The phrases "Hey Siri," "Ok, Google," and "Alexa" are relatively new additions to our technologically-savvy world. Still, they are phrases everyone should be paying attention to, especially if they have any hopes of remaining relevant.
While these phrases didn't mean much of anything only seven years ago (when Apple first introduced Siri), they are now a part of our everyday culture. Nearly 1 in 6 Americans own a Smart Speaker, such as a Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or Apple HomePod. Because users can speak search questions much quicker than they could type them, voice search will only continue to become further rooted in modern societal ways of life.
With this in mind, any and every internet business needs to understand the impact voice search has on SEO. After all, SEO is vital when it comes to gaining more customers or a wider audience. To help you put two and two together, let's briefly review just that: voice search and its impact on search engine optimization.
Voice Search and the Impact on SEO
Voice Search is as it sounds – it allows you to search the internet for specific information using your voice rather than typing. For instance, when you say, "Ok, Google" to your phone and ask, "What does SEO stand for?" or ask Siri to find the nearest vegan restaurant, you're using the voice search feature on your device. Voice search is on either smartphones or Smart Speakers. However, voice search is becoming readily available on laptops and tablets as well.
How Does Voice Search Impact SEO?
For starters, studies have revealed that voice search results more or less favor the results that show featured snippets. If you’re not sure what featured snippets are, these are search results in Google that directly answer your search question, and therefore show first in the search results. For example, if you ask what day Christopher Columbus was born and a website precisely answers the question, Google will show that snippet of text (and a link to the site, of course) at the top of the search results. If you can rank in Google’s featured snippets, voice search may drive a massive amount of traffic your way.
Start with Why (or Who, What, When, Where, How)
Back in the day, people used to refer to books or one another for answers to their questions. Nowadays, however, Google is the place where everyone looks for answers. Especially as it relates to voice, searches tend to be question-based, meaning people usually start their search prompt with ‘how-to’, ‘what is,’ and so forth. It means that if you want to improve your website’s SEO, it might be a good idea to include these key terms in your title or body. If you can answer questions effectively, you’ll have a higher chance of gaining a larger audience via voice search.
Mobile or Nothing
Since a vast majority of voice searches are using a mobile device, it only makes sense for your website is updated for mobile browsing. If people visit your site and it looks funky or struggles to load, they will quickly leave, resulting in lower search rankings for your website.
Here is a checklist to follow:
Complete yearly site audits on your website.
Check your website for page speed.
Optimize your images with alt tags.
Make sure your site is responsive and mobile-ready.
Adopt Natural Language
It might be tempting for you to use prestigious words in your articles, but you might want to refrain from doing so (unless you’re writing a scholarly or research report, then go ahead). The truth is, people, tend to shorten their search phrases to a few simple words rather than complex sentences. Google’s AI has caught on and adapted, and you should, too, by using Bert.
In today’s world, people search how they speak, and voice search results are written at a 9th-grade reading level at most. Write your articles in a conversational tone, and you’ll have a much easier time ranking in searches. So remember, simple, easy-to-read content may help with voice search SEO. Can You Review Voice Search Ranking?
There have been some initial conversations from Google on the reporting of voice search commencing 2018, and there is currently no way to track anything related to it. However, it was reported that a digital agency called Roast build an automation software that ran various queries and publish for their clients. So, for now, voice search is essential to increase brand awareness. It was reported that voice search eCommerce resulted in $1.8 billion in Amazon revenue, and it is expected to increase to $40 billion by the year 2022. You can get ahead of the competition if you continue to optimize your site for voice search now.
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