We live in a result driven society. People want results with minimal effort and that is what technology today is providing. The internet put a wealth of information at the fingertips of man. However, with advancing technology, that information is available even without the use of fingers. A conversational question verbally presented to a smart device can provide you with the needed information. That is called voice search. It is good for businesses to keep in mind that voice search is not the future, it is the present. Surveys indicate that soon most business searches will be voice searches. Hence this article will consider how to optimize a website for voice search in 2019.
What is Voice Assistance
Ask a friend. That is the easiest way to obtain information. And if the friend is an expert, you have easy access to quality information. That is what voice assistance is. With the advancement in technology, voice commands search and provide information without the user having to key in anything. Amazon’s Alexa is very popular as are Cortana of Windows, Siri of Apple, and the Google Assistant.
A voice assistant or a virtual or digital assistant is software that works like a human. It is also called an Artificial Intelligence assistant. Voice Assistance learns to recognize your voice and turns the verbal commands into text searches, looks for the answer on the internet and then presents the answer to you either on the screen or verbally. It learns and understands user intent and keeps in mind the context of the question while searching for the answer.
What Percent of Searches is Voice?
Studies reveal that 60% of all searches are done on a mobile device. According to Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, 20% of those searches are voice searches. This means that one-fifth of mobile phone users speak to their devices. By 2020 more than half of all mobile searches will be voice searches. It is understandable then that businesses are looking for tips for voice search revolution.
There are a number of reasons why voice assistance is growing in popularity.
- It is easier to voice search for information than to type a query on Google search
- It provides instant results
- It can be used anytime and anywhere
- It is a more natural way of interacting and obtaining information
Voice Search SEO
Search Engine Optimization is the process which ensures that a website ranks high in search results on the internet. This is a key aspect of digital marketing. All these while organizations were concerned about SEO as it related to text search. However, the changing scenario requires that voice search SEO be given due attention. While certain aspects remain the same, there are certain key differences between text search SEO and voice search SEO. Businesses need to build up an SEO strategy for voice search in 2019 if they wish to stay ahead in the game.
How to Optimize for Voice Search
Let us consider five voice search optimization strategies to help ensure that your website is ready for the changing scenario that 2019 will usher in.
- Decrease website loading time: While web pages on a browser could load perhaps comparatively slower, voice search requires that pages load fast so that it can pick up the answer to the question raised. It has been found that web pages that load in about 4 seconds or less, and are mobile friendly work better with voice search.
- Obtain security certificates for your website: If your website is reputable and reliable it is assumed that you would be willing to take steps to ensure security. It assumes that you would be willing to invest in an SSL certificate so that your website is secure. (https as opposed to HTTP) Voice searches look for reliable websites to source information from.
- Have an FAQ page: A Frequently Asked Questions page helps to ensure that your website has a better SEO in voice search. Voice search generally is conversational and uses the question format. An FAQ page format with questions and answers lends itself to voice search and Google can read out the answer easily. Most often the questions would be very specific and an FAQ page can be effectively used to provide clear answers to those questions.
- Use brief answer snippets: Ensuring that the answer snippets are of the highest quality will ensure good SEO in voice search. A good answer snippet should be brief and to the point, answering questions in less than 30 words. It should use simple words that are easy to pronounce. It should be clear enough so that it can be easily understood without any visuals and it should not use any tough or unfamiliar words.
- Build your content around questions: Ensure that your content is simple and easy to read. Google looks for a high domain ranking. It is assumed that an authoritative site will have a better answer. A high word counts on the page, keyword strategy and using conversational language are keys towards good SEO in voice search. High social media shares indicate to Google that the site has valuable information that could answer questions.
Important Factors in Optimizing for Voice Search
There are two key factors that businesses do well to keep in mind as they optimize for voice search.
- Voice search is more conversational than conventional text search. The questions are longer and have more qualifiers. With the high volume of searches, each one unique in its own way, it would be impossible to have the exact question in your text. However, that does not really matter. Google searches the entire page for the appropriate answer. Having content that clearly and specifically answers questions you normally face in the course of your business would suffice as long as the five voice search optimization strategies are followed.
- Voice search is most often used for local searches and has a very high conversion rate. Use relevant local terms and ‘near me’ tags and Metadata. Ensure that you have a healthy number of positive reviews and that your contact details are clear and specific on the website.
To say that voice search is going to be the future is an understatement. It is here and is growing. There are only two options available: optimize a website for voice search and stay ahead of the game, or ignore the elephant in the room and miss the bus.