In the digital age, the way we interact with technology is constantly evolving. One of the most significant developments in recent years is the rise of voice-activated searches. As more people turn to voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant for their search needs, businesses must adapt their SEO strategies to stay relevant and visible in this growing market. This requires a deep understanding of voice search optimization.
Understanding Voice Search
Voice search refers to the use of speech recognition technology that allows users to perform searches by speaking into a device. These devices range from smartphones and computers to smart home devices. Voice search is becoming increasingly popular due to its convenience and the growing accuracy of speech recognition technology.
According to a report by ComScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. This significant shift in search behaviour presents new opportunities and challenges for businesses. To capture this growing market, businesses need to understand how voice search differs from traditional text-based searches and how these differences impact SEO.
The Differences Between Voice Search and Text Search
When people use voice search, they tend to use natural language. This differs from text-based searches, where users typically enter fragmented keywords. For example, a person might type “weather London” into a search engine, but say “What’s the weather like in London?” to a voice assistant.
Another key difference is that voice searches are usually longer and more specific than text searches. This is because speaking is faster and easier than typing, allowing users to provide more details about what they’re looking for. As a result, voice searches often contain question phrases like “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how”.
Optimising for Voice Search
Given the unique characteristics of voice search, traditional SEO strategies may not be as effective. Businesses need to adopt new strategies that are tailored to voice search. Here are some key areas to focus on:
Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
Since voice searches are typically longer and more specific, long-tail keywords become more important. These are keywords that are longer and more specific than commonly searched for keywords. They’re often less competitive, making it easier to rank for them.
For example, instead of targeting the keyword “pizza”, a pizza restaurant might target “best thin crust pizza near me”. This long-tail keyword is more likely to match the specific queries that people make when using voice search.
Optimise for Local Searches
Many voice searches are local in nature. People often use voice search to find local businesses or get directions. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your business is optimised for local searches.
This includes claiming your Google My Business listing and ensuring that your business’s name, address, and phone number are accurate. It also involves optimising your website for local keywords and using schema markup to provide search engines with more information about your business.
Use Conversational Language
Since voice search queries are typically more conversational, it’s important to use natural language in your content. This means writing in a way that sounds human and matches the way people speak.
One way to do this is to include commonly asked questions in your content and provide clear, concise answers. This can help your content match the question-based queries that are common in voice search.
Voice search is changing the way people interact with search engines. As this trend continues to grow, businesses that fail to adapt risk becoming invisible to a large segment of potential customers.
By understanding the unique characteristics of voice search and implementing voice search optimization strategies, businesses can capture this growing market and stay ahead of the competition. The future of search is voice, and the time to prepare is now.