What is voice search? And what has it to do with SEO? We are aware of your confusion on this topic, and this is exactly why we are sharing this article. First thing first, voice search officially appeared in 2011 when Apple introduced the Siri digital assistant. Phone users no longer had to tap on the keyboard to find out information or perform tasks on their iPhone. All they had to do was talk to Siri.
Voice Search and Digital Assistants – Going from Zero to Hero
Siri opened the gates for several other digital assistants that help people communicate with devices through voice commands. Microsoft developed Cortana, Amazon has Alexa and Google has the less inspirationally named Google Assistant.
All these AI entities have prompted people to stop typing their queries and resort to voice search instead. After all, isn’t it the natural way we ask for information since the earliest childhood? And the more people use voice commands, the faster digital assistants improved their accuracy in understanding spoken words and giving appropriate answers.
According to Google’s own evaluations, the Google Assistant has improved its accuracy by 95% from 2013 to 2017 and is currently on a par with the average human being. Also, in 2018, voice search Christmas purchases through Amazon Alexa increased three times compared to the previous year.
Voice Search Changes Your SEO Efforts
There is no question about it, voice search is here to stay and it will become increasingly prevalent. For you, as a marketer or business owner, this means one thing: your SEO activities must adapt to this type of search.
It may not seem obvious at a first glance, but people use different words and phrases when they ask a question and when they type it. To help you understand where you need to steer your efforts, we will share a few basic ways in which voice search impacts your SEO:
1. Long Keywords Will Become More Important than Ever
Are you having trouble ranking for short keywords? Soon, the competition will move to the field of long tail keywords and LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords. This will be the inevitable result of voice search. Why?
There is a huge difference between written and spoke queries. When people perform a Google search, they usually type 2-3 words. However, when they ask the Google Assistant a question, they can use up to 10 words. Thus, you will need to start refining your keyword research to target long, conversational phrases.
2. Answer Your Clients’ Question in Writing and Audio Form
It pays off to be prompt in answering your clients’ questions. They will appreciate receiving a prompt answer. And, in the voice search era, your answers will help your SEO efforts. The reason for this is that the questions your clients ask are usually similar to those users ask their digital assistant.
In order to improve your SEO ranking, you should provide your answers in audio/video format from time to time. You should consider creating a podcast or video blog where you connect with your clients and answer some of their most frequently asked questions.
3. Use a Conversational Tone in Your Content
The simplest way of adapting your SEO efforts for voice search is to learn to write your blog in a conversational tone. By integrating natural language in your content strategy, you will help digital assistants find adequate answers to the questions they receive. Thus, your content will be selected as the best match for the users’ questions.
4. Include Location Names in Your Content
People are mostly interested in finding products and services in their local area. Thus, they will frequently include their location in the questions they ask through voice search. This means that you should also include your location name in content and keywords. It is also in your best interest to attract prospects who are likely to drive to your store to buy your products.
5. Optimise Content for Clear Intent Questions
Clear intent means that the prospect wants to perform an action. To understand it, think of the question you would ask if you are simply curious about how robot vacuum cleaners work. Next, think of the question you would ask if you want to buy a robot vacuum cleaner.
The second question is a clear intent question. You should understand the questions your clients ask when they want to buy your products. Next, you should optimise your content to offer answers to this type of questions.