As more people search for products and services using voice search, brands must consider its effect on SEO. Learn more about voice search and SEO and the adjustments to make.
Voice search is not a passing trend. It’s here to stay thanks to its convenience and ease of use. With the growing popularity of mobile personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, there is only more room for voice search.
With more people using digital assistants, you can’t sit back and watch things change. You must optimize your content and website for voice search. This post will teach you why voice search and Google are connected and which adjustments should be made to help you rank well in the search engines. Let’s dig in.
User Experience and Semantics
Google’s search algorithm is rather intuitive. It wasn’t always this way, however. In 2013, the Hummingbird update was rolled out. This update began taking user intent into consideration. As a result, marketers had to change their SEO strategies. Rather than keyword stuffing their content, they had to write to their audience. The purpose of this was to improve the user experience using semantics.
Semantics is the study of meaning. It refers to interpreting words, signs, and sentence structure using Natural Language Processing (NLP). For example, Google can understand the difference between asking for “flour” or “flower”. The more you use Google, the more it learns your tone and voice. This way, it can return relevant results based on the context of your search.
How People Use Voice Search
Google continues to make improvements to its search algorithm. This allows the user experience to be more intuitive. Let’s look at the ways people are using voice search as of now.
When you search for something on your phone or computer, you probably keep things short because it takes less physical effort. Spoken words tend to be longer. You might ask things like, “What’s the best pizza place near me?” Or, “Tell me what the weather’s like today?”
People talk differently than they type. Not only are the queries typically longer but also they are more conversational. For example, Alexa users are encouraged to say things like, “Let’s play a game.” Or, “Tell me about my day.” Always think about how your customers talk about your products and services.
People often use voice search to find local services and businesses. It’s understandable as mobile users are typically on the go and looking for local information. They may ask for “best dry cleaners near me” or “things to do near me.” It’s a lot easier to say “near me” than the actual city and state.
Here are a few tips for localizing your content marketing strategy.
- Include phrases that describe your neighborhood
- Add “near me” to the title tags, meta descriptions, internal links, and anchor text
- Incorporate landmarks around your location
Something unique about voice search is that users typically aren’t looking to visit a particular website. Instead, they have a clear intent of what they want. For example, if a user is looking for a dog walking service, they expect a list of results to be returned to them, not a specific website.
Fortunately, click to call buttons make it easy for people to call your business. Be sure that you update your business listing with your current hours, address, contact info, and more. When your business listing is properly optimized, it’s easier for the search engines to find you.
Tips for Optimizing
Now that you know how voice search and Google tie in together – as well as how people use voice search – let’s talk about what you can do to optimize your SEO strategy for voice search.
- Use structured data. Search engines look at various criteria when determining relevance and position. Structured data is one of them. It refers to metadata, or data about the information on your website. Even though your visitors can’t see this, it helps the search engines organize the info.
- Claim your business listings. One of the easiest ways to help your customers find you is by optimizing your Google My Business listing. Claim your listing, make sure the contact information is accurate, and add a description. Also, choose relevant categories and add a few pictures of your business.
- Be mobile friendly. Voice search is most common on mobile devices. So, your content and website should be designed with mobile users in mind. Responsive web design is the most effective way to do this – and Google recommends it, too! Not sure how yours stacks up? Try Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool.
- Create blog posts. One last adjustment to make is to create blog posts that take advantage of your customers’ tone of voice. Start by answering common questions or phrases that describe your products and services.
Voice search has plenty of room to grow. Personal assistants are hot, and with them come a higher demand for voice search. Recognizing the relationship between voice search and SEO gives you the motivation needed to optimize your content and website.