Thinking Out Loud – How Voice Search Changed the SEO Playing Field

Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri. What do they all have in common? They’re all meant to be voice-activated, and help you with your inquires.

While voice search is still relatively new, it’s been quite handy in times when you can’t be bothered to manually search for what you need. Why google manually “what’s the weather like today” if Siri can tell you all about it in seconds?

Even with all the levels of technology available to us today, the voice we have is the best communication tool we could possibly hold, and honestly, using it is pretty darn cool.

Why is Voice Search So Popular

Woman speaking to phone

Having a device or app that works completely by listening to what we say has become a novelty, giving whatever tech thingy we’re using a more personal feel and a sense as if there is someone waiting on us on their hands and feet which makes it feel even more useful than it is.

This latest development in the industry has taken the world by storm, and we can’t argue how interesting it is to watch it grow. But, when can we call voice search truly useful?

That will be the case when you don’t have to yell at your phone, telling it you didn’t ask for what it is searching up, or when it doesn’t automatically activate while you’re talking to someone.

But to be honest, errors like that are being seen less and less, with the newest version of voice search reaching almost perfection, making it a new habit of some users.

Google voice search AI

With the rise of technology and Google claiming their AI has an accuracy of 95%, it is safe to say that we’ve reached a point where ignoring voice search is no longer an option. Surely, with over 40% of smartphone users using voice search features daily, the trend isn’t going to stop anytime soon.

Even with the small numbers of failures, misheard commands, and errors in the AI, utilizing the feature and adapting to it is the best way to keep up with the newest needs and demands.

The Correlation Between Voice Search and SEO

Woman writing on whiteboard

Having said all that, it comes as a surprise that voice search has become one of the neglected elements that are known to work well with SEO.

In recent years, optimizations have been worked on in great lengths, making searching for things using your voice both enjoyable and useful, and getting to the website you’re looking for doesn’t take more than a few seconds of your time.

Anyone with a smartphone or any kind of smart device in their hands can reach any business, blog, or website at the tip of their tongue.

So, what does that mean for you? Basically, with voice search rattling the SEO realm, it is no longer becoming just a tool used to make your life easier, but it brings a new line of competition to the field. As companies are racing to improve their AI, websites have been racing to optimize their content for voice search.

Headset on table

At this point, both small business and well-established chain companies should be working towards voice search optimization, taking into consideration how search queries will affect their SEO.

But before you being rolling up your sleeves to prepare for the work ahead of you, you need to make sure that your current stand with your SEO is a solid one.

By now you should already know that SEO takes forever to build, and starting from zero is a bad way to ensure your website is voice-search-friendly. It takes a lot of effort to get it there, but the longer and more detailed your content is, the higher the ranking.

How to Use Voice Search for Better SEO

SEO chart and pencils

After you’ve made sure your foundations are set, you can begin with the actual work. Firstly, consider the words you’re using on your website. Studies have shown that when we’re manually looking up something, we tend to use shorter words to keep the effort of tying as minimum as we can.

When using voice search, on the other hand, people tend to use longer words and also more of them because they’re not wasting too much time describing when they want to see.

Additionally, when testing Google Assistant’s voice search option, it’s been shown that it takes less time to load a search inquiry when it’s submitted by voice search than when you’re manually googling it.

But hold on, don’t go onto your website and change every single word you’re using into a tongue twister. That is not what will do the trick. Instead, voice search inquiries are more likely to contain questions like “Where can I get pizza right now” than any other form of an inquiry.

Next, you should try to put out as much information that is relevant and can be used immediately. Users want on-the-spot results, and when searching for “dentist”, they’re more likely to call the first dentist (that has listed proper info) they see on the results page.

Once you’re done with everything that needs to be set up, you can pick one of the many strategies out there to claim your SEO ranking. Whether you’re using structured data, claiming your business listing, or making your content more mobile-friendly, making your website more SEO-friendly will help you in the long run.

Many marketers have been using these strategies to their gain, and have seen great results thanks to taking the necessary steps to ensure their content/material is voice search-friendly. On the other hand, the ones ignoring the trend seem to be stuck in the same place, while their competition is on the rise.

Conclusion

We hope that after reading this you’ll take your original SEO strategy back to the drawing board and will put into consideration everything that can be done to improve it.

While a lot of things are unknown regarding voice search and its limits, it is undeniable that it’s effecting SEO, positively if you work on it, and negatively if you choose to ignore it.

Remember, it will be a lot of hard work, but the payoff can be immense if you decide to go for it. All it takes is for you to take the jump and get a head start over your competition.

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Published on August 9, 2020 by Peter Hughes. Filed under: , .

Peter Hughes is a digital marketing consultant and author. Peter has more than 10 years of experience in SEO and Internet marketing.

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