How Voice Search Is Impacting SEO
The use of voice search has grown over the years. Image/ Medium
The introduction of Watson by IBM in 2010 revolutionized AI technology and pioneered voice technology. Google’s Voice Search and Siri from Apple followed the next year. Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana are other programs that use voice search capabilities. What is Voice Search? Voice search uses speech recognition technology to generate search results instead of internet users typing in keywords.
Voice search is not only limited to specific devices. Brands, websites and platforms are increasingly getting optimized for voice searches as well. As of 2018, 27% of mobile users were already using voice search. Experts project voice-only search to make up 30% of all web sessions by the end of 2020. Voice search is expected to be one of the top SEO trends 2021.
The Impact Of Voice Search On SEO
What impact has voice search had on SEO? Image/ Quora
Voice search has transformed how people use technology and the internet. User experience has drastically improved. The impact has also been extended to search engine optimization. Because of its growing use, search engines such as Google have been putting more emphasis on voice search optimization. Voice search has impacted SEO in the following ways
- Use of natural language. Voice technology is improving and becoming more reliable. Users will use natural language when performing voice searches.
- The length of the keywords used. While typed keywords are concise, voice searches will have more long-tail keywords than the conventional three/four keyword phrases. This is because voice searches will use natural and conversational language. Longer keywords will increase the probability of conversion.
- Use of question words. Voice searches use the who, where, when, which, and how questions more than typed searches. Brands will need to provide content that answer these questions. Answers that are not comprehensive will be unable to generate much organic traffic as users can find brief and precise answers on Google featured search snippets.
- Shifting focus from keywords to intent. Voice search will see the focus shift from matching keywords to attempting to find the user’s intent. Search engines will start ranking pages based on the intent and context of the voice search.
- More emphasis on local searches. People using voice search are more likely to search for local businesses. This will see local SEO grow tremendously in the coming years and brands will have to optimize for "near me” queries.
Voice Search SEO Tips For New Blogs
You don’t need to overhaul your SEO strategy to optimize your website for voice search. Not much has changed when it comes to SEO best practices. Just little tweaks would go a long way in optimizing your website for SEO. Here are a few SEO tips for new blogs looking to optimize their websites for voice search;
1. Improve your website loading speeds
The importance of website loading speed to SEO cannot be understated. But with voice search, loading speed is even going to be more crucial to an SEO strategy. Some of the ways of improving your website loading speed include:
- Optimizing the website for mobile devices and responsiveness.
- Compressing files and optimizing images.
- Making use of website caches.
2. Creating content in a conversational tone
You will now need to write content in a more natural and conversational way to conform to users’ search habits. There will be an increased need to use long-tail keywords that sound natural as compared to snappier short keywords used when typing.
3. Focus on local searches
Voices searches are expected to focus more on location-based content. You may, therefore, have to answer the "near me” question that web users are asking. If you have been neglecting local SEO, this may be the best time to start giving it serious thought.
For you to understand how powerful voice search is to SEO, it is best to try it out yourself and see the kind of results it delivers. Look up different questions that might bring visitors to your website and see how you rank on the search pages. This will help you come up with an effective voice search SEO strategy.
Voice search is changing how people use the internet- right from how they learn new information to how they make purchases. Brands will have no option but to adopt it to stay visible. If you are looking to ramp up your SEO strategy, these content marketing tips for voice search should help you get started.