The rise of voice search has brought some fascinating changes to search engine optimization (SEO). This change in search trend has many marketers wondering about the future of SEO.
An article by Wesley Young published by LSA Insider shows that voice search has skyrocketed over the years – 2015 alone saw a jump from 0% to 10% of overall search volume globally. This is the equivalent of 50 billion searches performed in one month via voice search commands!
The numbers shows no sign of slowing down, because Camcore further predicted that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be performed through voice search commands.
As you can see, voice search is on its way to becoming the #1 go-to for consumers who’re searching for a variety of queries.
SEO is here to stay. Voice search simply made SEO a lot more fascinating. As a result, marketers only need to adapt to voice search trends. So how can you optimize for SEO and be found in voice search? Keep reading to find out.
1. Use Microdata / Schema Markup
Microdata, also known as schema markup, can help you rank better in search engines and increase your chances of appearing in voice search. There are many benefits of using microdata.
What is microdata? Microdata is a specification for the semantic markup of HTML pages that allows data to be embedded in HTML documents that are readable by machines.
Simply put, microdata enables web crawlers, search engines, and browsers to understand the contents of your webpages.
Therefore make sure that the sitemap of your website, including location and directions, is readable to search engines and web crawlers. This will guarantee that your website and blog content are easily searchable by voice and text searches.
2. Use Long-tail Keywords
In terms of SEO and voice search, there are keyword differences. Many text searches are short-form, while voice search queries are usually long-form.
What is a long-tail keyword? Long-tail keywords are keyword phrases that are often very specific. According to HitTail these types of keywords account for about 70% of all search queries, which means that they’re less competitive – but very powerful.
For example, when looking for the best hotel near you, you can simply type “best hotel” in your search query. But with voice search you can say “where can I find the best hotel?”
Long-tail keywords are more conversational, just like the way we speak. The idea is for you to humanize your content. Do your research to identify which long-tail keywords are generating more searches and start using them within your blog posts.
3. Sign up for a Google My Business Listing
Getting your business on Google My Business (GMB) is of great importance because search engines will always turn to the Google My Business listing for information about your business.
Google My Business makes it easier for search engines to identify your business, which also enhances your odds of being found by local SEO and voice search.
With that said, ensure that you add all the necessary information in the business listing. Choose relevant categories and add your business details accordingly. Add your location, your business name, address, business hours, phone number, etc. When this information appears on the web, search engines will use it to rank your pages in local search.
4. Optimize for Mobile
A recent study by Google shows that 76% of smartphone users actually made purchases within a day of conducting a search via a mobile device.
StatCounter also found that more people are now using mobile internet devices than desktop internet. In fact, their study revealed that globally, mobile internet users surpassed desktop users for the first time, with 51.3% using mobile vs. 48.7% using desktop.
Thus, StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen pointed out that it’s important for marketers and businesses to make sure their sites are mobile-friendly, not only for growing traffic, but because Google favors mobile-friendly websites for its mobile search results, as you can see from this article on Google Webmaster Blog.
Personally, I love doing research about products and services and making purchases from my smartphone.
According to the statistics, the mobile device has become the primary tool that people are using for both voice searches and other online activities.
As a result, now it’s a lot more important for you to make sure that your content and website are mobile-friendly. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out the performance of your site in terms of being mobile-friendly.
5. Include Question Phrases in Your Content
Why should you use question phrases? Search Engine Land conducted research and found remarkable growth in the use of conversational question keyword phrases of up to 61% year-over-year.
The highest performing question phrases were the “Who” phrases, which were up at 134%. The “How” phrases came in second at 81%, and the “When” phrases came in at 79%.
From the numbers, you can see that the most used question phrase is “Who.”
However, when creating content, write with your audience in mind. Try to identify the types of conversational question phrases they usually ask, and include them in your content.
The point here is for you to create high-quality content in a conversational manner with a blend of question keyword phrases, such as the Who, How, When, or Where. This strategy will certainly improve your chances of being found by SEO and voice search.
In recent years voice search queries have taken center stage, with marketers, brands, and businesses looking for a variety of ways to adapt to voice search and be found through search engine optimization.
Today, digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Now are going beyond voice input, trying as much as possible to understand user intent and behavior to help the consumer take action. Their goal is to get consumers to adopt voice search as the primary way of conducting search queries.
What does this mean for content marketers and SEO?
SEO is definitely more interesting right now than it was before. As a content marketer, you must adapt to this trend by producing quality content that is tailored to the needs of your audience with a blend of conversational keyword question phrases.