Voice search technology has been around for years, specifically since 2011. Since then, voice search and voice recognition have come a long way.
With constant improvements to voice search technology, users are becoming more and more familiar with it and avid users; and I don’t mean for asking Siri ‘Who’s your daddy?’, as entertaining as it is :)
Jokes aside, these improvements are making virtual assistants and devices even smarter and the user’s daily life even more convenient.
For digital marketers, it changes the way we approach Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- 50% of all searches will be voice searches in 2020
- According to Google, 20% of searches are voice searches
- 31% of smartphone users globally use voice tech once a week
- There are more than 200 million smart speakers across the globe
Pretty cool, right?
So what happens when we’re voice searching and how does it work?
When we ask things like ‘What’s the weather like today’ or ‘Where’s the closest petrol station?’ our virtual assistant searches the web using keywords.
Typically, what’s being picked up and delivered back to the user, are the organic results that appear in the highest-ranking positions on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Essentially, what gets you to the top of that page is SEO.
This creates a huge opportunity for brands and changes a digital marketer’s perspective.
SEO for voice search marketing works in a slightly different manner than conventional search marketing, meaning our SEO strategy needs a new approach.
How does a conventional SEO strategy work?
Search queries directly via the search engine are usually a shorter compilation of keywords. As a result, SEO strategy is usually tailored around short-tail keywords that gather higher traffic by targeting more generic searches.
Short-tail keywords usually consist of 1-2 keywords whereas long-tail keywords consist of 4-5 or even more. Long-tail keywords allow us to target more specific searches meaning we can get more relevant traffic, most likely in a less competitive environment.
A strong SEO strategy would include a carefully calculated combination of short and long-tail keywords depending on the goal.
How is SEO strategy affected by voice searches?
Voice searches are often more conversational in nature, meaning more keywords are being utilized for each search.
This means our SEO strategy must incorporate a few different elements.
- Focus on long-tail keywords
These can mimic a more natural tone of questioning and language. Thus, you should include as many of them as possible and use them in the right context. For example, if you’re looking for a good brownie recipe, you’re more likely to ask Siri or Alexa, ‘What’s the best brownie recipe?’ versus ‘brownie recipe’, which would be your text search query.
- Question keyword prioritization
Users are more likely to ask questions like ‘Which is the closest restaurant?’ or ‘How do I properly recycle PMD?’. You will need to prioritize and focus on the question keywords that are most important to you and can generate more traffic; ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘which’, ‘where’ and ‘when’.
- Answer-focused content
While using virtual assistants, users are expecting specific answers to their questions, meaning the virtual assistant is searching for this natural and specific answer. The more specific of an answer you can provide the more likely it is you’ll be picked up as the best response option.
If the question is ‘How much does a toaster cost?’ a specific answer would be ‘This classic red toaster costs 35€’. This would be included in the beginning of your content and give you a better chance of being read back to the user.
These are just a few of the things to take into consideration when optimizing your SEO strategy for voice search. There’s a lot of depth to this new trend already and it will keep growing. From device to software, there’s so much more that can be done to get you to that top-ranking position.
Voice search marketing appears to be the future of online marketing and rest assured it will come our way before you know it.
And as with every trend, it’s adapt or die; so stay ahead of the curve, gain some headway against your competition and start working on the future, now.
Our experienced SEO team is here to support your current and future SEO needs.
Check out our services here.