The landscape of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is ever-evolving. From early days of short search queries of 3–4 words to the rise of long-tail keywords, SEO has come a long way.
Now, we are witnessing yet another transformation: the rise of voice search. Since 2008, voice search has escalated by 35 times and currently accounts for over 20% of all mobile searches. This makes Voice Search Optimization (VSO) more crucial than ever.
According to a report by Demand Sage, by 2024 there will be 8 billion voice-enabled digital assistants in action. So, if you want your business to be heard—literally— it makes sense to incorporate best practices into your marketing strategy!
In this guide, we’ll delve into the unique characteristics of voice search, how it differentiates from traditional text-based search, and outline seven key strategies to effectively optimize your website for voice search.
Voice Search vs. Traditional Search
Voice search presents a different set of challenges and opportunities compared to conventional text-based searches. Here’s how they differ:
Long-tail and Conversational Keywords
Voice search queries typically employ conversational and long-tail keywords as opposed to the shorter, more general keywords commonly used in text-based searches.
Voice search often concentrates on local inquiries, such as finding nearby restaurants or cinemas.
Queries through voice search are usually highly personalized, prompting search engines to provide tailored results.
Unlike traditional search results that offer a list of links, voice search aims to provide immediate answers, often via featured snippets.
Voice search isn’t limited to English. Increasingly, users are encouraged to use their native languages for voice-based queries.
How ASR Systems Function
Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology is instrumental in voice assistants. It converts spoken language into text, enabling the search engine to process voice queries. With advancements in AI and machine learning, these systems have become increasingly efficient in recognizing and interpreting human speech.
Seven Core Strategies for Voice Search Optimization
1. Customer Understanding and Behavior Analysis
Comprehending your customer’s behavior is fundamental for any marketing effort, and VSO is no exception. Utilize in-depth market research, customer interviews, and data analytics to create detailed customer personas. This will enable more targeted optimization strategies for voice search.
2. Utilize Long-tail and Conversational Keywords
Given the nature of voice search, emphasis should be on long-tail and conversational keywords. Investing in a reliable keyword research tool can help you identify these crucial keywords. Once identified, integrate them naturally within your content.
3. Create User-Specific Content
Voice search is highly personalized. Aim for content that addresses individual customer needs, such as FAQs, calculators, or comparison tools, and use conversational language.
4. Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Local inquiries are frequent in voice search. Therefore, claiming your Google My Business listing is an essential first step in optimizing for local searches. This provides key information about your business directly to Google, thereby aiding in local SEO.
5. Focus on Local SEO
After securing your Google My Business listing, further refine your local SEO by including location-specific keywords and offering content in various local languages. Local search ads can also be an effective strategy.
6. Implement Schema Markup
Structured data or schema markup allows search engines to better understand your website content. It’s crucial for generating featured snippets, which are often the direct answers provided in voice search.
7. Mobile Optimization
Since most voice searches occur on mobile devices, your website must be mobile-friendly. Utilize tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights and AMP technology to improve mobile performance.
Why Invest in Voice Search Optimization?
Voice search generated approximately $2 billion in revenue in 2022. By optimizing for voice search, you can tap into this lucrative market without relying on paid ads. The organic traffic driven by voice search is highly beneficial for your overall SEO and site rankings.
Voice Search Optimization is no longer optional; it’s a necessity in today’s digital landscape. By understanding the nuances of voice search and implementing these seven key strategies, you can significantly enhance your visibility and relevance in this evolving domain.