In recent years, voice search has gained immense popularity due to its convenience and accessibility. People are now using their voice to ask questions, perform searches, and even make online purchases. Why go and fetch your phone when you can ask your question from exactly where you’re sitting with the likes of Alexa or Google Home? As a result of increasing numbers of smart speakers in combination with improved voice recognition software on mobile devices, voice search optimisation has emerged as the next big step in the world of SEO.
How do we define voice search optimisation? Well, it essentially refers to the process of optimising your website’s content and SEO strategy to ensure better visibility and ranking specifically in voice search results. Unlike traditional typing searches, voice searches tend to be more conversational, as well as focused on their local surroundings. Because of this, optimising for voice search may require a slightly different approach when compared to traditional SEO practices.
Changing Search Behaviour
Voice search has brought about a shift in user search behaviour. Instead of typing a few keywords into a search engine, users now ask questions and make conversational queries when using voice assistants. This change necessitates a new approach to SEO. Digital marketers will have to understand the intent behind voice searches and optimise your content accordingly. Long-tail keywords and natural language phrases that align with user queries become crucial in capturing voice search traffic.
This use of natural language is also a key factor for voice search optimisation. To align with voice search queries, we should focus on creating content that reflects natural language and conversational tones. Understanding the context and intent behind user queries can help tailor your content to provide relevant answers. FAQ pages, voice search-friendly blog posts, and content that addresses common questions can improve your chances of appearing in voice search results.
Focus on Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are the pieces of text that appear at the top of your SERP often when asking a question. This text is what Google has chosen to be the most relevant and correct answer to your search query. These featured snippets play a surprisingly important role in voice search optimisation because when users ask a question, voice assistants often read out the featured snippet as the answer. This presents an opportunity for us to aim for the top spot and increase our visibility in voice search results. Creating concise and well-structured content that directly addresses common user queries can improve the chances of appearing as a featured snippet.
Voice searches aren’t necessarily only done using smart speakers. In fact, they’re primarily conducted on mobile devices using the likes of Siri and Google Assistant. As a result, having a mobile-friendly and fast-loading website is critical. Mobile optimisation not only improves the user experience but also aligns with search engines’ preference for mobile-responsive websites. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and responsive design can help us create a seamless experience for users across different devices, which positively impacts voice search optimisation. An easy and effective way to test website performance on mobile is by using PageSpeed Insights, which allows you to paste any URL and it’ll provide diagnostic reports on the site’s core web vitals, performance, SEO and more, for both desktop and mobile.
Voice searches often have a local intent, with users looking for nearby businesses, directions, or recommendations. Optimising for local SEO and hyperlocal search is essential for us with physical locations. Incorporating location-specific keywords, creating a Google My Business profile, and ensuring consistent business information across online directories can enhance your visibility in voice search results. By targeting users who are in close proximity to your business, you can drive more foot traffic and improve conversions.
By leveraging natural language processing and machine learning capabilities, search engines such as Google and Bing will be able to generate more accurate and relevant search results. The likes of Bard and ChatGPT are being integrated within these search engines and will most likely lead to a more conversational style of web search. This therefore implies that optimising for voice search may simultaneously lead to optimising for Web 3.0 and generative AI powered search.
Voice search optimisation presents a unique opportunity to connect with users in a more conversational and personalised manner. By understanding the rise of voice search popularity, implementing key strategies, and staying up-to-date with emerging trends, we can position ourselves for success and harness the benefits of this next big step in SEO. Find out more about our SEO services and projects here.
Inflowing is a B2B marketing agency. We help B2B organisations do meaningful things with marketing. Whether that’s getting more leads, more visibility, or supporting their sales teams.
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