only those sites where it finds good quality, relevant, and accurate content. This means that if you wish to score high in voice search, you should focus on providing very high-quality content. 

User Intent

There are many reasons why people search on the web for your site. They could be looking for information or perhaps trying to buy something. On many occasions, the user intent is obvious due to the usage of terms like how to, where, buy, what is, price, etc., however, in many instances, the actual intent may be hidden and only known to the user. The Hummingbird update launched by Google in September 2013 revolutionized the search process inasmuch that for the first time, Google attempted to customize its results to provide the most relevant answers after considering the context of the query, even if the intent was not expressed by the user. According to a leading Website Marketing SEO Company, since Google is now able to factor in a lot of other signals in its search environment, content managers should also attempt to consider user intent at the time of creating and updating content so that they are more relevant to specific queries. 

Natural Language Questions and Long-Tail Keywords

When using voice search, people tend to frame the questions in the same way they would have done if they were speaking to another human. This is in stark contrast to the short phrases that tended to be quite choppy used in keyboard searches. The use of the more conversational style is the basis of the emergence of long-tail keywords that are extremely helpful in optimizing content for voice search. According to experts, the secret of getting better ranks is to use keywords and phrases in the way it is used while speaking not while using the keyboard to type it out. There are several tools that you can use to find out the typical questions your target audience is likely to ask; all you need to do is to feed in a word or phrase that describes the content subject. It will help to answer the most common question on a blog or the website precisely and accurately, taking care to keep them updated regularly to help you to find a coveted featured snippet position.

Page Speed

The page loading speed is critical for your result to have a chance in appearing in the top voice search results. Users are typically in a big hurry, especially when they are multitasking or on the go using their mobile devices to search for information. If your page does not load, it means that your chance to attract traffic is lost to some competitor. Using a tool like PageSpeedInsights, you can analyze the current loading time of your pages and then use its recommendations to optimize it further. It is, of course, important to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly in the first place.

Local SEO

A BrightLocal study reports that 58% of consumers try to find local businesses using voice search. This means that it is extremely important for you to optimize your website for local SEO using long-tail keywords incorporating your business location that can be as local as the neighborhood or wide-ranging as the region or state depending on your presence. Local search results keep on varying as per the location of the user to make the results more relevant. This makes it important to ensure that you have the NAP information accurately listed on your website as well as Google My Business page, and local directories and listings. 

Conclusion 

Voice search is already quite popular, especially with the young generation using their mobile phones extensively. There are enough indications that very soon it will become the dominant way to access information online. Optimizing your website for voice search will ensure that you do not miss out on the potential of these users. Implementing the suggested tips will help you to face the future with more confidence.

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