How to Optimize for Voice Search: How Does Emerging Technology Impact SEO?
What is voice search?
Voice search is an increasingly common and emerging technology feature on computers and mobile devices that allows users to ask questions directly to the machine. They can pose audio inquiries ranging from “What is the weather in San Francisco today?” to “How do I make scrambled eggs?”
In recent years, this technology has had a growing impact on user search behavior. As of October 2014, more than half (55%) of teens in the US say that they use Google voice search at least once per day. Forty-one percent (41%) of adults are also using it.
This feature is growing in usage because people like the convenience. It allows them to use their mobile devices while moving, without having to stop and type in queries. They do not have to worry about hitting the wrong keys or autocorrect changing the meaning of their question. An estimated 38 percent of people use voice search while watching TV, clearly demonstrating how users value convenience and the ability to multitask while using their mobile devices.
What is voice search SEO?
SEO for voice search is the optimization of keywords for Google voice assistants like Siri and Alexa. Writing in natural language is very valuable when you want to optimize for voice search. The average result for voice search is around 29 words long. Using a summary of the content on your page in 29 words or less can help you rank in the quick answer box, or position zero.
How is voice search impacting SERPs?
With voice search on the rise, brands are going to need to be more sensitive to the conversational tone and questions that are likely to increase in searches, particularly on mobile. Brands should monitor how the rise in voice search is impacting their websites, paying particularly close attention to their page traffic and keyword success with mobile users, as available on the BrightEdge platform.
How do I optimize for voice search?
Customers using voice search are looking for specific answers and they want to see them quickly. For local searches, this means keeping all information up-to-date, such as your open hours and your address as around 22% of voice searches are for local results. Use phrases including 'near me' to help promote yourself here. This will make the information easy for Google to display when asked about your business.
You should also focus on producing copy that directly answers conversational questions. You should monitor your mobile metrics separately from your desktop so you have a better idea of which pages are more popular with mobile users. Track topics with the BrightEdge Data Cube and look for rises in conversational long-tail keywords. Tailor your mobile-oriented content so that it provides immediate value to mobile users, such as providing a succinct answer in the opening paragraph of your content so it can be viewed quickly by those on-the-go. Consider also adopting language that mirrors the casual voice search tone more closely. Page load speed is an important technique when optimizing for voice as well. Google favors pages that load quickly, even in voice search.