Google, order me a cheeseburger and some fries!
You’re driving home after a long day at work, and you’re starving.
Wouldn’t it be great to have your meal waiting for you when you arrive?
Instead of pulling over to call a restaurant or typing your order while you drive, you simply ask your virtual assistant do to this for you by saying these couple of words from the beginning of this text.
It’s already clear that voice search will disrupt SEO as an increasing number of people turn to this practice as it’s much more convenient than your regular search, which requires your full attention. Businesses will have to adapt in order to claim the top spot of Google SERPs in these new circumstances - 58% of U.S. consumers use voice search to find local business information.
The Use of Questions
When people are typing, they tend to omit certain words, meaning that such searches are often elliptical.
Voice searches are significantly more conversational than the written ones, which means that they include wh-question words like why, where, when, who, etc. Besides that, when giving commands to their voice assistants, users mostly do that as if they were talking to another human. For example, instead of “the nearest coffee shop,” this common query for written searches turns into “What’s the nearest coffee shop?”
Businesses that want to dominate Google search results need to optimize their content for this new trend. In other words, they should use these entire conversational search phrases containing questions within their content.
The use of conversational, natural language can help marketers figure out what exactly a particular searcher wants to find out. And it’s this intent that allows them to create relevant content.
Typing “iPhone 11” in the search box doesn’t reveal a searcher’s intent. They could be interested in either learning about specifications of this model or purchasing it. However, “Where can I purchase an iPhone 11?” indicates that this particular person is interested in taking action. Understanding this huge difference is essential for creating and delivering the right content and providing relevant answers to users’ questions.
Finally, using long-tail keywords is also something that is in line with the conversational nature of new searches. They will bring you much more targeted traffic, interested in what you have to offer.
Local Search Optimization
Stats say that voice searches on mobile are three times more likely to be local-based.
A couple of years ago, Google’s results for local voice searchers were scarce and modest, to say the least. But now, asking your voice assistant “Show me things to do in Tucson, Arizona,” will result in a number of suggestions. The search engine will come up with a list of popular tourist attractions, restaurants, and other landmarks and amenities, together with a detailed map showing where they are situated.
This allows local businesses to build a strong online presence and take advantage of voice searches. There are different ways to promote your local business and increase both your website and foot traffic, and one of them is local search optimization.
Make sure to claim your business listing through Google My Business and offer as much information about it as you can, including business hours, customer reviews, and photos.
Embracing the Mobile-First Approach
As evidenced by the fact that more than 50% of people use their mobile devices to search the internet, it’s obvious that this shift heavily influenced the popularity of voice search.
Google is all about mobile-first at the moment.
And that’s why mobile-friendly is synonymous with voice friendly, or at least it should be.
At the moment, Google uses mobile versions of websites for indexing and ranking purposes, which means that if you want your website to rank well, you should optimize it for mobile.
However, in a not so distant future, we can expect that search engines will make yet another shift, this time to voice-friendly results.
As Google does everything in its power to improve user experience and show its searchers the most relevant results as quickly as possible, it expects nothing less from your website.
That’s why loading speed matters so much.
In other words, speeding up your website is the first step towards making both your visitors and Google happy.
Leveraging schema markup and structured data is another way to optimize your website for voice search. All this will help search engines to understand your content better, thus allowing them to summarize and show it to the right audience. It can even be said that the main role of schema markup is to decipher your data and allow search engines to make sense of it.
SEO keeps on evolving and adjusting to the needs of internet users. Businesses have to keep track of these changes and optimize their websites in order to stand out among their competitors and be easily found in an avalanche of search results.
Author Bio: Michael Deane
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.