Hey Katie, Layla, I mean Nata…Alexa! Whoever you are.
For many, voice search is a new phenomenon. Others have known about this *explicit language warning* YouTube video that my family endlessly cracks up about– and others like it for years.
Decades even. Yep, voice search has been around for a decade. The initial launch was in May 2012. Seems like eons ago. We laughed and laughed at the thought of talking out loud at a machine for information.
Search Engine Marketers without a real plan urged clients to “START OPTIMIZING YOUR SITE FOR VOICE SEARCH NOW” because it was going to be a booming industry. But it wasn’t until Amazon introduced our beloved Alexa in 2015 did America fall in love with voice search capabilities. We fell so hard; we started naming our kids after her.
The voice search technology relies on the voice of the user to make requests for information or products, while artificial intelligence determines what needs to be searched based on the content of the question posed. See Google’s documentation regarding Natural Language Processing if you like to get down and nerdy with it.
Voice search will continue to play a significant role in technological development because it offers an efficient way to complete tasks that would otherwise take up valuable time.
Today, voice search is becoming more prevalent in today’s world.
The use of voice-enabled searches has increased by 18% in the past year, and this trend isn’t slowing down.
Voice search is often seen as a more convenient way to conduct searches without having to type out what you are looking for. It can also be used in situations where typing on a phone would be difficult.
What is Voice Search and How Does it Work?
Voice search is a type of search engine that uses speech recognition software to process human speech and return a list of relevant items.
Consider this: over the last 10 years, voice searches have increased by 1000%.
This increase in voice search is due to a number of reasons, but primarily because it’s easier than typing on a keyboard or touchscreen.
Voice search has been an exciting and revolutionary development, but the technology is still maturing and not yet fully grasping users’ needs.
With voice search, users can skip typing in keywords and instead speak any question they may have to get immediate results.
This change also meant that all-important SEO was essentially rendered useless by voice search, such that content needed to be created with the intent of being spoken out loud or it simply won’t rank (We will cover this part later in this article, keep reading!).
Why are Voice Searches Getting More Popular?
Voice search is becoming more popular for many reasons. One of the most obvious reasons is that it is much simpler to use than typing in a search query on a computer or mobile device.
It has become ubiquitous with the rise of smart assistants like Alexa and Siri which can be activated with voice commands.
Additionally, voice search offers convenience since you don’t even need to look at your phone to use it.
Voice search is becoming more popular because it is easier for people to use.
With voice search, you don’t have to type in what you are looking for, just speak into the device.
This way your hands are free to browse the internet or do other things that need your attention at the same time.
Voice search also works on Google Maps which can be very helpful if you are driving somewhere new and want directions with spoken guidance.
Alexa Voice Search
In this age of technology, it is no surprise that artificial intelligence has been integrated into many aspects of our everyday lives.
One such example of this is the use of the virtual assistant Alexa. Many people have a digital assistant in their homes, either through an app on their phone or a device like the Amazon Echo.
Alexa is a voice-activated artificial intelligence assistant used in Amazon’s e-commerce platform, Amazon Echo.
In conjunction with Amazon Echo, Alexa voice search can stream music, provide recipes, answer general questions and give much more information.
The virtual assistant works by receiving a verbal command and then responding with information from various sources that is relevant to the request.
Siri Voice Search
Siri voice search is the most efficient way to get what you are looking for.
It can even help you decide on your outfit for the day. Siri is not only a personal assistant but also the best way to find out more about anything you are interested in.
With a simple “Hey Siri”, users can ask questions and get results instantly without having to be plugged into a device or open an app.
How is Voice Search Different from Traditional Search?
Voice search is a relatively new field of technology that has become dominant in the world’s use over the last few years.
Voice search is different from traditional search because instead of typing, you are verbally inputting what you are searching for.
With time, voice search will become more popular because it’s quicker and easier to use.
However, voice search relies on artificial intelligence to index the information returned and assess which one is best suited to fulfill your needs.
This technology can be used with any device or mobile app capable of listening and responding, such as cordless devices and smart speakers.
How To Optimize For Voice Search?
