Voice Search Optimization: Optimizing Content for Voice Assistants

Voice Search Optimization

Voice search optimization is important for increasing your website visibility as the adoption of voice-enabled devices continues to grow.

Voice search has been called “the future of online search” numerous times during the past decade. We realize your enthusiasm for having your website’s content picked up and forwarded to smart home devices is equal to ours. Many users who have started using voice search say they can’t envision returning to typing in their queries.

Seventy-one percent of users would rather use voice search than type in their query. By 2022, 66.3 million homes in the United States will have a smart speaker. The number of people who employ voice search is expected to rise in tandem with the popularity of this web search method. But how do you guarantee that your website is recommended to whole families by digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana?

What can you do to retain the 71% of searchers who use their voices only? Very exciting! The search engine optimization (SEO) industry has found techniques to accommodate voice queries. Read on, and you’ll learn how to capitalize on voice search so that when a potential consumer says, “Ok, Google,” your website will appear.

What is Voice Search Optimization?

Voice Search Optimization (VSO) refers to the process of optimizing digital content to improve its visibility and ranking in voice search results. With the increasing popularity of voice assistants and voice-activated search devices like smartphones, smart speakers, and virtual assistants (e.g., Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa), optimizing content for voice search has become crucial for businesses and website owners.

Unlike traditional text-based searches, voice searches are typically longer, more conversational, and often framed as questions or commands. VSO aims to ensure that content is structured and tailored to match the way people speak and the specific phrases they use when conducting voice searches.

What exactly is optimizing for voice search?

To improve your site’s visibility in voice searches, you should optimize website for voice searches. Optimizing for voice search means making your site more relevant to people’s needs when they perform searches aloud. The user’s voice search device (Alexa, Siri, OkGoogle) will read your page aloud anytime they ask for information relating to your page if you follow these steps.

  • By 2022, 66.3 million homes in the United States will have a smart speaker. The importance of voice search optimization and the data prove it can’t be overstated.
  • 58% of consumers have turned to voice search to learn more about a local company. (Information courtesy of SEJ)
  • Voice-activated smartphone searches have reached 27% of Google’s total internet audience. (Google Translate)
  • More than half of those with smart speakers keep them in a public area like a living room. Twenty-five percent of device owners slept with their gadgets, while another 22 percent kept their speakers in the kitchen. (Google)
  • When conducting a desktop search for a certain query, 75% of voice search results appear in the first 3 spots.
  • Sixty percent of smartphone owners said that they just couldn’t function without their gadgets.
  • Voice searches made up 25% of all Windows 10 desktop searches.
  • Over half, or 56%, of all voice searches, were made to find information on the World Wide Web.

How come voice search is becoming more popular?

Picture yourself in the kitchen, trying to make a new meal but finding the instructions confusing. You don’t want to use your smartphone if your hands aren’t completely clean, just like everyone else. Do you have any ideas that might be useful? You may confidently ask your voice search assistant to read the entire recipe word for word while you go on with your happy cooking.

The instance above is only one of many times that voice search has come to our rescue.

Some of the most notable causes of voice search’s rising popularity are:

  • You can find what you’re looking for far more quickly and easily using voice search.
  • There’s no denying that the convenience of voice searches over more conventional methods of finding an answer to a question is a major factor in its widespread adoption.
  • Voice Search is Easier and More Convenient
  • No one likes to waste time typing out queries in today’s fast-paced digital environment. People like the simple solution when it’s only a syllable away.
  • If we had to pick between typing and uttering a query like “Which is the Second-maximum mountain height with inside the international after Mount Everest,” we might all choose the latter.

Appropriate for Mobile Device Voice Search

It’s undoubtedly the single most important factor contributing to voice search’s meteoric rise in popularity. Search assistants and smart speakers have replaced smartphones since voice search is so popular among mobile users.  BrightLocal reports that smartphones are used for 56 percent of all voice searches.

The following data convince you that mobile is crucial to the search industry, especially regarding voice search. Voice-activated smartphone searches are more popular than other types of searches.  Using voice search on a mobile device is convenient for people who are constantly on the go.

What Makes Voice Search Unique Compared to the Old Way?

In contrast to typing a query into a desktop computer, asking a device to retrieve results is a different experience altogether. Voice-activated searches are unique. How? Read on! Longer, more conversational keywords are used in voice searches.  We ask full queries when interacting with smart devices rather than simply a few phrases.

A common desktop search is “make pudding cake” or “pudding cake recipe.” We can use voice commands to ask questions like, “Hey, Alexa, how do I make a pudding cake at home?” If you compare the two searches above, you’ll see that our voice inquiry is longer and more conversational. Purna Virji, a Microsoft PPC expert and senior manager, said voice search phrases are longer than text search keywords.

  1. Voice Searches Give Preference to Local Results 

“Near me” questions make up the bulk of voice search queries, proving two things:

  • People utilize voice search to look for tourist attractions, hotels, and quick bites while out and about.
  • People require knowledge of not only locations but also times and objects.
  • Now that we know the volume of “near me” searches is substantial, we can investigate the many origins of these inquiries.
  • Voice searches are becoming increasingly popular in public locations like movie theaters, restaurants, and bathrooms. Most of these inquiries are directed toward local establishments or data about them.
  1. Fast and Precise Voice Search Results

Our voice searches usually return the same featured snippets we see when we type in a query. Google’s voice search functionality depends on knowledge graphs and rich snippets. Google is aware that its users value instantaneous results above everything else when conducting a search. The same holds true for voice searches, which place a premium on succinct solutions.

