Who’s that new kid, Alexa? Is she friends with Ok, Google?
In the beginning, many assumed that Voice Search was just another fad and yet each year it becomes more refined, accurate, easy to use, and overall appealing for those who are tired of staring at a screen, or have difficulties typing on certain devices. You may wonder why you should bother with optimizing your SEO for voice search if it’s only a small percentage of search queries. The truth is, it’s not small anymore and according to Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, voice search accounts for one-fifth of Google’s queries. Google Trends shows that voice related queries have increased over 35x between 2008 and 2016 and comScore predicts that “50 per cent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020”. So how can you start capitalizing on this new technology?
You’re off to a good start if you’re already using SEO best practices. If not, read our blog 6 Successful Search Engine Marketing Strategies to get started with some basics. Read on for 3 tips on how to optimize for voice search.
Use Long Tail Keywords and be Conversational
Nearly 70% of questions voiced to Google Assistant are delivered in natural language as if the user is having a conversation with their device. This is very different from the type of keywords people use when conducting a web search. As a result, long tail keywords are much more effective when trying to optimize SEO for voice search. Be conversational with your writing and keywords and keep in mind that Google prefers voice search results that are written at a grade 9 reading level.
Focus on Local Search
39% of people using voice search are looking for business information such as store location and store hours. This is great news for Pay Per Call campaigns promoting small business. Most “near me” searches are done on a mobile phone where voice search users are looking for the nearest restaurant, store, or service. These types of queries are also much more likely to be followed by an action. It is important for your business to have an up-to-date Google My Business listing. Google penalizes a business’ ranking if it has old information and images. Include as much information as you can to aid potential consumers in their decision making. This could be parking information, busy hours, a restaurant menu or images. Make sure your images are recent and good quality. This extra information will give you an edge over your competitors.
Aim for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are the text boxes that appear at the top of Google’s search page, also called “position zero”. The intent is to deliver quick information to users without them having to scroll or click on a link. These answers are what Google considers the best and most relevant result. These featured snippets are generated organically and you don’t have to be number one on the page to get a feature, but you do have to land on the first page of the search. Snippets are important for voice search because they are often used by Google Home and Google Assistant to answer questions and they will cite the source, providing valuable exposure to potential consumers.
What makes a good featured snippet?
- Long-tailed keywords.
- Frame your article so that you are answering multiple questions throughout.
- Be concise with your wording. Most voice search results are under 29 words.
Voice search is an exciting new opportunity for Pay Per Call marketing since it’s more likely to be used on a person’s mobile when they are ready to take action, make a call, and buy!