Written by Jorge Tenorio
Voice search is popular and is likely to only get more so in the immediate future.
This is not surprising given that such searches provide immediate and direct answers to queries and that voice search enables you to conduct searches more naturally. It's simply the virtual equivalent of asking someone a question, which avoids having to type. Most of us can talk faster than we can type.
Why Voice Search Is Becoming More Popular
You may have noticed that the machine learning behind voice search keeps getting better. This means that virtual assistants such as Alexa or Siri are correctly understanding ever increasing numbers of questions asked of them. This is followed by them being able to furnish results that more accurately reflect the intention of your search.
The dilemma that voice search provides marketers is that when the searcher chooses to hear the result rather than read a list of results displayed on their screen, it will only read the top result that best matches their search. This makes it more important than ever for you to rank in the top spot under the types of long-tail keywords that people would be likely to speak into a phone.
What This Means for Your SEO
To improve your visibility for voice search, you will need to more extensively utilize long-tail keywords. Beyond this, you will need to do your best to ensure that the composition of these keywords mimics as closely as possible how someone would actually speak a search into their phone.
The takeaways from all that we know about voice search today give you solid strategies to use for gaining and maintaining dominance in voice search. Just as with regular text searches, you want a website that loads quickly. Google knows people want their answers fast, so they reward pages that load promptly. You will also have to tailor much of the content on your website to sound more natural in terms of reflecting how people speak.
Obviously, you will need to make sure certain basics are in place to help your voice search success. The vast majority of voice searches occur on mobile devices, so you need to ensure your website is responsive enough to look and function flawlessly on such devices.
Another critical strategy for optimizing your website's voice search visibility is to focus on local SEO. Many voice searches are people trying to find a restaurant or repair shop or coffee shop or whatever else they may need at that moment in their immediate vicinity. For more involved product searches, people will probably want to scroll through results on their screen instead of just doing a quick voice query and then simply listening to the first result that's spoken back to them.
Owning the Conversation to Grow Your Business
If your business is at all successful, you've undoubtedly been keeping up on changes in the digital marketing landscape over time. Google and other search engines have come out with changes to their search algorithms over the years that have emphasized the importance of things such as quality content, fast-loading webpages and responsive websites.
Optimizing for voice search is simply one more change to make to your SEO-related digital marketing efforts. By owning the conversation when people are looking for what you have to offer, you will help to ensure that your brand grows in awareness and that your sales and revenue grow along with it.