How Voice Search Transforms SEO in 2019
Wondering if voice search is affecting the today SEO? Well, I had the same concern, so I did a research and I would like to share with you. We can see that the IoT era is reshaping the way we access the information. At first, we were able to type what we were looking for, now we can do a voice search by simply pressing a button and asking the question. Considering that people now can both write and tell their AI assistants, we are facing new challenges in creating and running SEO campaigns. In this article, you will be able to find everything regarding how voice search requires new SEO tactics and whether it is replacing traditional SEO or it is just an improvement.
How People Use Voice Search?
Whether your customers are using their mobile phones, tablets, or laptops, today they are able to question Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, or Google Assistant. It is not a coincidence that the popularity of voice searches exploded with the development of multiple devices and especially digital assistants, and we can expect more of them in the near future as the tech giants are consistently working on improving them. Since 2008, Google voice searches increased 35x. Additionally, they are 92% accurate today, making a huge difference in the responses people are getting. But does that mean that people don’t type anymore?
I would say no, due to the fact that during the same time text search grew as well. More than half of the internet searches are still done by typers. Additionally, people are not comfortable with searching about sensitive topics by voice, such as healthcare or adults-only. They mostly do quick voice searches to find the nearest restaurant or gym, to check their reviews on Yelp or Google Business Pages and their pricing.
However, everyone is embracing new technology as it makes life easier and in 2020 we can expect that the searches will be 50% each. There is no doubt that it is faster and easier to ask your tech assistant about a certain happening or store near you. Not even the fastest typers can beat the speed of the voice. But, they are equally beneficial.
Voice Search VS Text Search
The main difference between voice and text search is that when people write the question they will get a lot of results of which they can choose the one that suits them best. On the other hand, when they use voice search they mostly get one summarized answer that, for example, Google found on some web page. Sometimes there are no exact answers, so search engines will provide you with just a few website links where you can search.
Observing this, it is undeniable that competition immense, more like bigger than ever, because now wins only the one who is on the top. In order to be the best answer, you will need to ensure the highest rank possible as for old SEO, but also to give your content a more of a conversational tone. To optimize your articles and blog texts for the voice search you should follow the next steps.
1. Use Long-tail Keywords
As customers talk to their digital assistants, they use a spoken language. Their searches are usually questions that need instant answers. They might ask where they can find ice cream or who won the football game, what was the score, etc. If they are inquiring about services using phrases such as “near me”, your content is safe, but your Google My Business page needs to be optimized. Make sure that your name, address, and number are consistent everywhere. On the other hand, if you don’t own a local business you need to reconsider the way you write. Due to questionnaires the users make, you should use more long-tail keywords that replicate their questions. Those queries often start with “how’’, “when”, or “where”, so it would be smart to include those in your answer.
2. Give The Exact Answer
Besides focusing on using long-tail keywords, it is advisable to provide a straight forward answer. Give them information that fits the answer box AI assistants provide. Next, use a more conversational tone in your writing that will launch you at the top of the voice search results. In order to ensure the best content performance, ask your customer service about the most frequent questions, include FAQ page on your website, and read what your buyers say on social media. You can scan what your competitors are doing regarding those questionnaires and find what you could be doing better. Also, take into concern the assistants they can use. If they are using Siri, Cortana, or Alexa, they will search more on Bing than Google. Let’s see what type of users use voice search the most.
From the picture above, we can see that a lot of people still haven’t tried to use any of the assistants, but as I mentioned before, that number is changing rapidly.
3. Use Schema Markup
By using Schema Markup, you increase the possibility that search engines will determine you have the right answer. It adds structured data to your website content, making it more understandable to a broad audience.
If you still don’t have Schema, consider adding it, as it doesn’t just improve your new voice-focused SEO campaigns, it is also very useful for the old text-oriented SEO.
Schema, when it’s done properly, can bring you even in the top box answer.
4. Make your website responsive
It is important that your website is mobile friendly for both voice search SEO and the old SEO strategies. In its latest study, Google found that 60% of the searches come form mobile phones of which 20% are voice searches. Additionally, more than 50% voice searches are done while driving a car, showing how it can be extremely helpful when people can’t use both hands.
Additionally, Google stated that they are redesigning their softwares in order to make them suitable for a mobile-first world. If you don’t want to be left behind compared to the others in your industry, you should better keep track of all the upcoming changes.
I can confidently say that voice search is here to stay. It is reshaping the way people search for their answers, therefore the way you should provide the content. However, it is not making text search irrelevant, it just improves it. Voice search is an excellent addition to old SEO, giving people opportunities to know their interests better in more ways. Furthermore, it provides more chances that your content and business offer will get noticed.
If you want to keep up with the fast pace people are adopting new technologies, you need to reconsider your current SEO strategies. They are probably not irrelevant, they are just not sufficient. Take into account that your customer will be using long-tail keywords that imply a more conversational tone as they are practically talking to their digital helpers.
Voice search is not just challenging for B2C businesses, it will be equally hard for B2B companies to get the top spot on search results. It would be very useful if the tools that list the most frequently asked questions or the top voice search ranks become available soon. And as any marketing innovation is usually followed by the new set of tools, I am pretty sure that those kind of apps are about to enter the market.
But until then, you can focus on delivering content that answers the question correctly and in a concise form.
February 4, 2019