The volume of voice searches is increasing more and more as the months go by. Really, you should be asking, “How is voice search affecting SEO?” because voice search is already here!
As a marketer and/or SEO professional, one of your job responsibilities is to pay attention to emerging technologies that are having an impact on your strategies. Voice search is such a technology website that the entire marketing community is paying attention to it.
This discussion will look at the rise of voice searches and what sort of impact this trend is having on SEO.
A Short History Lesson On Voice Search
There are a number of technologies and steps in the history of voice search, but the big shift that kick-started its rise was the development of IBM’s Watson AI computer. The ability of this machine to recognize and answer questions would form the basis for voice search and virtual personal assistants.
In fact, it took only a short year after IBM Watson debuted before Apple introduced the world to Siri. Google also launched its voice search feature in the same year. Then came Cortana by Microsoft, Amazon’s Alexa and many other voice search-enabled devices.
As more and more of these devices and digital personal assistants enter the consumer market, the number of voice searches increases. And, because these devices rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence, the increase in voice searches leads to overall better and more sophisticated responses.
5 Ways Voice Search Is Changing Search And SEO
The impact of voice search is being felt in a number of ways. This is a significant shift in how people are searching, which means it is going to change a lot of the ways that professionals approach search engine optimization.
Here are 5 of the ways that voice search is affecting SEO.
1. Keywords Are Getting Replaced By Semantics
It’s a hard sentiment to swallow because SEO has always been built on keywords, but that is starting to change. And, voice search is one of the reasons why. Essentially, machines (including search engines) are getting better at understanding the meaning behind the keywords.
This means that instead of focusing on how you’re saying it (what keywords you’re using), search engines and digital virtual assistants are starting to understand what you’re saying.
The difference between semantics vs keywords is really evident when you make a search with local intent. If you search “movies near me,” Google understands that you’re not looking for a movie called “Near Me.” Rather, you’re looking for local movie theaters and times.
This is actually a nice change for SEO because it means that you don’t have to spend so much time and effort agonizing over keywords in text and meta descriptions. Now, you can create content for people, instead of search engines.
2. Getting Conversational
How does voice search impact this concept of meaning over keywords? For one, people are being more conversational with their searches. Instead of typing “movies near me,” into the search bar, they are asking Siri, “What are some movies playing right now?”
This is really important to note because everyone talks differently and asks questions in a unique way. You have to pay close attention to the tone and language that your customers are using and then adapt your content accordingly. Again, it’s about writing content for people, not search engines. Specifically, it’s about writing content for your people.
Listen to how your customers talk about your business and what they say. You want to know the common questions, what jargon they use and more. If you’re a local business, tap into the colloquialisms and lingo that people use when referring to landmarks. For instance, you call it the subway in NY, but in Boston it is the ‘T,’
Understanding how your customers conversate and interact with their digital assistants will help your business tap into voice searches.
3. Focus On Answering Questions
Continuing with this concept of getting conversational, it’s also important to structure your content in a question-answer format. This is because when someone uses a virtual personal assistant, they frame it into a long-tail question. Again, they aren’t searching for, “movies near me.” Instead, they are asking, “What movies are playing nearby?”
It will become crucial to study what questions customers are frequently asking and then develop concise, complete answers to those questions. Then, Google (or any other search engine) can package the content into an answer box, which these digital assistants will then use in their response to voice searches.
4. Mobile-First Is A Must
Number 4 is a simple one, but it is absolutely critical. Your site needs to be mobile-friendly. If you aren’t designing your site with mobile devices in mind, your site is going to suffer greatly. Bounce rates are going to spike and your organic rankings will start to slide.
Google has already announced that they are mobile-first now, which means that they treat the mobile version of your site as the primary one. If that mobile site isn’t perfect, you’ll lose your page one spots.
Many voice searches are made from mobile devices, which makes this an even more critical factor in your SEO success.
5. Shoot for Position Zero!
After a number of tests regarding voice searches and what results digital personal assistants choose when replying to a verbal query, the general conclusion is that voice search responses are primarily created via the featured rich snippets on the search results page. Again, that’s why developing question-answer content is a great way to get voice search optimized.
Appearing as a featured rich snippet is also referred to as “position zero” because these snippets are not always created from the top organic result. However, featured snippets often appear above the number one organic result, which makes them even more valuable.
While there is no guaranteed way to be the selected result for a featured snippet, there are small tweaks you can make to your content that frames it better for the snippets. These tweaks are to the content itself, as well as to the meta markup, header tags, etc.
6. Services Based Website
For example you are giving WordPress SEO Services You must add exact match keyword in the title, meta description and in the other relevant area naturally with mobile friendly.
There are many websites which can be affect with voice search on the other hand some high Authority websites give guest post insertion like in technology many of website giving guest content insertion in this case website have separate page with this intent: write for us technology.
On the other side some of website selling tool. I am actually talking about the PPC tools and SEO tools they must offer a separate page for this service if you want to target from the home page voice search doesn’t give any importance.
When mega companies like Google and Microsoft are rallying behind a trend, then you know it is going to play a significant role in the future. Voice search is here and it is already impacting the ways that users search and engage with SEO results and content.
Amelia frank is one of the best digital marketing Experts of 2022. She has over 14 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit, and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies. For the last 2 years, She is working with the fast-growing Ads analytics company as a Google Ads Analyst.