Voice Search is tipped as the trend for 2020. Analysts predict that in 2020 as much as 50% of all mobile searches will be done via voice search.
Are you ready for Voice Search?
To end up as No. 1 result with a Voice Search, it is crucial to optimize your content for this. Because only 1 answer is read and obviously you want this to be the answer from your website.
Below all the information and tips you need to optimize your website for Voice Search in 2020.
If you have any questions after reading this article or do you want to apply Voice Search SEO to your website, please feel free to contact me to have a chat.
What is Voice Search?
What is Voice Search? Loosely translated it means "searching with your voice".
Voice Search is searching by pronouncing your search query against a Voice Assistant. This Voice Assistant (a digital assistant) is present on your mobile phone (Siri, Google Assistant) and on smart devices such as Google’s Assistant, Microsoft's Cortona or Amazon's Alexa. The Voice Assistant will give you an answer after the question.
Read more in this page about which fun and useful things you can do with Google Assistant.
- Give a command
You can use your voice to give a command to your smart home device, such as "Turn on the light" or "Turn the music down". The Smart Assistant ensures that your command is executed on or via the connected device.
Developments are super fast and you can give more and more assignments through the Voice Assistants, such as sending a WhatsApp or an email. But you can also transfer money via Google Pay, for example, and Mastercard also wants to make payments available via Google and Amazon.
Especially for an e-commerce brand, Voice Search is a trend that you have to keep an eye on. By already starting to adjust your SEO you can ensure that you are ready for these developments ahead of your competition.
- Ask a question
You can also use your voice to ask a question to the voice assistant, such as “What is the weather like today? or "Where can I drink coffee nearby?"
After asking your question you will receive a spoken answer from the Smart Device. The Voice Assistant has found this answer after searching the internet. The Google devices naturally use the Google search engine for this, while the Amazon devices use the Bing search engine.
Is Voice Search the future?
Technological developments are continuing and in the (near) future many more devices will have a built-in Voice Assistant. Based on the growth of recent years predictions indicate that by 2020, around 50% of all internet searches will be voice-based.
Google indicates that consumers will increasingly use Voice Assistants and will come into contact with them more and more. They predict that by the end of 2021, more than 1.6 billion people worldwide regularly use Voice Assistants, not just for sending email or asking for the weather forecast.
A very interesting development!
- From typing to talking
There are a number of reasons why Voice Search has started such a rapid rise.
The 2 most important are:
1 – Speed
Searching with your voice is faster than typing (opening the phone, clicking the app, typing).
2 – Convenience
Searching with your voice is more convenient, because you can do it at the same time as something else (for example when you are cooking).
According to Statista , there were approximately 3.25 billion digital Voice Assistants in use worldwide in 2019. The predictions say that around 2023 there will be about 8 billion Voice Assistants in use, more than people living on Earth.
Voice Search Optimization Strategy
One of the most important elements of search engine optimization (SEO) is keyword research. If you know what your potential customers are looking for, you can come to the No. 1 position in the search results by giving a relevant, complete and valuable answer to that question. An answer that fits the product or service that you want to sell of course.
Because with Voice Search only 1 result is read as an answer, it is crucial to have the most relevant answer in the eyes of the Google algorithm.
On the results page of Google are the so-called Featured Snippets displayed with the content of the webpage that is number 1 in the ranking. The position of this Featured Snippet is called position 0.
Research has shown that most of the voice search results are read from these Featured Snippets. So if your content ends up in a Featured Snippet, it is most likely also what will be read as an answer after a Voice Search.
Search terms Voice Search
Saying a search query out loud is different from typing a query. This has an effect on how people search, when they search and on which questions they seek an answer.
- Difference search terms from typing to talking
There are 2 major differences between searching by typing and searching by saying your question out loud.
- Search terms in speech are longer (compared to 1-3 word typed searches).
- The sentence that is spoken is more narrative, more "speaking style".
To explain the difference, here is an example of my search for a recipe to do something with my newly discovered persimmon.
- Search type in Google: "persimmon recipe cake"
- Voice Search: "Ok Google, how do I make a delicious cake with a persimmon?"
More examples Voice Search:
- "What shall I have for dinner tonight?"
- "Is there something to do at NDSM this weekend?"
- "How bad is pizza for my diet?"
- "What song is playing?"
- Search Terms Optimization
- Optimize for Search Intent
- Write content for longer search terms (long-tail keywords)
- Optimize for a question
The most commonly used words in a question are Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.
Ensure that your content provides the most valuable and relevant answer to the question of your target audience.
- Growth "Near Me" Searches
Your target audience uses Voice Search the most when they are on the move. It is super handy to ask via your mobile if there is something nearby that you are looking for. Or to check the time of the bus or the time of the appointment that you have later.
A few real-life examples:
- "Hey Siri, in how many minutes will the ferry go NDSM depart?"
- "Hey Siri, where is the closest ATM?"
- "Hey Siri, where can I see the movie The Joker?"
- Rich Answer (structured data)
Google gets most answers to a voice search query from a result that is already in a so-called "Rich Answer". There are various ways to ensure that your content ends up in a Rich Answer, the most important of which is Schema.org Structured Markup.
Structured Data is a way to structure the content of your website so that Google undestands exactly what your content is about.
Google wants to give the best result to the searcher and only gives 1 answer to a question in a Voice Search. For this it usually uses the result which is in the SERP as Rich Answer.
Examples of Rich Answers:
- Knowledge Graph
- Knowledge Panel
- Knowledge Box
- Featured Snippet
- Language and tone
- Make sure your content is written in a natural tone. The same tone and words used by your target audience in Voice Search. Tip: Read your content aloud and if it looks like you are talking to your friends, then you have the right tone.
- Write in a simple language. So not too much professional language or complicated words, unless you are in a super niche where professional terms are used a lot.
- Structure content
- Make sure there are short and precise answers in your content. Research has shown that an average answer consists of less than 30 words.
- Process FAQ on your product pages and in your blog. These make it easier for Google to understand your content and so you have a better chance of ending up in a Rich Snippet.
If your target group does not add a brand in their Voice Search, the Voice Assistant chooses which brand it orders or from which brand it gives a result.
- "Alexa, order chocolate" vs. "Alexa, order Tony Chocolonely"
- "Hi Siri, where can I buy sunglasses?" Hi Siri, where can I buy Dick Moby sunglasses? "
It is therefore crucial to work on your brand awareness to distinguish yourself from your competition and to increase the loyalty of your customers.
Technical SEO for Voice Search
Improve the speed of your website.
Loading a result from a Voice Search is 3.8x faster than loading an average search. If your website is not fast enough, a different result will be read out.
Use this Google Tool to test your website.
Ensure a high "Site Authority Score", that menas that your entire website should be of high quality and is well known.
Because only 1 result will be presented, it is even more important for Google to choose the right result from a reliable source.
- Locale listing
Optimize for 'Near Me' searches if you are a local company.
Claim your Google My Business listing and fill out everything correctly.
- Responsive Design
I have mentioned it many times already, but also, in this case, it is important to make sure your site is mobile friendly. Use this page to test to see how your website scores and what you can improve.
Voice Assistants and Voice Search are becoming increasingly important and all this has an effect on how you can reach your potential customers. Because of this changing way of searching via Voice Search, Google changes from a search engine to an answer-engine.
With a solid foundation and these SEO tips, your website is clear in structure and optimized for your main keywords, in whatever way your target group is searching. And you will be ready to cope with every new development.
Want to read more about SEO? Click page to read my article about Seach Engine Optimization.
If, after reading this article, you have some questions or if you would like to use my Voice Search Optimization Services, please contact me to have a chat.