Everything You Need To Know About Voice Search For A Powerful SEO Strategy

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Everything You Need To Know About Voice Search For A Powerful SEO Strategy

Chris Giarratana
Everything You Need To Know About Voice Search For A Powerful SEO Strategy

Evolving Technology Means Shifting User Engagement

As technology continues to advance, people are changing how they interact with the Internet to find answers to their questions and needs. The primary virtual assistants on the market today include Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Alexa.

Leading engineers and industry leaders have proved the desire for online searchers to use voice search queries with the advancement of technology. Online searchers interact with search engines using voice search both directly with the search engines and through virtual assistants.

US smart phone users who use mobile personal assistants voice search seoImage Source: https://www.l2tmedia.com/2016/10/how-does-voice-search-affect-search-traffic/

The adoption of voice search can’t be overlooked for SEO marketing experts who want to improve their online presence. In 2016, a report from MindMeld found that over 60% of U.S. smartphone users interacted with voice search once during that year.

Why Do People Love Voice Search?

Even the most hardened online searchers are starting to see the advantages of using voice searches throughout the day. Not only is this method of online search quicker for many people compared to typing, but it is also less cumbersome in certain situations.

Whether you are folding laundry in your house, cooking dinner in the kitchen, or walking to your car, speaking a search query to a virtual assistant means you don’t have to refocus your attention on typing a question.

This means that searchers can leverage virtual assistants and their voice search capabilities to find the answers they need in almost any situation.

General Trends Of Voice Search

Voice search is a growing trend in how people interact with content, and this means that as more businesses see the importance of voice search more dollars and resources will be put toward optimizing for voice search.

Great emphasis is being made to align content with the needs of customers while also optimize websites for mobile-first and online keywords focus on long tail keywords. Here are some ways that you can take advantage of this growing trend to ensure the success of your business or the growth of your clients, and you can find these opportunities with a holistic website audit on your site. 

1. Focus On Mobile Experience

SEO marketers need to consider many aspects of content when creating content that is relevant and valuable to their audience, including:

  • What are the needs of their customers?

  • Where are customers searching for information?

  • What search queries are customers using to find answers online?

  • How are customers searching for information?

While SEO is centered on all of these questions, the future of SEO marketing will be altered by voice search the most due to the shifting landscape of online search towards mobile devices. Not only has mobile seen an increasing presence in general online engagement, but mobile search is also dominated by voice searches.

mobile seo voice search local results

This means that every website needs to take a mobile-first approach to their design, content, and technology to win with mobile customers and voice search queries.

If your site is not perfected for mobile search, then your business will miss out on a lot of traffic and sales, especially from incoming traffic through voice search.

  • Optimize Site Speed For Mobile: Since most online traffic is coming through mobile devices, you should focus on this factor to ensure mobile and voice search queries convert on your site.

  • Keep Site Crawlable: To ensure Google and understand and can find your content on a mobile voice search, you should make sure that all content and resources are crawlable. Don’t block valuable files with JavasScript, CSS, or the robots.txt file.

  • Don’t Use Flash: Flash is not supported by many mobile devices, so relying on this technology to display content can have a negative impact on mobile engagement.

2. More Searches Using Natural Language

People use different terms and interact with search engines differently with their vocal cords than they do with a keyboard. Instead of using very short phrases like people tend to use on consoles, voice search queries tend to be more natural-sounding questions or statements.

The difference with a traditional search engine is that, in a voice search, only the top answer will be highly relevant. Based on how content is conveyed to the user, marketers must ensure that landing pages are designed in a specific way to showcase long tail keywords and a short, yet comprehensive response to the voice result to easily find it.

One of the best ways to find natural language suggestions for content is the Related Keywords tool in SEMrush. This feature provides valuable insight to help identify other phrases that you can include in your content to drive qualified leads to your site who are utilizing voice searches. 

semrush related keywords tools

3. Create a Question and Answer Style Content

As you optimize your content for voice search with more conversational tones, be sure to also use a format to take advantage of questions and answers. Since most voice search queries come in the form of a problem, your SEO marketing strategy can see a big boost if you include specific questions that people ask for quick answers.

Not only will this help align your content with the needs of your customers, but it will also assist Google to know the context of your information. This is the same approach you want to take to have your content appear on the Knowledge Graph or other widgets in SERPs.

Create blog posts and product catalogs where you provide relevant content by answering questions. This is a great way to optimize because a lot of users to type in questions when they are looking for information.

A quick and easy way to learn what questions people are asking about your topic is to use the new Topic Research tool from SEMrush. This powerful tool is a one-stop tool to find questions, reference content, and other valuable information to help you not only optimize for SEO, but also to drive engagement through voice search. 

semrush topic research tool

Use real questions that your customers ask you as a basis for content you create. Include actual questions in the H2 and H3 sections of your material and provide a quick answer with supporting content below.

