What is Voice Search and how to optimize a website for Voice search?

Brad Wilsonby:

BusinessTechnology

Our need for quick query resolution has not changed, but what has changed is how we search for those answers. Google processes about 40,000 searches on an average per second, query, and this figure is exponentially increasing year on year. Google has literally revolutionized the way we search and how it presents its answers. Natural language programming (NLP) with Machine learning (ML) has introduced a new way of search, and no one is complaining. 

Internet searches have progressed to mobile-driven searches from the recent desktop-driven searches. But what is most noteworthy is how people are using voice assistant devices. People are going hands-free with their searches. 

In this article, we intend to explain what you should be doing to optimize your website for voice search, but before that, let’s understand more about Voice Search. Because SEO trends are changing and voice search is big part of it.

What is voice search?

Voice search essentially is a speech recognition technology that lets the user speak the search string loud instead of typing it out in the search field. The expansion and explosion of various devices that enable users’ access to their areas of interest have ignited much interest in the field of voice search.

Voice search is a splendid example of AI-based components and its functionality. It has Machine Learning with NLP and its algorithms that understand what the user is trying to search in the background. It is typically built-in as a software application, but it can also be built as a service. Several voice search applications like Google Mobile app with voice or Vlingo on iPhone depend on speech recognition programs.

Why is Voice Search important?

It is quite easy to assume that your customers are not using Voice search. But industry statistics think otherwise. Voice search is growing at a rocket speed and this is why it is important enough to optimize your website for it.

Now that you are aware of its potential, it is now time to see how one can begin optimizing your website for voice search.

How Voice Search works?

Voice search works by screening the result that is being pulled to the snippet positioned at Zero ranks. When you ask a query to the voice assistant like Siri, Google Home, or Echo, the information in the Featured Snippet is used to reply to the question. Desktop users have a minimal scope of voice search, but the Zero position has far more advantages than we can imagine. Once your website gains the zero position, the following benefits will follow

  1. An increased click rate
  2. The surge in website traffic leading to user engagement and conversion
  3. Brand visibility

5 Strategies to optimize your website Content for Voice Search 

The competition has become difficult to cope with, and online marketing agencies and SEO experts must make it a habit of optimizing all of their content for voice search. Such best practices will enable the site to improve their ranks and also increase the rate of organic reach. Some of the proven practiced strategies are.

In the era of voice search, where the competition will only get more stringent in the coming days, marketers and SEO’s should make it a habit of optimizing their content for voice search. This best practice will help you get better rankings for voice searches and increase your organic reach.

Some of the proven practiced strategies are:

Optimization for rich answers

A SEMrush voice search study estimated that about 70% of the answers so got from the voice searches had a SERP feature. It is vital to understand the SEO terms for a better understanding. Let us delve into it.

Knowledge Graph – It is Google’s repository of facts and wisdom about different things.

Knowledge Panel – This is the information in a small box that is placed to the right of the search results whenever we pose a search on Google.

Knowledge Box – This is quite similar to the knowledge panel and is the practical information coming from the knowledge graph, just like any other search results.

Featured Snippet – This is from 3’rd party source in which Google displays information above the ads and the organic results. 

Rich Answer – Any search result that contains one or any of the above features is called the rich answer.

For the user to receive the best experience, Google displays the majority of the times rich answers to questions which have seen a magnanimous rise over the years. The rich answer immersion is extremely important for your content to rank at zero, making it the top choice for voice search results.

Content Restructuring

It is important to restructure the content considering that searches have transferred from traditional modes to more conversational ones. The questions and answers should be concise and to the point in order to make the layout better and make it more voice-search friendly. According to a study, Google’s voice search considers short and concise answers to voice search queries. 

It is also essential to have an FAQ section on product pages and blogs because these FAQs have questions and keyword, which is an essential prerequisite for voice search ranking. The FAQ-style content makes it quite easy for Google to pull relevant content and display it as a rich snippet. It also will be useful to break content into smaller bits so that voice-search can drag it to search results, calling for better rankings.

Content should also have conversational content.

A voice search is an attribute of conversational search; hence every website has to leverage it. Websites can gain massively from using Natural language in what is published on the web. When NLP has been employed, the chances of being visible in Voice-search results brightens. It is equally important that companies understand the searcher’s intention, especially when people are asking verbal questions. One needs to ask questions like the ones given below to construct effective strategies and read customer minds.

  • What conversational styles are people using?
  • What are the kinds of questions people are asking, and with what keywords?
  • What type of answers will justify the queries?

It is important to have answers to all these questions and data to match with it.

Long-worded keyword phrases

Since voice-searches are conversational in nature, the keywords used are longer than what we search on the search bar. Those content creators can use this cue by creating content in the long-form that includes long-tail keywords that quickly appear in vocal searches.

Loading time

The loading time is one of those factors that is often neglected or pushed back in strategy, but in reality, it holds much significance. Users abandon those websites that take a long time to load compared to those which load quickly. It sure has a direct relationship with the bounce rate, and that is why it needs to be optimized. Google also released its Speed update that stresses on optimizing load times. Voice searches demand instant results, and if the website is slow with heavier load times, the content will fail to address verbal queries. 

Wrap up

The popularity of voice search is increasing by the day and very soon, it will be omnipresent and perhaps the most used. Consumers are also inching towards those digital tools that require little effort and maximum results. Tech giants like Google and Amazon have already optimized their web and mobile applications for voice search. Digital marketers should use every rule in the book to prepare for these changing consumer trends. 

The strategies we mentioned above will help websites to rank better and also build a robust voice-search optimization stratagem.

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