Instant feedback is provided by having these direct responses read to the questioner. When someone uses voice search, they typically receive an instant response in the form of a rich snippet, a defining feature of voice search results.

The Most Important Elements of Voice Search Optimization

Traditional SEO for websites is changing to incorporate voice search optimization as voice assistants like Alexa and Siri gain popularity. Many customers prefer voice search over typing in keywords when searching for information before purchasing. Now, marketers need to make sure that the pages of their websites perform well in voice search results as well as in traditional text-based searches.

As a result, there is now an increased difficulty in optimizing web material for discovery via voice search. In the following, 13 members of the Forbes Communications Council discuss additional considerations for marketers to consider when adapting content for voice search.

Understand the Shift towards Mobile

Recognize that voice search is primarily driven by mobile devices, such as smartphones and smart speakers. It is crucial to optimize your content for mobile to ensure compatibility and provide a seamless user experience across different devices and platforms.

Prioritize Local SEO

Pay special attention to local search engine optimization as many voice searches are location-specific. Claim and update your Google My Business listing, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information about your business, such as address, phone number, and operating hours. This optimization increases your visibility in local search results, making it more likely for your website to appear when users ask for nearby businesses or services.

Use Conversational Language

Optimize your content with long-tail keywords and conversational language to match the natural way people ask questions in voice searches. Instead of focusing solely on short and concise keywords, consider the full context of user queries and create content that answers their questions directly and conversationally.

Optimize FAQs

Write your frequently asked questions (FAQs) in a conversational tone and organize them properly on your website. Voice search queries often revolve around seeking answers to specific questions, and having a well-structured FAQ section increases the chances of your content appearing in featured snippets and being read aloud by voice assistants.

Anticipate User Questions

Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and think about the types of questions they might ask related to your industry, products, or services. Incorporate those questions and provide direct answers within your content to make it more discoverable in voice search results. This approach helps address user intent and ensures your content aligns with their specific queries.

Keep Keywords Simple

Voice search queries tend to be more natural and conversational compared to traditional typed queries. Avoid using complicated or jargon-heavy keywords and instead focus on simple and easy-to-understand terms. Use language that matches the way your target audience speaks to increase the chances of your content being picked up by voice assistants.

Consider Dialectal Variation

Voice search optimization should take into account the location and language or dialectal differences of your target audience. Optimize keywords and phrases based on the specific country or region you’re targeting, considering the variations in language usage and pronunciation.

Account for Ambiguous Spellings

If your brand name, product, or offering has imaginative or ambiguous spelling, consider the ease with which users can pronounce and remember it. Make your content memorable and distinct, overcoming any challenges in spelling or pronunciation that could potentially hinder voice search recognition and understanding.

Focus on Featured Snippets

Voice searches often rely on featured snippets and rich snippets for quick and concise answers. Optimize your content to appear in featured snippets by providing clear and relevant information in a structured format. Use headings, bullet points, and concise summaries to enhance the chances of your content being selected as a featured snippet and read aloud by voice assistants.

Provide Structured Data

Implement structured data markup on your website using schema.org vocabulary to help search engines understand and present your content more effectively in voice search results. By providing additional context and structured information about your content, you increase the likelihood of being featured in voice search responses.

Optimize Page Load Speed

Page load speed is crucial for mobile users and voice search experiences. Ensure that your website and individual pages load quickly to provide a smooth and seamless user experience. Compress images, minify code, use caching techniques, and leverage content delivery networks (CDNs) to improve loading times and enhance overall performance.

Optimize for Local Intent

In addition to local SEO efforts, consider optimizing your content for local intent. Provide information about local attractions, landmarks, events, or nearby businesses to cater to users’ “near me” queries. Understand the local context and incorporate relevant location-based keywords to increase your visibility in voice search results.

Leverage Schema Markup

Utilize schema markup to provide additional context and structured data to search engines, Making it less difficult for them to apprehend and gift your content material in voice seek results. Schema markup helps search engines interpret your content more accurately and provides important details that can be utilized in voice search responses.

Create Conversational Content

Craft your content in a conversational tone to match the natural language used in voice searches. Instead of using a formal or technical tone, focus on writing in a way that reflects how people speak when asking questions verbally. Use phrases, sentences, and paragraphs that sound natural and conversational, enhancing the likelihood of your content being selected for voice search responses.

Continuously Monitor and Adapt

Voice search technology and user behaviors are constantly evolving. Stay up to date with the latest advancements, new features, and changes in voice search algorithms. Continuously monitor your website’s performance in voice search results and adapt your optimization strategies accordingly. Analyze user feedback, track relevant metrics, and make necessary adjustments to ensure your content remains optimized for voice search and provides the best possible user experience.

In Conclusion

SEO experts can no longer consider voice search a “near future” tactic. It’s already here, and marketers are competing to become the best at using it.

There are essentially three rules to follow:

  • Finding out more about your intended market.
  • Keeping an eye on how voice search develops.
  • Keeping up with your site’s SEO is essential.

Now, with the knowledge and resources at your disposal, you can apply the techniques mentioned above to optimize your content for voice search. Utilize the support of your team, your creativity, intuition, and available resources to bring your ideas to life. Good luck!