Want to improve your SEO in 2018? It’s time to optimize your site for voice searches.
According to a study by Northstar Research for Google, more than half of American teenagers and 41% of American adults are already using voice searches on a daily basis. However, most companies have not yet adapted their websites to this trend, so you can take advantage of it. Let’s take a look at the peculiarities of voice searches in SEO and how to use them to position your page.
How do voice searches work?
Voice searches, usually performed through virtual assistants such as Google Assistant or Siri, are based on artificial intelligence tools that interpret the way people talk. Because we speak and write in very different ways, voice searches have some unique features:
They allow for spelling corrections
For example, if you ask Google to show you pictures of roof racks (for cars) and they show you pictures of cows (the animal), you can correct them by spelling “B-A-C-A”.
They are based on previous searches
If you ask “Where is the Sun Gate” and then say “I want to see pictures of it” and “What year was it built”, the voice search wizard is able to understand that all the questions are related to the first one.
They use location-based context
If you are at the London Trade Fair and ask your assistant “How far is the airport from the Trade Fair?”, the assistant will be able to understand that you are referring to your current location in London.
They use application-based context
For example, if you’re talking about a particular restaurant through an application and you do the voice search “Show me the menu”, Google will assume you’re referring to the restaurant you’re talking about in the app.
They use context based on your current activity
If you’re viewing a Wikipedia entry about Carrie Fisher and you tell your voice search assistant to “Find Carrie’s Photos”, it will show you photos of the Carrie you’re currently viewing on the screen.
They use context on you
Finally, if you ask your assistant something like “Tell me the address of my home”, they will be able to understand it without having to clarify who you are referring to.
In short, voice searches take the context into account in multiple, sophisticated ways to provide the smoothest possible experience. Looking to the future, work is also underway on the possibility of using voice searches for shopping, with orders such as “Order me a tray of sushi at Sushi Express” or “Show me size 40 running shoes”.
Voice searches will be one more ally of marketing and SEO strategies in not too long. This is why it is considered a digital marketing trend for the coming years.
Advantages of voice search
Some advantages of this type of search are the following:
- It gives you freedom of movement as you don’t need to use your hands. Just say “OK Google” and we can start any search.
- Because you don’t have to type, it’s easier to search for words you can’t type, such as phrases or words in other languages.
- By not having to stop and write, you’ll save more time and the results will be more accurate thanks to the intelligence of mobile devices.
- Another very comfortable point is that voice searches are related, that is, if you ask Google about something and then want to ask it a question again, it understands that we want to expand the search and keep the same context.
How to improve your SEO for voice searches
Improving your SEO for voice searches makes your website much more accessible when users search for related queries in their virtual assistants. These tips will help you get started:
Focus on the terms “long tail”
Naturally, voice searches tend to be more specific and therefore focus on long tail terms such as “cheap hostels near the Prado Museum” rather than “accommodation in Madrid”.
Use schemas to give context
As we’ve seen in the previous section, context is essential in voice searches, so you need your website to be up to the task. To do this, you may find it very useful to use schema tags, which help search engines understand the context of your content.
Optimize your site’s microdata
For example, one of the key data that users often look for in voice searches is the physical addresses of your stores. So make sure they are clear to both visitors and search engines.
Answer frequently asked questions
A common pattern in voice searches is questions that start with interrogative adverbs (what, who, where, when, when, how and why). Think about what kind of questions users might ask about your brand and answer them using the same format.
Research keywords with a conversational approach
If you have a well-taken care of SEO strategy, I’m sure you’ve already done some good keyword research. But voice searches can be very different from typing, so you’ll need to start over to make sure you’re optimizing your site for the right terms.