If I ask my mobile about the weather forecast, it will give me an update on the weather condition. I may not even have to look at my screen. Isn’t it amazing that technology is changing so rapidly? A few years back, we had to type to look for information. We no longer have to use keypads anymore. We can get any information like traffic insights, cooking recipes, shops nearby, or any information without actually typing on our phones. Amazon’s Alexa, iPhone’s Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Assistance has already changed the way voice-based applications work. So will this have an impact on SEO?
Yes, it will change the way SEO works. Let me tell you how?
When we type in information, we type in shorter sentences like ‘Weather today’. If we are using voice-based applications, we ask in a question format like ‘What’s the weather today?’ There is a huge difference in how we search for information when we type and when we use voice-based applications. Firstly, the format changes, from shorter sentences, we are now asking in a long question format. Secondly, it is more conversational. We talk to the voice-based application as we would speak to a human being. This is a huge change in the way SEO’s are programmed to function.
As per Statista, there are around 3.3 billion people in the world who use smartphones. As per the predictions by Comscore, by the year 2020, 50% of searches will be voice searches, and Gartner has further predicted that around 30% will search without even looking into a screen.
It is no wonder that the number of voice searches is increasing. As compared to using voice search, using the keypad to type is more of a task. Using Voice search is more natural, like talking to a person. So, more and more users will be drawn towards using voice searches than using the keypad function. It is particularly helpful for seniors, specially-abled individuals, and any individual who finds it difficult to use the virtual keypads on the screen. In today’s world, where convenience has become essential, voice search is an added advantage as compared to typing.
Suppose if you're driving, taking a bath, or gardening, you can use voice search and ask your phone for directions, traffic updates, or any information you require without using the keypad to look up for information. Voice search has revolutionized the way searches are performed. With the advancement of voice search and increase in users using voice search applications, it becomes essential for digital marketers and organizations to understand and master voice search optimization.
Strategies for Voice Search Optimization:
Previously searches were more laborious, and it was all about using keywords. SEO was all about optimizing using the right keywords. With the increase in the use of voice searches, digital marketers will have to re-look into their SEO’s. They will have to study how the voice search performs like the use of long sentences, question formats, and phrases. A digital marketer will have to study what kind of sentences or questions a customer would ask about their product. Based on which they have to work on building their SEO.
What are they looking for?
It is essential to understand what people are searching for on social media or online platforms. It will help in building your keywords. The data that you can get from using the tool ‘‘Answer the Public’ ’ is quite helpful to understand what customers are looking for regarding a certain product or keyword. It gives you detailed information about what has been asked regarding a keyword or product like What, Why, Where, How, Who, and so on. You can use the data to build keywords on the phrases and questions customers would ask using voice searches.
Semantic search is understanding the intent behind a search. For instance, if someone searches for a hotel in Bali, then they are likely to visit Bali. In such a scenario, displaying basic information about Bali is not enough. Digging deeper and understanding the purpose is crucial, like it could for a vacation with family or maybe a business trip. They would require hotel bookings, flight bookings, and so on. Semantic search displays more comprehensive and meaningful search results. Semantic search further looks into location, trends, synonyms, and word variations. If you could provide information with more authority, Google will pick up that information and display it.
Google My Business
Google My Business provides information about local information in an area. Around 20% of the voice searches are to find location-based information. For instance, if you search for a bag store, it will provide the bag shops in your locality. As per statistics, more than 3-times of searches are voice searches. While driving or traveling, it is easier to do a voice search to know about a local pub or a store. If you have a business, it is advisable to register on Google My business with your company information like address, contact number, ratings, and other helpful information with a call to action button for ease of use.
Website Loading Speed
Google loves websites that load instantly. Google doesn’t favor sites that take a long time to load or have latency issues in displaying information. A website should be mobile friendly and should be quick in responding. Files on your web page should be compressed, and images should be optimized. Your server should not take too long to respond. The quicker your page responds, the better it will rank.
Providing micro information on your websites like location, phone number, operating hours, and other intricate details of your business are quite essential. It is quite helpful for voice search. A rich snippet with the micro information helps Google to understand the information on your website. If someone searches for information related to the data on your web page, it is easy for Google to display the information. Use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to test if your website has the relevant microdata.
Voice search optimization will improve awareness of your brand and also online commerce. Voice search will continuously rise over time. It is the right time to invest and get your web pages optimized for voice searches to stay ahead in the competition.
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