Voice Search: Learn to Optimise for the Future of SEO
You should already be familiar with Siri, Cortana and Alexa. They’re taking over homes left, right and centre. These voice assistants are reading you the daily news, playing your music and telling you your daily schedule. They make life simpler, and allow you to search when you’re on the go or have your hands full. If you already own one, you know nothing beats being able to say what you want and having it read or played back to you in an instant. In a world of instant gratification and results, voice search technology won’t be going anywhere.
The same is true of SEO. Voice search has changed the way people write content and optimise their sites. Having a casual conversation with your voice assistant whether on mobile or not, is now the norm, and as such, the way SEO is done is having to change. The way people interact with their voice assistants is conversational and natural. People don’t speak in keyword stuffed sentences, and as such content is having to be written in a more colloquial tone, with long tail keywords, questions and answers. Search engines are having to learn to interpret natural phrases and speech quirks/accents into their voice search programming.
Voice search is the future of SEO. In 2018, this SEO trend won’t be going anywhere. Predictions are that 55% of all searches will be by voice search in 2020. Here are some ways to prepare for it.
Long Tail Keywords
Learn to optimise your content for conversational voice search. Start thinking about the type of questions people would ask to find your business, and what they would ask about it. In order to appear in voice search results, you would have to make sure the answer to the search query is somewhere in the content on your site. Do they want to know your opening hours or your pricing? Then make sure this is on your site in the correct format. Try and make sure all that content is readily available and optimised for voice search on your site.
Introducing an FAQ page on your site is a great way to incorporate long-tail conversational keywords and phrases. Try and group all related questions together on the same page, but if you need more than one FAQ page for lots of information, there’s no harm in that. General vague searches will start to become less popular, and more hyper-specific ones will take their place. When typing, people are lazy with their searches. For example, somebody wanting to find out about “Voice search” would just type those two words when on a computer, whereas when speaking to a voice assistant, a more specific long-tail keyword search would take place such as “How do I install voice search on Google Chrome?” Offering quick, succinct answers to a variety of questions you anticipate searchers asking is the best way to try and get your website to come up in voice search results.
Google My Business Listing
Many voice search queries are local in their requests. For example, “Where are the closest hairdressers?” For this reason, it’s essential to have a Google My Business page for your business. Here there will be information about your business such as your address, contact number or email and opening hours. Having your Google My Business page claimed and up to date can really increase your chances of ranking highly in voice search results, especially for local queries or questions.
Schema markup is code that is added to sites to show search engines the context of your content. It is an HTML add-on that allows you to rank better in both normal and voice searches. The point of it is to show search engines which parts of your content are most important or relevant and therefore allows search engines to show the most informative and useful results for searchers. It tells Google what your data means, not just what it says. You can specifically tell Google who the author of the content is, where the main body of the content is, the date it was published and the data type. This helps Google tell if your content is worthy of appearing on the first page of search results.