Voice Search and the Future of SEO
As an internet company, we have to adapt to the new strategies and technologies that release. In the SEO realm, there is a large debate on how voice search with artificial intelligence (AI), conversational search, and the internet of things will affect SEO. Some predict that there will be little-to-no impact on web marketing. However, the number of queries via voice search says otherwise.
How does voice search differ?
- Voice searches are longer-tail. We already know about the benefits of “long-tail keyword structure” with SEO, but voice search is done a little differently. Instead of creating a voice with keyword-specific phrasing, try writing content based on the way the user may speak or think.
- Content is more conversational. Having a voice in your content speaks louder than simply matching up keyword-to-keyword. This is reflected in Google updates since Hummingbird in 2013.
- Location plays a huge part in queries. Voice searches are even more location-focused than typed searches. Think about it – are you going to ask, “Where is the Chinese restaurant?” or are you going to ask, “Where is the nearest Chinese restaurant?”
How to Optimize for Voice Search
In 2016, Google announced that 20% of all mobile queries were voice searches. Although there are no official announcements from Google stating that voice search determines the SEO ranking, it is still best practice to prepare for the future and optimize for new patterns of user behavior. Here are a few ways you can do this:
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Let your content speak for itself
When users use voice search, typically they do so to find out information in question-form. Based on this observation alone, it is in your company’s best interest to create content that answers those questions. This means expanding topics and definitions to increase the likelihood of being featured*, especially if it pertains to the products and services you provide. The voice of your content is also important. Remember: the conversational voice is now the new norm.
(*A featured snippet is a block at the top of a search results page that includes the summary of an answer to a question that has been searched for. Currently, there is no algorithm to mark your own page as a featured snippet, but if you mold your content in such a way that educates a reader, the chances of your page being used as the featured snippet are higher than if you, say, list out an answer in bullet-form.)
Improve mobile usability
Voice search typically happens on mobile devices. This means you must make your website responsive on all devices by improving page speed, adding images, etc. Google Accelerated Mobile Pages is a perfect example of why we need to stay updated on new optimization techniques. Google AMP is a lightweight page designed to load quickly on mobile devices. It’s a step further than mobile-friendly pages, because it uses a subset of HTML and a few more extensions. Instead of focusing on the page’s reaction to the size of a browser, AMP organizes the content and images in such a way where the user can access the page easier on mobile.
Location, location, location
The location of your business, especially if it’s local, is crucial for voice search because your company is an answer to the user’s needs. Google My Business listings include the address, category of business you’re in, phone number, business hours, and other important details about a company. Having your Google My Business listing claimed and updated can improve the chances of showing up when someone asks an AI for recommendations.
Although there are no official announcements on how to properly optimize for voice search, or if we even need to optimize for voice search to improve SEO, companies like ASTOUNDZ need to stay proactive on search strategies. Stay up-to-date and educated, and you’ll stay ahead with results.
ASTOUNDZ will help you stay ahead, and we have the results to prove it. If you’re looking for web development, PPC, and/or SEO services, contact us today or click here to do a free site test and SEO score!