Thanks to digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant, voice search is growing at an incredibly fast pace.
ComScore estimates that by 2020 half of all searches will be carried out via voice command. In order to prepare for this change in search, businesses need to understand the importance of tailoring their SEO strategy to include voice searches.
How is Voice Search Different?
While every search channel offers unique opportunities for SEO marketers, none matches the unique challenges posed by the sea change that voice search will bring. Not only is voice search fast and convenient, it also allows users to search on the go, potentially opening up search utilization that has been limited by numerous factors. While most users utilize shorthand when searching for content with keywords, they often use complete sentences when utilizing voice search. For example, if you’re searching for a recipe for sugar cookies, you may type "recipe sugar cookie," however when you speak you likely ask, "what is the recipe for sugar cookies?"
As a result, voice searches tend to be longer, more nuanced, and reveal greater intent. Marketers will need to take this into consideration when refining their SEO strategy. One way to accomplish this would be to use a language building tool such as Rank Tracker, which helps marketers develop language that reflects the speech patterns of voice search users. Additionally, marketers should consider using longer content on their sites to improve ranking. SEMrush found that content is 45% longer on average for pages ranked in the top three positions than in the 20th position.
- Incorporate natural speech in your content
- Consider using a more conversational tone
- Consider using longer content
Long-Tail Keyword Strategy for SEO
One of the side effects of the increased use of voice search is the growing relevance of long tail keywords. It is more important than ever to ensure you’re using the right keywords to capture voice searches. Boost your SEO by using conversational, long-tail keywords.
- Use very specific keywords
- Be as detailed as possible
- Use proper phrases and sentences
Optimize for Mobile Search
Marketers know the growing importance of mobile, especially when it comes to voice searches. Since most voice searches are done on-the-go on mobile devices, you need to ensure that your content is optimized for mobile in order to rank high.
Mobile SEO Tips
- Avoid Flash
- Make sure all resources are crawlable
- Compress images to optimize load time
- Take Google's mobile-friendly test
- Leverage Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP's)
Schema.org Structured Data
In order to help your website show up in voice search, it is important to incorporate structured data (schema markup) on the backend because this is one of the signals used to provide direct answers and "rich cards". Structured data and schema markup helps search engines better process the data on your website. If you would like to better understand structured data, click here to read our insights on rich cards.