What Is Google Voice Search & Why Does It Matter?
Technology is changing at a neck-breaking speed, and the way that your customers use technology has evolved dramatically over the past years. It can’t be ignored that your customers turn to mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and even devices without screens to find solutions to their needs by using a voice-assisted search.
Image Source: https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-voice-assistant-users-2019
Many users find that voice search improves their quality of life since this method of search does not require the focus on a keyword to browse the Internet. In fact, the use of voice search is growing and currently accounts for over 50% of all online searches.
Customer behavior will only continue to move towards the adoption of voice search technologies that are fast, easy-to-use, and deliver accurate results. Now is the time to take serious consideration of a voice search strategy to position your brand for the best future possible based on how customers are looking for your products and services.
Who Will Voice Search Impact The Most?
Voice search is just one way that people engage with search engines, and this method of search is often used for search queries that are easy to describe, and the desired result is a single item or entity.
- Information about sales and online deals
- Information about upcoming events
- Information about business( phone number, hours, and address)
- Information about time, weather, and directions
- Information about historical events
While all industries will be impacted by voice search, the industries that are expected to see the most benefit from voice search include:
- Charities & non-profit organizations
- Consumer Goods & Retail
- Media Companies
- Healthcare and Pharmaceutical
- Financial Services
Regardless of your industry, you need to optimize your website around the way your customers will experience your content and brand in the present and the future.
How Does Google Voice Search Work?
Voice search is a dialogue system that has its roots in early 1977 when the first dialogue developments were produced by (at the time) advanced machines. Since then, computer scientists have continued to lead technological advancements to allow computers and devices to interact through audible speech instead of just written text.
As the leading search engine, Google has developed its proprietary technology to make voice search more comfortable and faster than ever before. One of the most significant advancements in this field came with Google Patent US7027987B1, where Google outlined how different factors would weigh results based on specific search queries and other variables.
Image Source: https://patents.google.com/patent/US8768700B1/en
The process is highly technical both in terms of how inputs are processed and how Google delivers results. Still, at its core, Google uses several search models to understand the intent of voice inputs and then processes that input based on contextual information clusters to deliver relevant results based on the user’s input.
The great thing about voice search is that this technology is continually evolving, and marketers have the opportunity to capture relevant search queries and display that information in exciting ways on consumer devices.
5 Ways To Optimize For Voice Search
The only way to reap the full benefits of voice search for your business is to optimize your website, content, and user experience based on your industry and business goals.
Voice search SEO is in its infancy, but there are several ways that you can begin optimizing your online content to get found by people using voice search when engaging with search engines.
1. Optimize Voice Search Based On User Intent
While voice search optimization is a relatively new and exciting strategy, it still has the same basic tenants as other marketing strategies. Specifically, you will need to create and optimize content around where and how your customers use voice search to search online.
Here are some basic questions that you can ask yourself as you optimize content for voice search:
- Where is your customer searching from?
- What is your customer trying to find?
- How do your customers search for your products/services?
- When do customers search for your business?
Every piece of content on your website that you publish should be built around your customers to ensure the information they find through voice search is relevant to their needs!
2. Create Local Content To Capture Relevant Search Queries
Whenever someone searches for something on Google, they are asking Google a question. Studies have shown that when searchers use a mobile device to search for something, they are likely looking for a local solution.
Local content is a great way to help Google understand your geographic location compared to your customers with:
- Localized content like blog posts and photos that display information from your city or region.
- Add Local Schema to your website to spoon-feed Google bots information about your physical location and company’s solutions.
- Include “near me” search phrases in your meta description, title tags, and internal linking structure. This information should all point to localized content on your site.
As Google’s voice search algorithm continues to evolve, you can take control of the future by developing content to help search engines and people understand where and what your company provides.
3. Focus On Long-Tail Keywords
When people use a keyboard to search for answers on Google, they tend to use short and concise search phrases to describe their needs. A “long-tail keyword,” which is longer and often includes 4-8 words in each search query, and this type of keyword is essential for voice search.
Image Source: Ahrefs
As you optimize your website and brand for voice search SEO, you should focus on long-tail keywords because your customers will be using more casual and lengthy search phrases to find information when searching with voice prompts.
4. Use Common Questions Throughout Your Content
As we already discussed, people use Google to ask questions. Since voice search optimization revolves around creating content based on voice commands, you can optimize your website by including common questions to get search engines’ attention and align customer search queries with your solutions.
A great tool to find common questions is the People Also Ask field of search results. This section provides answers to common questions related to specific searches, and the best part is that this information is provided directly from Google!
5. Update Your Google My Business Profile
If you are a local business owner, then you already know that having a Google My Business (GMB) profile is a staple of any good SEO strategy. Not only does a GMB listing get your business prominently displayed in Google SERPs, but it also streamlines the process for customers to get in contact with you.
One of the first things you should do for voice search optimization and improve your local SEO presence is to double-check your GMB listing. Make sure your Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) are correct, and that your category, services, and descriptions are all updated.
You can harness the power of both local SEO and voice search SEO by checking that your company’s GMB listing has the correct information and optimized for specific search phrases like “near me” and your city’s name.
Voice Search Optimization For Your Business
Your customers have already spoken, and they are using voice search to find solutions on the Internet. If you want to ensure you capture more market share and grow your online presence, then you should begin optimizing and creating content with a voice search strategy.
The great thing about voice search optimization is that all the steps you take to improve voice search results will also improve your overall SEO strategies. Take some time to review the above recommendations and tactics to see how your business and online content could benefit from voice search optimizations today!