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Voice Search SEO: How To Optimize in 2020?

The new year in the digital marketing field is all about voice search. It is high time you as a marketer must adapt it in your strategy, if you haven’t already. 

In this blog, we will break it all down for you, right from the basics. Gear up and let’s dive deep into this exciting topic that is creating a storm in the marketing world. 

The first question that arises in the mind when we think about voice search is if it is really important? Let us help you see the bigger picture by mentioning these numbers to you. Read on to find out! 

  • More than 71% of people who own a voice activated speaker say that they use their devices as part of their every day routine. 
  • 1 out of 2 smartphone users use voice-based search or any kind of voice technology every day today. 
  • 50% of ALL searches is set to become voice-based by the end of 2020. 

These numbers are mind-boggling to start off with. 

Why is voice search so popular and why is it growing so rapidly? 

The answer to this is pretty simple. 

  • In today’s fast-paced life, voice-based search offers on-the-go search option and is greatly useful for general mobile search. 
  • The usage of smart speakers and digital assistants are seeing an upward trend and voice is the main interface of these devices. 
  • People want to get quick answers without wanting to type things out. 
  • Voice is definitely faster than typing. 

Soon we will be talking to our computers and phones than typing on them! Crazy, isn’t it? 

Who are the major players in voice search? 

Voice searches, either on the computer, mobile phone or device is done via a digital assistant. 

The most widely used digital assistants today are Siri (Apple), Alexa (Amazon) and Google Assistant. 

When one does a voice search on these applications, Siri and Google Assistant pull the results from Google. Siri used the Bing search until 2017 and has switched to Google since. While optimizing for Google Assistant, you are optimized for Siri as well. 

Both Google and Amazon being fierce rivals, Alexa uses Bing results. Though Alexa is a top contender in the voice search domain, it is better to optimize for Google Assistant as it was found to be the most accurate digital assistant amongst all. 

What are the major differences between typed search and voice search? 

Search patterns are different for typed queries and voice queries. Voice search depends on what, how and when people search for a particular query. Voice search SEO is based on these very points. 

When a person searches:

Voice searches are used all the time. It is an on-the-go medium. 

People are most likely to use voice search when they are driving and doing chores. The on-the-go searches that are “how… near me” are up by 150%. Google pulls out the geolocation data to a “… near me” search. 

Siri also uses the same method but uses data from multiple sources. 

Voice Engine OptimizationHow does a person search: 

The way a person speaks to the digital assistant helps create new voice search keywords that are like a day to day conversation. 

This greatly matters because it is directly proportional to the kind of keywords you use on your on-page SEO optimisation. 

This works according to the hummingbird update on Google. For example, the result for the voice search query “biryani recipe” and the result for the voice search query, “how do I make biryani” can be completely different. 

With the Hummingbird update, Google became an encyclopedia of sorts, where you can get thousands of results even without clicking on a website. 

Hummingbird focuses on semantic search i.e. it combines conversational keywords and the intent behind the search query to give the closest results. These are most of the times, very accurate. These form the basic building blocks of voice-based search. 

Voice SearchRankBrain language-learning AI from Google, easily picks up what people are looking for when they search for a query. Google decides the intent of the user based on 4 categories: informational, navigational, actional, transactional. Or: “I want to know, go, do, or buy”. 

What a person searches for: 

A person uses a voice search for quick and short information. Google knows this and always tries to give apt information in the search results. 

Google always tends to give you the top results on voice search and doesn’t bother with low ranking pages or information. 

This is why it is crucial to optimize for voice search SEO. 

How to optimize your content and SEO for voice-based search? 

1. List out your voice keywords

Keywords for voice search are different from the normal search terms one uses. The length of the voice keywords is generally longer and we tend to speak it out. As a marketer, your focus should shift to targeting words that are natural sounding. 

These are generally more than 5 words or more long and are usually in the form of questions.

Wondering how to use these long-tail keywords, question keywords and filler words? Use them in your on-page SEO optimization by putting them in your content. This increases your chances of Google finding you and displaying your page on the search results. 

2. Improve the loading time of your website 

This is probably the most essential factor for voice search to be successful. If a website takes too much time to load, Google will just abandon it and go on to the next one, even if the content is of top quality. It has direct impact on the bounce rates and hence should be optimized effectively. For a voice search SEO to be successful, the results must be immediate. Here are some tips you can follow for faster load times: 

  • Make use of a CDN or a content delivery network. 
  • Use CSS3 and HTML5 frameworks. 
  • Use images and videos that are compressed. 
  • Use ‘defer’ and ‘async’ to reduce Javascript parsing.

3. Use content that is conversational

This is a primary characteristic for voice search. Leverage it by using more conversational language than a robotic one. This increases one’s scope of matching to the verbal questions or queries used in voice search. 

Understand the user’s intent for a search query. 

  • What is a user searching for? 
  • What is their conversational type/style?
  • What are the questions that are commonly being asked? 
  • Which answers are performing well for a particular voice search query?
  • What type of answers are best suited for a particular type of question? 

Using these data, optimize and improve your rankings. 

4. Pick topics around common questions 

Note down a set of commonly used questions about your business, brand or company. Include all the who, what, when, how and why questions too. This makes it easy to embed the voice keywords in the content. 

After this, optimize your page as you normally would. Embed long-tail keywords as answers to the questions. Keep your answers short or less than 30 words. Test out to see how this works for you and optimize again. 

5. Optimize for feature snippets

Research suggests that more than 40% of voice search results come from a featured snippet. 

By optimizing your featured snippet, you can directly improve your chances of ranking higher and show up in a voice search. 

6. Optimize your Google My Business

Google My Business helps to ensure the correct name, address and location of your company shows up in the queries. 

Choose your business category, for example, you may show up in the “restaurants near me” category, if you have already tagged yourself under it. 

These are a few basic and must do steps for effective voice search SEO optimization in 2020. Once you optimize for voice search, it will help you with your regular SEO as well. Now that you have a fair knowledge of how it is done and the importance of voice search SEO, would you like help in getting started with it for your brand or company

Talk to us, we are a 360° digital marketing company, specializing in the best SEO practices that gives guaranteed results. Call us at +91 9087706000 and we can discuss how to grow your brand over a cup of coffee. Sounds good?