What is Voice Search?
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but in simple terms, voice search allows users to search via speech as opposed to typing into a search engine. Users are then provided results based on what terms the user has asked out loud rather than having to type the keywords into the search box. Think of all the energy you’re going to save not having to type anymore!
With the ever-increasing use of smartphones, smart speakers and virtual devices such as the Amazon Alexa and the Echo, voice is fastly becoming the preferred method of search amongst internet users. It’s been predicted that by 2020, 50% of search will be voice as we move further towards AI technology.
I Want In!
Want to up your voice search game? Optimising your site for voice search is pretty much the same as optimising your site for regular typed search, but with a few exceptions to keep in mind. The way in which we type can be different to the way in which we speak, so the following is worth considering when optimising for voice search….
Get To The Point
Picture this. A guy has planned a rather nice Sunday lunch to impress his in-laws but hasn’t got the foggiest on how to do a roast. What’s a millennial to do?! Gone are the days of ‘Googling it’, he’s off to ask Alexa ‘how long does it take to cook a chicken’. So if you are creating a guide on how to cook chicken or optimising a page on your site for chicken cooking times, optimise for specific terms like ‘how long does it take a cook a chicken’ as well as ‘chicken cooking times’ and other related search terms.
As we can see with the above example, ‘how long does it take to cook a chicken’ is a pretty long search term, as are other questions that users are frequently asking their smart devices. So optimising for long-tail keywords is pretty important when it comes to voice search. Other popular voice searches include long-tail queries like ‘where is the biggest airport in the world’ and ‘what is the most liked photo on Instagram’. Which is currently a picture of an egg. 2019 everyone.
If you have been in the SEO game for a while now, you will know that producing how-to guides has been a popular search optimisation tactic for quite some time. Those who have been creating this type of content will further reap the rewards as voice search increases. Remember our friend who couldn’t cook his chicken? He is not alone. A high number of searches through virtual devices begin with ‘how to’, so those who already have content optimised for searches related to ‘how to’ may start to see more and more visits to these areas of the site.
As more of us start to use voice search over typed search, we are starting to see an increase in long-tail keywords that include prepositions. For example ‘washing machines with ten-year warranty’ and ‘Nike trainers with velcro’. Again, this links back to how the way in which we speak is different from the way in which we type. So rather than optimising for just ‘Nike Velcro Trainers’, consider the search term ‘Nike trainers with velcro fastening’ to include the preposition. Other examples include ‘black suits for weddings’ or ‘red dresses for Christmas’.
Be The Best
Search terms beginning with ‘best’ are also highly popular among voice searches. We want the best, so we ask for the best. For instance, that guy who keeps saying he is going to start running is probably looking for a new pair of trainers and may search for something along the lines of ‘what are the best trainers for running’ so rather than just optimising for ‘running trainers’ consider including terms such as ‘best trainers for running’ or ‘best trainers for running outside’ if you want to be even more specific.
Another way to draw in these search terms is to add reviews on your site. Integrating product reviews will help search engines determine which is the most preferred by other customers and deliver these items to those searching for ‘the best’.
Optimising for voice search will also go hand in hand with your local SEO techniques. Users are frequently asking their search speakers for things like ‘jewellery shops in Bath’ or ‘wedding dress shops in Essex’, so your local SEO efforts will pay off here. Searches such as ‘pizza shops near me’ are also becoming more and more prevalent, with Google interpreting the ‘near me’ section by working out where you are located and providing pizza shops near to you. For this, it’s important that you have location data included as schema markup on your site, as well as having Google My Business set up to make sure you are showing on Google Maps.
If you are already following SEO best practice, then you are probably already carrying out the above, so just carry on doing what you are doing. If not, why not get in touch with our SEO experts to see how we can help ensure your site is voice search ready.
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