Stream News & Views

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Is voice search a thing to consider in my SEO strategy?

03 Mar 2020

Yes.. you bet it is!

With smartphones, smart speakers and digital assistants becoming more prevalent, stats show that voice related searching is on the rise. Some 40% of searches are expected to be done this way in 2020.

Voice searching is easy and convenient

Voice searching provides unparalleled convenience to its users, imagine trying to find (typing) a recipe while your cooking or a gas station while driving. It’s so much easier to ask Alexa or Siri.

The example above not only illustrates a change in behaviour by the user but also highlights a totally different way of utilising a search engine. The user is effectively asking for an answer, not just a list of suggestions. They may still get a list but the intent is slightly different. Unlike a traditional text query the voice query is more natural and conversational. This will impact on SEO. Google for example must (and will) change to allow for more conversational keywords and phrases.

Google in a lot of cases, is already displaying an answer by showing a detailed panel at the top of the usual list of blue underlined links. This ‘featured snippet’ panel can show a text answer, map, open and closing hours, website links, directions and lists of options with photos included. A speaking assistant like Alexa or Google Home will often read this top ranked snippet back to the user.

Location becomes a factor with voice searching

 

Google Snippet

 

How do I optimize my website for voice search?

Apart from your regular website housekeeping, improving your website’s voice SEO must now involve the injection of more natural speech. Depending on your business, location information can also be very beneficial. We suggest that you get your Google My Business listing up to date as this is often used by Google as a featured snippet.

Your keywords should contain more question-type words like; how, why, where, when, what, along with any short answers to common questions about your products or services.

Injecting relevant FAQs below your product pages is a great way to achieve this (following this approach should also boost your long-tail keywords).

 

Voice searches are longer than keyboard searches due to their conversational style


Search Example - Keyboard

  1. Mobil station Grey Lynn
  2. Best Coffee Grey Lynn.

Search Example - Voice

  1. "Where is the Mobil station in Grey Lynn?"
    (or more commonly people just ask, "where is a Mobil station NEAR ME?") ‘Near Me’ is one of the most searched spoken terms currently in use.
  2. “Where can I find the best coffee in Grey Lynn?”.

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