The rise of voice technology
How many times a day do you go to Google and type in some search. Word by word, letter by letter. However, as you may know, there is a tool at Google that integrates voice searches to the website. With a microphone connected to the computer, the user can search without making a single keyboard stroke.
Normally the Google site is the most used for searches when people are on holiday from work the search for Google Mobile increases exponentially. This is where voice search comes in to make life easier.
Google Voice Search can be used on both desktop and mobile searches. In some instances, users must say a “wake” phrase to tell Google to begin analyzing what the user says, which is “OK, Google.” This can be done either via hands-free voice command on certain mobile devices and operating systems or by tapping or clicking on the microphone icon to the right of the main Google search field:
Nowadays smart speakers are becoming more commonplace in households around the globe. Early products such as Alexa and Siri were merely novel and entertaining at first; it was fun to ask Alexa silly questions just to see how “she” would respond. But voice technologies have drastically improved!
As we can see from the figure below via Google, adults use voice search most often to get directions. This makes sense, as it is much easier – and safer, and compliant with many local laws – to use hands-free voice search while driving to find out where you need to go.
However, we can also see that there are many other common uses for voice search, including using voice commands to dictate text messages, utilize mobile device call functions, check the time, and play media.
In other data below, it is possible to check exactly what teenagers and adults are doing when they are using Google Search Voice. In most cases, they are using their hands for other things and they cannot write in the search box and thus using the voice search option.
Search by voice: Understand the importance of this factor for SEO
The main advantage of using Google Voice Search was that Google came to better understand users’ queries. Instead of considering only the meaning of the keywords and listing the relevant results in that sense, the searcher started to interpret what is the intention and the context behind the searches. That is, Google has come to give more value to the semantics of the content and how relevant it is to the user, considering what he is looking for and why. If the algorithm judges that certain pages are more interesting for the user, it will list them 1st in the results, regardless of whether they have keywords corresponding to the search or not. Offering more appropriate results according to what the user is looking for, this allows the more efficient operation of voice searches. Google has worked with natural language processing, it is worth mentioning that, in general, research through speech has some different characteristics from searches in writing.
In a written search, it is common to use “robotic” terms (which we would not use in a conversation), such as “digital marketing strategies”. In a voice search, we are more likely to use more complete questions, such as “what are the best digital marketing strategies currently?”
Notice some aspects of consultations through speech:
In addition to sounding much more natural, they are more likely to have more terms than textual searches.
These voice searches are not the majority. However, the tendency is for them to increase exponentially!
And we will already understand the reason to follow.
How to optimize your website or blog for voice search?
Now that we understand the context in which voice searches occur and why they will be increasingly important, we can think of good SEO practices to optimize your web pages.
Sign up for Google My Business
Google My Business is a resource where you provide data about your business to Google, such as an address, phone number, images, and opening hours.
If you have a store or physical establishment or operate in a specific region, your organization will have a good chance of appearing when users do local searches on the category of your business or issues related to your activities.
Since voice searches are of great importance in the context of localization – as we have seen previously -, keeping an updated record on Google My Business can be quite interesting to favor the positioning of your brand in the search results.
Develop pages or posts with answers to frequently asked questions
Do you know what are the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) from consumers about your business?
Discovering them can be a great opportunity to create pages with answers to these questions and, thus, attract people who search with terms with a more conversational bias.
To find out what these frequently asked questions are, some of the best practices are:
- Ask your sales representatives or customer service representatives to document the questions they receive over the phone, social media, email and more;
- Check in Google Search Console which keywords are the issue that brings the most traffic to your site;
- Use the Answer The Public website to find out what are the most searched questions on Google about your area of expertise.
Develop your website or blog keywords.
Remember that we talked about not having to optimize your content from scratch? Keywords are the greatest example of this. In the context of Voice Search, long tails, that is, keywords longer than typical queries, are predominant.
Research shows that voice searches are 76.1% longer.
To optimize a blog’s post whose original keyword is “mobile”, for example, you must adapt it to a question, such as: what are the best mobiles in 2021? Also note that, in addition to conversational, the voice search also carries an intention – which, in this case, is to make a comparison.
The good news is that long tails tend to have much lower bids and have much better click rates than head tails.
Optimize your site to appear in featured snippets.
Featured snippets are short snippets of text that appear at the top of Google’s search results to quickly answer a searcher’s query and are therefore also known as “position 0 in Google”.
If we do a search for “how long is the Titanic film”, for example, we will see as a 1st result a box with the information “3h30min”, the image referring to the feature and other related links.
But what does this have to do with voice searches?
A featured snippet is the selected search result that appears on top of the search result page as the best answer to the query. Google introduced featured snippets to adapt their result pages to cater to on-the-go and voice searching.
Therefore, it is worth investing in the production of complete and informative materials about your business, your area of operation, and other related matters.
Although the search for typing lasts for a long time, it is undeniable that the search for voice will only grow in the coming years.
This will require decision makers who understand the importance of optimizing websites for search engines to think of new strategies to stay relevant and well-positioned in the results.
In this scenario, organizations that are more concerned with reaching customers and potential customers according to geolocation criteria will prosper, and especially those that are more dedicated to helping their audience find exactly what they are looking for. If you want to know more about Featured Snippet and Voice search, we can always visit: https://moz.com/blog/voice-search-influence-featured-snippets
Voice search is not just something that will be big in the future, it is big now and anyone who is not optimizing voice search can be losing a lot of traffic, leads, sales and revenue.
Today is the time to focus on voice search, to keep your online presence at the top of search results, instead of staying on page two and beyond. If you need any other help with it leave your comments below or search me out on Social Media!
Wrote by: Ana Carla Soane