A lot of people are aware of the need to optimise their website for search engines but what about the latest trend? Voice technology is moving fast and being adopted by more and more users. Check out how to optimise your site to ensure you don’t miss out on this growing market…
Voice Search is a speech recognition technology that allows a user to perform a search via a voice command. Voice Search is a trend that shows no signs of going away. In fact, if industry predictions are to be believed, its spectacular growth is only going to continue. Voice search Optimisation (or Search Engine Optimisation for Voice Searches) ranks in the top 3 in a list of the largest SEO trends for 2017 and beyond, according to Forbes. With significant investment and advances being made by Tech companies in their Voice Assistants, Voice Search is estimated to reach a market value of $601 million by 2019. 20% of all searches on mobile devices are now made by voice, which shows that Voice Searching is a growing technology and one that will continue its upward trajectory.
So how can I optimise my site for voice searching?
This is the million-dollar question and the answer is not as complex as you may think. As with all search engines they are compiled of various algorithms to try and display the best results to the searcher and build a sense of loyalty with the end user (the searcher). If one search engine predominantly displays more pertinent result to the end user that individual will be more likely to use that search engine again and again. To optimise your site you must be able to provide quality content that the search engine identifies as what is being searched for and provide this information in a manner that is optimised for the device that the searcher is using. All sounds familiar so far? That’s because it is! Everything that I have just said is identical to optimising a website for typed or written searches. So, what’s different, let’s see.
Local Business Listing
“Mobile voice-related searches are 3X more likely to be local-based than text” via Search Engine Watch. It is vital to maintain your local business. Voice search recognises “near me” and will use the users’ physical location to get results. Search engines will not correlate that search with your on-page keywords so accurate business listings are key. Google provides further information on perfecting your local business listing here.
Long Tail Keywords
Keywords (the words people use to search for your products/services online) are not just keywords anymore. In the voice search world, all keywords are long tail keywords and you must think conversational. Long Tail Keywords are keywords that contain at least three words and target a specific niche. A business’s keyword strategy must be developed in a conversational method to mimic how people talk and ask questions in real life. Think about the various ways that people ask for information about your products or services and then document the words that they use. A good method of doing this is listening to recorded customer phone calls or taking note of conversations with customers when they call.
Target Featured Snippets
Snippets provide a small sample of a site’s content on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) of search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. They enhance your search listing, making it more enticing for users to click on and easier for search engines to extract information. (6SMarketing)
When a featured snippet is populated for a query, voice search devices read the snippet and source aloud. This is a huge boost for brand recognition and authority, as Google essentially declares one company the expert. As far as voice search is concerned, “position zero” is the new page one. (Courtesy of Search Engine Land)
Focus on Mobile
Optimising for mobile devices is very important as the likelihood is that voice searches will be made on these devices. Your mobile optimisation must go further than just a responsive design. Your site will need to abandon dropdown navigation menus, format videos to display in full screen when mobile devices are held vertically, remove intrusive interstitials and improve page load speeds. These actions will dramatically improve the user experience for mobile users.
Structured Data Markup
Structured data allows search engines to not only crawl your site, but to truly understand it. Yes, even search engines can have a tough time deciphering web page content. Some elements that seem perfectly obvious to us humans are meaningless to web crawlers. (AdhereCreative.com)
The easier you can make it for search engines to understand what your site is about and what all the information within your site is about the better. The best way to achieve this is by using structured data markup. Applying the correct schemas gives these voice search devices even more information about your site and content.
The next SEO revolution unfolds
In a nutshell, that’s it! If you can follow the topics laid out above you will make large strides into the optimisation of your site for mobile devices and more importantly to capture the increase in voice searching. As voice searching is trending upwards and predictions indicate that by the year 2020 50% of all searches will be voice searches (comscore). If you haven’t considered SEO before, let alone Voice SEO, it’s never too late to start. Get in touch with us and we will talk you through our various SEO and Voice SEO packages that we have designed to provide affordable and value adding services to your business.