Did you know that.. there’s such a thing as voice SEO?
According to PwC, 65% of 25-49 year olds use voice assistants daily and with this ever-rising popularity in devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, Cortana and Siri, it makes sense that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is now being carried out for voice searches. The optimisation of keywords and phrases for searches of this nature is now just as important (and could even soon be more important) than standard SEO for keyboard searches. Whilst it is true that most standard SEO techniques are still relevant since voice searches are converted into text before returning results, there are some key differences between keyboard searches and voice-activated searches that make voice SEO important to consider.
Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, searches carried out using voice assistants are phrased differently to text-based or typed searches. When asking questions to voice assistant devices, users naturally use more conversational terms and phrases. This means it is important for businesses to ensure that their online content reflects this natural, conversational tone of voice, not only in terms of keywords but also in terms of semantics and context, in order to be returned as a relevant search result that answers users’ questions.
It is also important to note that the most common use of voice assistants is to search for local amenities, stores and businesses. The increasing use of voice search to find out what time the local takeaway shuts, or where the nearest hairdresser is, means that now is the time for businesses to focus on their local SEO. This can include making sure that they have an up to date “Google My Business” page as well as building up online reviews to increase visibility on Google Search and Maps, in turn, making them more likely to appear as a search result.
Finally, don’t forget that when using voice search, users are often not returned a selection of results as they are with keyboard searches. Unless the voice assistant includes a screen, users expect a single, verbal response to their query. The most relevant option is selected by the voice assistant and if there is a “featured snippet” this will always be the result chosen to be read out. With this in mind, it is more important than ever to be aiming to reach that “Position Zero” on search results.
With ComScore predicting 50% of all searches in 2020 to be voice-activated, and the BBC set to launch their own voice assistant, Beeb, next year, it is time to step into the future with voice SEO. For more advanced tips, check out Search Engine Watch‘s six essential factors to consider in voice search optimisation.