In the ever-changing world of technology, voice search is becoming the next big thing. So it’s only understandable that we need voice search for SEO.
What exactly is voice search?
In basic and simple terms voice search is speech recognition to search the web. So instead of typing into a search engine box to do a search you speak your question or search term. Then you will be given an answer.
You have most probably already used voice search without knowing. Without knowing it was called voice search at that point. Google maps have voice search and navigation units also have voice commands. These are just 2 of the devices you may have used. Mobile phones are another device that uses voice search or voice command, e.g. phone Mum, or phone Dad. This is spoken to your mobile phone and the phone will ring the appropriate phone No. if it has been set up for voice command.
Voice Search for SEO
It’s no wonder this topic is being discussed more and more. Voice search has been the big thing in SEO for quite a while now, and it’s only going to get bigger.
When using voice search, users can interact with websites, products, and information in a more natural way. The way that voice search is heading is that your questions will be longer and naturally spoken in a more conversational way. It’s a fact that over 40% of voice search answers come from featured snippets.
Optimizing for voice search is to get more featured snippets that will drive more organic traffic, which is especially true for mobile devices as mobile traffic now has more traffic than desktop traffic. When viewing a result on a mobile phone because of the smaller size, it will only show the first few results. Hence we need to get our pages and articles up in the top positions.
What are featured snippets?
Basically, a featured snippet is the first place result in a search engine. They will appear before the first result and are often called position zero by marketers. To get a featured snippet by search engines depends on a variety of things which can include. Answering the who, what, when, where and how questions is a good start. Include an ordered list that’s a list that is numbered and include images in your article, A table of contents is a good idea too.
We would all like to be on page 1 No 1 in all the search engines. Having a featured snippet though is better than a page 1 result. To get featured snippets for voice search is not that much different than if you were trying to get a featured snippet normally. The fact of the matter is we still have to follow SEO best practices within our articles.
Here are some SEO best practices that your page should always follow:
- Target the keyword or question you want to be featured for
- Provide informative information to your readers
- Provide a great user experience with images, videos, and infographics
- Have a high number of backlinks
- Have great page speed
- Easy to follow the navigation
1. Do your keyword research
2. Follow SEO best practices
3. Use images to support your content
4. Have lists and tables
5. Use questions in sub-headings
6. Identify low hanging fruit (low competition keywords)
7. Answer more than 1 question in your article
8. Have H2 headings throughout your article
9. Embed video
You will also be featured more by a search voice answer if you have an FAQ page on your website. Google is choosing to give answers in 28-30 words and pulling their answers from featured snippets and FAQ pages. This means that you need to deliver a good answer to your readers by having an answer to a question in 28-30 words..
E.g. “why do dogs pant”
” Dogs do not have sweat glands as human do. Instead dogs cool their bodies by using the evaporation of moisture from their mouth and tongue. Hence the panting”
That is a count of 28 words.
This, of course, won’t be your whole article it’s just a snippet to answer a reader’s question. So the point here is you can do this many times throughout your article. Answer questions in a natural way, type the way you speak if possible. If you address all the questions you think might be asked by your readers you have more of a chance of your article ranking higher in search engines and in turn being used in voice searches.
The way of the future
Ease of use and technology development make voice search more and more popular. An average human is able to talk at 130 words per minute against typing at 40 – 60 words per minute. So, it makes sense to use voice search whenever possible.
The search engines are fast becoming answer engines as more featured snippets are being used for voice search. They’ve changed the way we search for, and market products, reducing organic clicks by 37%. This is a worrying trend if we don’t keep up with the technology of voice search. So this is why we need to optimize our websites now for voice search. This is the way of the future and you need to explore it more for the future of your business.
I really feel that all those futuristic movies we watched years ago are coming to the fore. James Bond movies come to mind where you clap your hands and lights come on or go off. Click your fingers and the blinds and curtains will close. Speak to certain items and they will turn on or off. This is the FUTURE, my friends. So we have to accept it as it’s not going away. In fact, it’s already here with us.
The thing is to plan now and be ready for the boom as it is predicted that by 2020 voice searches will account for 50% of all searches and will be from featured snippets.
Please leave any questions in the comment box below. Thank-you
Go here for an in-depth article on voice search by Backlinko.