With the development of Siri and Cortana a full-service virtual assistance platform and the domination of smart phone technology for both Apple and Android phones and home speaker smart assistants such as Google home, voice search is now an integral part of how we search the web on the go.
In 2004 Google launched a new beta feature for web search called “Voice Action” what we now call “Voice Search” in its first stages you were given a phone number and then asked a query Google would then ask you to open your browser window and see your results. Back in 2014 Google did a survey and found that 41% of adults use voice search and more than half of teens use voice search daily. Today its statistically proven the 71 percent of 18- to 29-year-old Americans use smartphone personal assistants, and about 40 percent of all voice search users have started to use voice search technology in the past six months.
Is your online businesses ready for it? Voice search is growing and 2017 Will Be The Year Of Voice Search
So How Do You Optimize For Voice Search?
✓Long Tail Keywords
✓Form Questions and Answers in your titles
✓Optimize for Local SEO with Micro Data
✓Optimize your website mobile first
One of the most key aspects of voice search is to understand the way people routine ask questions. If you think how people speak your well on your way to the fundamental aspects of optimization for voice search. Another tip is to imagine if you were to ask an assistant a question such as “Where is a good Chinese restaurant near here?” or “Where is the nearest coffee house?”. When you are brainstorming write down all the queries that you think are relevant to your business and keep going to the next step.
Optimizing For Long Tail Keywords
What are long tail keywords?
Long tail keywords are phrases that are longer sets of keywords usually comprised of three to four keyword phrases and more and used when a searcher is looking for something more specific. Long tail keywords is something SEO experts always optimize for since they tend to have lower competition levels and can be a great asset for Organic traffic even though they might not in the top ten search results. Neil Patel an extremely successful SEO expert breaks down how you can take advantage of Long Tail Keywords in one of his posts titled “How to Generate 20,000 Monthly Visitors Through Long-Tail Search” it’s a great resource and I suggest you read it to understand how long tail keywords can benefit your online presence.
And here is another great post from SEMrush titled How to Choose the Right Long-Tail Keywords.
Refine Your Questions Into A Laser Focused Intent
✩Who ✩What ✩When ✩How
The next step is to use some professional keyword research tools such as SEMrush or check your Google webmaster tools for queries under search traffic then search analytics to refine your keywords to make sure that they optimized for the right kind of traffic you need.
You might want to do some web searches for you long tail keyword queries and see if relevant results come up, keep in mind search results are not always consistent and can change based on your search history and location. For a more accurate search on chrome log out of any Google accounts and hit control+shift+N this will open an incognito window and might give you more accurate results you could use a virtual private network or VPN as well.
Form Questions And Answers In Your Content
Revisit your pages and your main title tags and your posts, once you have all your questions and answers completed look for opportunities where you can implement them into your content.
Optimize For Local Search Results With Micro Data
Microdata injects your business information right into the code where google can crawl it. It will include your business name, address, phone number, hours, prices, directions to your location and ratings. With microdata you might also get featured in a rich snipped or featured box in desktop searches as a bonus! This is a fantastic opportunity to let Google know where you are at and what you do. Microdata is a key component of on page local SEO and one of the first things I do in my natural organic SEO local search optimizations.
Optimize Your Website Mobile First
Since most voice searches are done by mobile devices you should optimize the key factors for mobile rankings. I have talked extensively on many mobile optimization features such as AMP but for voice search, your first priority is site speed and content scanability. In one of my recent posts on the plugins, professional WordPress designers use I have highlighted some of the plugins we use for speed optimization and other plugins for WordPress that will improve your site visitors mobile experience. You can check out the post titled The Essential Free Plugins For WordPress The Pros Use 2017
The Wrap Up And Final Thoughts
As voice search continues to rise in popularity, it is quite possible that Google will include voice optimization as a ranking factor (Possibly) if AMP and website load speed optimization is a key indicator voice search will soon follow and remains to be seen.
Google’s own speech-recognition is improving year by year the error rate continues to decline and become much more accurate statistically to just 8 percent in 2016 Instead of gaming keywords, successful firms will know how to connect with customers on an emotional level. That’s what Google is aiming for: context-specific search results that synchronize with what users want and feel. Content that meets these criteria should work well.
Voice Search Is A Huge Opportunity for Local Businesses To Get Found
Adapting to voice search is something that every business will eventually have to do. Right now, small and medium-sized companies can give themselves an early adopter advantage by designing their content around voice queries, perfecting their local listings, and ensuring their sites are mobile optimized.