In the past few years, the way of searching for information online is really changed. People prefer doing quick voice search rather than typing text on a small screen as it is an easy and convenient way to find whatever they want. These days everybody is having a smart phone, or tablets and other electronic gadgets with personal assistant which quickly answers all your questions. Windows users relay on personal assistant Cortana for navigating their Personal Computers, Xboxes and windows smartphones. iPhone users have Siri available all the time and for Android user there is Google Voice Search. Amazon.com have developed smart speakers called Amazon Echo having personal assistant Alexa which is capable of doing a number of things as per your voice commands like setting alarm, playing music, steaming podcasts and providing real time information.
According to the report of Hitwise, more than 60% searches are performed on smartphones nowadays and most of them are done through voice search. With the increasing use of voice search feature ComScore made a prediction that by the year 2020 more than 50% of the searches would be done using the voice search feature. These reasons are more than enough for an SEO professional to think and reconsider his SEO skills according to voice search so that their content or website appears at the top of the search. Before talking about the steps one should follow to optimize SEO skills for voice search lets first understand how voice search feature really work.
Most of the voice search starts from when, what and how. It is generally used for location based queries like where is the nearest pizza restaurant, how far is the airport and other related questions. People rely on voice searches for quick answers. As most of the voice search is done by smart phone and tablets it is always a better choice to speak and get quick answers from voice assistant than trying to type those tiny letters on a small screen. When we use voice search we always use a very natural and conversational tone. Being natural in tone the voice search generally tends to be longer than text search. As the popularity of voice search is increasing, more and more devices are developed having voice assistant. Some of the leading devices used for voice search are-
- Microsoft Cortana
- Google Home
- Google assistant
- Siri on iPhone
- Amazon Echo
As an SEO professional you need to take into account how these devices provide results and follows what strategy. Each of the following aforementioned devices works on a slightly different strategy. When you ask Google assistant a question it gives answers based on Answer boxes, on the other hand Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa give you answers according to zip codes. As a Search Engine Optimization professional you need to ensure that your web content and codes are designed in a flexible way that it is compatible with all of the leading devices. Here are some tips to be followed to optimize SEO strategy for voice search.
Optimizing the content
When searching for information on the internet via mobile devices people mostly focus on optimized content for that particular device. The content you provide should be of good quality. One must focus on making his content easily scannable. There should be no annoying adds or pop up window which could hinder people from getting information. It should be easy and comfortable to read and should not be blurry. Always try to make a well arranged content with proper line spacing. The heading of each topic should be bold and highlighted, make sure you provide content in and simple sentences and the paragraphs should also be short.
Google Business Listing
If you have yet not claimed the Google Business Listing it’s the right time to do it. By claiming Google Business Listings you can increase the chances of showing up at the top of voice search result. In Business listing Google use to ask and save information related to your business like name of your company, type of company, services you provide, address, contact number email ID and other relevant information on its servers. This information you provide plays a key role in increasing your chances of getting shown up in the results of voice search. Google matches the information you provide with the keyword entered by the user using voice search feature and if it matches with your information it shows you up in answer to that particular keyword or question every time.
Your focus should be on long tail keywords
We have already mentioned that while using voice search feature people use a very natural and conversational tone which is generally long tail in comparison to conventional text searches. So it is your priority to target keywords which are long. Try to imagine yourself as the user and ask yourself questions how you will use your voice for searching a particular thing. Different people use different words for the same thing so target as many variations as possible for a single keyword. It might be difficult task and you can make it easy by asking your customer service representative about the questions people ask them and make a list of the most relevant questions. Prepare a content related to these questions and keywords.
Google’s Answer box
The best answer to a voice search or keyword is shown by Google on the top of the page in a specific box known as the “Answer Box”. You must focus on getting listed in this box also known as ‘ Position Zero’. Answer box is shown above all the other results, it appears even before ads. If your content is listed in this box the Google voice assistant will read it out loud whenever a voice search is done. You should look for what the spot zero website has done to get listed in Answer Box for keywords you are targeting and then can re-engineer your website accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions pages
Another simple but effective way is to create more and more Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages. Make a FAQ page from the questions gathered by asking your Customers Support Representative, what people generally ask them. Use a simple, conversational and natural way in writing answers. Your first priority is to be at the top of search result and this will only happen if search engines like Google or Bing find your content suitable enough for a particular keyword. People want a simple information or definition for their questions and they do not focus on complex answer so keep it as simple as possible.
Read the Official User Guide
It is very important to understand how voice search feature work for different major platforms. You can read the official guide they provide to understand the process of their working and how you can optimize it in the best possible way. This may seems a very basic step but never underestimate it.
As an SEO professional you must ensure that you learn and make use of these skills and strategies to keep you one step ahead than other competitors in this modern world of voice search.