This will ensure your audience with the best solutions to their needs and provide more information to help them make a buying decision.

4. Optimize Local SEO Listings

Location plays a significant role in online searches, and Google’s drive to make their results more relevant means that local SEO will have increased importance in the coming years. This fact only emphasizes the fact that most searches on a mobile device are done through a mobile device.

As a result, the future of SEO marketing will depend on local SEO factors. Optimizing Google My Business or other relevant local directories is the best place to start to ensure all business information is updated and accurate so local searchers can find your business content quickly and easily.

  • Reviews: One of the best ways for a business to take advantage of local SEO is to respond to all reports of their listings. This is because the number of reviews is critical for ranking in Google’s local pack. Always encourage customers to leave reviews, and be sure to respond to each one (especially the negative reviews).

  • Google My Business: Setup your Google My Business account and make sure that all information is updated. Use your Business Name, Address, and phone number on all of your listings and GMB account. Be sure also to build a unique description of your business, choose the right category, and upload at least five photos to your account to ensure you have excellent visibility.

  • Schema: Schema markup is a relatively new tool that SEO marketers can use to improve their online presence. Use this microdata to boost your online rankings for non-brand keywords and help search engines understand your content with contextual clues. The local section of Schema.org has a variety of formats that you can use to connect mobile searchers (using voice search or not) with your business more efficiently.

Pushing Into The Future Of Search With Voice Technology

As technology continues to evolve, business owners and marketers have the unique opportunity to reach their customers with content based on what, when, and where they search. Voice search is a great way to speak to customers who are using mobile devices and who are on the go.

Following the above suggestions will help ensure that your online presence continues to remain strong and drive more engagement and rank higher in search engines!

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Chris is a professional digital marketing consultant with 13 years of experience helping businesses understand and reach their audience in new and interesting ways. He focuses on customer needs balanced with freelance copywriting, PPC, and market analysis.
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Sam McEwin
Great article Chris, thanks for sharing. I’ll have to check out that topic research tool. Sounds like a good one. 🙏
White Rabbit
This is becoming more important everyday! Great post Chris.
Hi Chris, this was an interesting piece, thank you. Glenn Gabe recently tweeted about an informal survey of young users, in which there was a suggestion that voice search "didn't work well". I know it's anecdotal, but it raises an interesting question: is the functionality of voice search mature enough yet for SEOs to draw conclusions which will hold up over the medium to long term? Tweet reference is here: https://twitter.com/glenngabe/status/998547618669256705
Hey Chris - quality content as always! Thank you for the insight on voice search. With mobile evolving so rapidly it is vital for businesses to find the right strategy to grow and thrive.
Chris Giarratana
John D
Hey John, appreciate the question and thanks for your time. I agree- if businesses want to innovate then they need to be where their customers are. Depending on the industry, market, customer preference, etc. I think voice search could make a big impact. Companies could look at their GA data to understand device traffic, and then use other tools to figure out how people are looking and optimize from there!
Hey Chris - thanks for sharing these relevant items on voice search. I remember you shared some of these on the meetup you hosted weeks ago, so it is good to have all the info condensed into this article.
Chris Giarratana
Leo S
Hey Leo, appreciate the question and it was great seeing you at that Orlando Meetup. During that discussion we talked about the customer journey and intent, and voice search definitely has a place in that relationship. I think companies will need to figure out how to harness qualified traffic through voice search, since people interacting with voice search tend to use very long tail, natural phrases. Thanks for reading and your question!
Thanks for the insightful post- enjoyed the breakdown of specific how-tos. I see that you talk a lot of mobile devices in the post. Do you think desktops or Virtual Assistants will have a big impact from Voice Search?
Chris Giarratana
Jennifer
Hey Jennifer, this is a great question and thanks for taking the time to comment. I focused a lot on voice search for mobile, and I think tools like Google Home and Amazon Echo will be guided by voice search. The only problem with these voice-enabled devices is that right now they only provide a small amount of results. Plus, since the interaction with customers is audio, it can be hard to list several options so that is something engineers will need to figure out before these devices can be leveraged to the fullest. Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment!
Hi Chris, great article! Great points to follow for any industry. From a technical stand point, what do you think SEO's can do to have the most impact on voice search without taking too much time and resources?
Chris Giarratana
Alex Alexakis
Hey Alex, I appreciate you taking the time to read the article and hope it was helpful. I think the hospitality and restaurant industries are going to see the most benefit from voice search. I think Schema and Local SEO factors. Thanks for the great question!

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