In the past couple of years, voice search has proven to be an efficient way of getting quick answers. Many people are adopting it already—since we live in a fast-paced world, speedy solutions like these are preferable. The rise of digital voice assistants reflects this shift; consumer data company Statista projects that there will be about 8.4 billion digital voice assistants in use by 2024.
Projected Number of Digital Voice Assistants in Use Worldwide
As such, creating SEO content for voice should be a priority for businesses. If people had to choose between typing a query or saying it aloud, they'd typically choose the second option. Here are things you should know when leveraging voice search in your content strategy.
Voice Search Uses Long Keywords
When people ask a device to retrieve answers, they use longer keywords. It is because they tend to ask whole questions instead of mentioning only keywords. For example, if you type your query, you might write "skincare products dry skin." Meanwhile, you might say, "Okay, Google, show me skincare products for dry skin." The length of the keywords change, and voice queries are longer and more conversational
Voice Search Is A Priority For Local Businesses
Google reports that there has been a steady increase in "near me" questions since 2013. People mostly use voice search for this type of query since most of them are on the go when looking for recommendations for restaurants, shops, or hotels.
Source: Think With Google
For local businesses, "near me" questions are a valuable opportunity to bring in new customers. With voice search, you can also optimize for "keyword in (city)" or "keyword in (neighborhood)" queries.
Voice Search Pulls Up Rich Answers Often
A SEMrush voice search study showed that more than half—about 56 percent—of voice searches had contained a SERP feature or had rich answers. Most smart devices are likely to give similar answers to related questions, so it matters if you have optimized for rich answers.
Examples of these are the Featured Snippet on Google SERPs. The knowledge graph, knowledge panel, and knowledge box are also rich features. The Featured Snippet shows information over organic results, together with a link to its source. The other elements take their answers from Google's knowledge base.
It is interesting to note that SEMrush reports one in five Android voice search queries with results in the People Also Ask position. In comparison, only one in ten searches through Google devices. The latter, according to SEMrush, prefers to deliver through Featured Snippets. There is still so much marketers can learn about creating SEO content for different devices. Curating content is not enough; marketers must know how to get it to the people who could use it the most.
Voice Search Uses Conversational Language
The more robotic and technical a keyword is, the less likely it will rank for voice search. A business would benefit from using natural language whenever it publishes on the internet. As most of the digital landscape trends toward mobile-first design and voice search, it becomes even more critical for companies to start talking the way people do online.
Also, it helps to understand the searcher's intent. Anticipate the way people ask questions when using voice search and why they're phrasing their queries in this manner. What type of questions do they ask the most? What types of pages perform well for these queries? When you look at how people ask and not just what, you will be more equipped to respond to their needs.
Voice Search Targets Long-Tail Keywords
SEOs know the value of long-tail phrases, even for traditional search. These are precise keywords that people can directly associate with your brand or industry. They are also more likely to sound like spoken queries.
Apart from being conversational, long-tail keywords tend to appear as Google Autocomplete suggestions. You can include keywords like these in a long-form post. Even if you cannot target all the suggestions Google makes to users, you can incorporate a sufficient amount, allowing you to rank for keywords that could appear in vocal queries. Include everything from filler words and prepositions since people say these out loud when they search through voice.
Voice Search Refers to Google My Business Listings
Leverage the fact that "near me" searches are distinctly relevant to local businesses by integrating your Google My Business listing with your SEO strategy. A GMB listing lets Google know that you are operating a business in a specific area. If a searcher asks Google to show businesses like yours in your location, you could be the first location to come up if you optimize your listing.
Include your NAP or Name, Address, and Phone Number in your listing, and ensure that you provide the right area codes and business category. With a GMB listing, you essentially get an exclusive channel for promoting your business. Through it, you can add posts, photos, updates, and other content through your listing. Google My Business listings allow you to highlight promotions and special deals for customers.
You can also target local keywords to gain search rankings. Landmarks, local institutions, and events related to your area might have special significance to your industry. If so, try to write content about them.
Voice Search Favors Reader-Friendly Content
It's an SEO basic for you to write content that people can easily digest. Sometimes, though, writers might overlook readability, especially when they're trying to make a point. Those writing for businesses that use jargon might also alienate readers who are not part of the industry.
Help your content rank by using the Flesch Kincaid Scale to monitor your writing. Marketers should aim for content at a seventh- to eighth-grade reading level. Tools like the Hemingway Editor allow you to gauge the complexity of your words and revise as necessary.
Voice search is on the rise, and it might overtake traditional search, especially for some markets or demographics. The quick, conversational nature of voice search also makes it preferable for people who use mobile devices. Since consumer behavior is dynamic, marketers must know how to adapt to their changing wants and needs. Whether you prioritize traditional or voice search, one this is sure: as long as you keep the customers in mind, you will make good business choices.
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