Voice search has been on the rise for quite some time now. In fact, it is expected to be the dominant method of searching by the next few years.
Voice search provides a more natural way to search for content and answers, as opposed to typing them in.
It also allows people that may not know how to read or speak fluently the ability to find what they need.
That being said, bloggers and webmasters need to level up their content marketing plan to better fit the upcoming SEO changes.
Here are 5 steps to help you optimize your voice search:
Keyword Research for Voice Search
Currently, voice search is gaining momentum and more people are switching from typing to speaking.
To get ahead of the competition, it’s essential for businesses to use keyword research that is tailored specifically for voice searches.
Voice searches typically use keywords anywhere from 40% to 60% longer than typed ones in order to capture the most comprehensive answer in a limited space.
Keyword research for voice search should include long-tail keywords that are specifically targeted towards this type of search engine.
Aside from traditional keyword research methods such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool and Ubersuggest, there are many other tools available to help you identify keywords for voice search including KeywordTool and SEMRush.
And here are exactly the type of keywords you want to focus on:
Question keywords: Voice search queries contain a lot of question words like how, what, when, why, where. The next time you add keywords for voice search, make sure you include these.
Long-tail keywords: We shouldn’t ignore long-tail keywords when we optimize for voice searches.
Filler words keywords: These are a must to be included in questions that make the query more conversational and human. The examples of filler words are “I, the, of the, on the, to, for,” etc.
Optimize for Rich Answers By Using Schema
A rich answer is oftentimes an answer that is so detailed it can include graphics, videos, or links. These rich answers are also referred to as featured results or rich media results.
Take Quora for example, when people come to Quora they want to be able to see all the information on one page instead of clicking through multiple pages for more information.
To optimize your content for rich answers you should use headers that are concise and can include links or photos.
Simply adding a link to a video on YouTube or Vimeo is not enough. You must implement best technical SEO practices and install clean schema markup.
Use Conversational Language for Content
Hey. Did you notice that I’m literally talking directly to you? There’s a reason… and it’s not because I need more friends!
As a way of optimizing voice search, content producers want to use conversational language in their writing.
Conversational language is an informal language that follows the natural flow of human speech.
It’s easier for the reader to understand and relate to conversational paragraphs than formal paragraphs.
Like I mentioned before – Natural Processing Language has played a huge part in SEO as of lately and is a key factor in optimizing content for SEO, especially in the times of voice-operated research.
Improve Loading Time of Your Website
We know that loading time is important to website owners. And that’s the same case when you’re aiming for the first spots on voice search results.
In a world where more and more people are using the internet for their everyday needs, it is essential to have a website that loads quickly.
To do so, certain steps should be taken in order to lighten the load time.
These steps may include reducing the number of images being loaded on a page, compressing graphics, compressing video scripts, and loading fewer plugins.
Offer The Best Mobile Experience
Mobile browsing is on the rise. Smartphone and tablet use has surpassed desktop these days, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
If you’re not optimizing your website for mobile devices, you’re missing out on a sizable chunk of potential traffic, so voice search results.
How do you optimize your website for mobile? It’s actually not that difficult and only requires a few simple changes.
Every site should have a responsive design with customized content and images.
This is important because it will allow your site to be viewed on any size of phone or tablet.
You will also need to review your site for broken links and include a clear call-to-action button that can be clicked on from any screen size.
Why do we care about Voice Search ?
Voice search is a form of speech recognition in which someone speaks a question or short phrase into a microphone, and the device interprets what they said and returns the best answer.
This technology is making it easier for people to purchase items from their phones or watches or glasses — or who knows what is next– without typing or scrolling through options.
So, the next time you’re craving a pizza, instead of opening the pizza app on your phone and scrolling through hundreds of different choices, just ask Alexa or Siri or Trevor to order you one. It’s that simple!
and send me on while you’re at it, please!
But most importantly – this drives home the fact that content should be the driving force of your SEO strategy. For many reasons – but if your website isn’t telling the voice-operated robots what it is about, then 99.9% of the time – future customers don’t know what your website is about either.