The iPhone’s Siri, Android’s Google Now, and Windows 10’s Cortana are top 3 virtual assistants up till now. Have you ever used any of them? Have you ever searched the web through voice command? If yes, then do you know how voice search optimization works? And how to optimize your content for the voice search?
In 2015, voice search contributed to 10% of the global searches made. Considering that prior to this, not even 1% of the web searches were voice searches, it’s clear where the user search behavior is heading to. No wonders then, that forward looking SEO experts and digital marketing enthusiasts are already vying hard to make their web content optimized for voice searches.
The big question is – Where do you begin? Then, how do you do this optimization? In this guide, I tell you what you need to do.
Understand Voice Search Optimization Better
Here are a couple of important pieces of information for you.
- The basic search algorithm that evaluates web pages, compiles results, and showcases on a user’s smartphone screen remains the same, even for voice based search. Voice search optimization is more about understand what’s different from a user point of view in searching by typing keywords (Boston Lebanese restaurant), versus saying out the search query (Where can I find the best Lebanese food in Boston?).
- A UNESCO study found that the biggest reason why people browse on mobile phones is convenience.
So, your voice search based optimization efforts need to be centered on the basics of SEO, and mobile friendliness.
Keyword Optimization for More Voice Based Search Relevance
Did you know – Search queries that begin with question words like Who and How have grown massively? In general, question based searches and long tail keywords are on the surge, and that’s primarily because of voice based searches. That’s a massive lesson for anybody looking to optimize webpages for voice search.
- Try to anticipate how your target users would frame a question whose answer should ultimately lead them to you.
- Evaluate your current breed of successful keywords, and create question styled search phrases out of them.
- Google’s Hummingbird algorithm has shown how the future of search is aligned towards user intent and context, and this needs to reflect in your web pages’ copy, keywords, and content presentation.
Understand the basics of Voice Search for Siri, Google Now, and Cortana
Optimizing your web content for voice search is best done from ground up, so begin by understanding how users experience and interact with voice assistants.
Read the Apple’s comprehensive guide on using Siri, and Google and Cortana released their help material too. Understanding commonly used phrases, voice search best practices, and platform specific voice search criteria – all this helps you fine tune your web content, and helps select more appropriate keywords.
Understand all the voice commands of Siri and Google Now. These commonly used commands are your go-to content when you’re looking to make your web pages optimized for voice search.
Voice Search – Going Hand in Hand with Local SEO
Users key in words relevant to a business’ name, place, location, products, etc. This makes micro data a valuable asset for your website’s voice search optimization. Create a comprehensive sitemap for your website, and make all this info easily available for all your digital marketing assistants. This means that everything you do in terms of local SEO enhancement for your website indirectly makes your website more relevant for voice based searches.
Mobile Responsiveness and Fast Loading – The Pre Requisites for Success with Voice Search
Voice search goes hand in hand with mobile browsing, and both these forces are bound to create more impact in the near future. So, making your website mobile friendly is a pre-requisite for voice search optimization. Responsive web design is a must, and is highly rewarded by Google.
Additionally, website loading speed is a key contributor to the voice search experience. Technologies like Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP are proliferating quickly, and will soon push slow loading pages out of competition. Use tools like WebPageTest and Google Mobile Friendly Test to see how optimized your web pages are for mobile browsing.