There is an apparent rise in the volume of voice search. Below is the bar graph that shows the rapid increment in the market size of global digital voice assistants, such as Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, and so on.
Image Source: Digital Journal
The experts predict that 50% of the overall searches will be voice search by 2020. Google, who is the market leader of the search engine with over 90% market share, is now focusing a lot on giving appropriate results on Google voice search results.
Over 58% of searchers used voice search at least once in the past 12 months to find local business information. Furthermore, the people using voice search for buying products are increasing at a steady rate (Source). The voice search is predicted to be the next big thing in the world of SEO and marketing in general.
What is Voice Search?
The voice search is a type of search where users talks to a specific device to generate search results to their queries. The technology use speech recognition to understand user queries with maximum accuracy.
The digital voice assistants are incredibly smart these days. For instance, Amazon Alexa can smoothly go through Spotify’s musical inventory or shop via Amazon if the user commands it does so. The number of users who only search by voice is also on the rise due to the increasing popularity of digital voice assistants.
Image Source: WordStream
The Increasing Importance of Voice Search Optimization
What is voice search SEO? The voice search SEO is all about optimizing your site content and using various tactics to rank well on voice search results.
The value of voice search SEO is increasing at a tremendous rate with the increment in the volume of voice search. The users are getting a great user experience due to voice search. All you need to do is speak, and that is it.
Google cares a lot about its users, and it wants to provide the best possible results to them. They go through the relevant sites and rank the content from the relevancy as per the voice search. If you are not optimizing your website for the voice search, you are missing out on a lot of search traffic.
The number of voice searches already surpass a billion search. The traditional SEO strategies work for general search, not the voice search. There are similar factors that contribute to the ranking of both traditional search and voice search results. However, there are plenty of unique factors that contribute to voice search alone.
We will talk about the ways you can optimize your site for voice search in the upcoming section of this article.
7 Hacks to Get Optimize Your Website for Voice Search
There is no magic trick to get tons of traffic and sales to your site via voice search. Keep this in your mind before moving forward. I’ve seen plenty of people who expect quick results. However, SEO does not work that way. It takes a bit of time to get results, but it will be a long term gain. If you manage to rank well on a few search terms, you can get sustainable traffic for a long time.
The seven hacks that I’m about to reveal fact-based. Here are the seven hacks that will help you with voice search optimization 2019:
- Improve Your Page Load Speed
The traditional SEO tactic works in voice search optimization as well. The users do not get a good experience with a slower loading website.
Here are some of the ways you can optimize your page load speed:
- Optimized images
- Compress your files
- Make sure that your site works well on mobile. Check out Google Mobile-Friendly Test and follow their recommendations.
- Work on improving website caching to enhance your page speed
- Work on reducing the server’s response time
We can observe that the sites that load quickly rank well on Google and that is the same for Google voice search as well. The Speed Update report by Google confirmed that it is going to increase the importance of page load speed to improve the user experience.
More than 50% of users leave the site if it takes more than 3 seconds for it to load (Source). Try to do whatever you can to minimize the page load speed.
Image Source: Ezoic
You do not want to wait forever after asking Google assistant or Alexa to answer your query. That is why page load time is crucial when it comes to ranking your site on the voice search result.
2. Focus on local SEO
There is an excellent chance to be found it you focus on local SEO. According to the study, around 22% of total voice searches are users searching for a location-specific topic. The phrase “near me” can help in increasing your chance to be found on voice search.
Like I’ve mentioned in the first section of this article, around 58% of users used voice search at least once to get information about a local business. As a savvy marketer, you must capitalize on this insight. The people usually search for restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, clothing stores, and food delivery services (Source).
3. Try to Appear in Featured Snippet Section
Over 40% of total voice search results appear from featured snippets. You can create quick answers, answer boxes, bullet points, heading tags, and so on in your article to increase your chances of getting a higher position in voice search results.
4. Follow the Best SEO Practices
The traditional SEO practices can help you perform well in voice search results. The voice search assistants use the top 3 results of the Google homepage, 74% of the time to source the information. What this means is that digital assistants are likely to quote your site if you manage to get on the top of Google search results.
To increase your chances to get on the top of the Google search results, you need to have a good domain authority, a high number of quality backlinks, and social media signals.
If we analyze the Google Home search results, we can see that the top performing articles are long articles. The average word-count of those articles is 2,312 words. There is a good chance that your blog will answer the users’ query if you publish a long article.
The use of questions in your article will prove to be a good tactic. Make sure that you have “Frequently Asked Questions-FAQ” section on your site. The voice searchers usually ask questions to their digital assistants. Think about how you interact with your assistant and make adjustment accordingly.
5. Short and Direct Sentence Tend to do well
Google wants the sentences to be short and on-the-point for excellent user experience.
The sweet spot or an average voice search answer is 29 words. If you want voice assistant to quote from your site, you should make sure that you are not inserting too many sophisticated and long sentences on your website.
Go through your article and optimize your sentence if you want your site to do good in voice search results.
6. Google Loves Secured Sites
In recent times, we have seen the site with a secured layer (HTTPS) performing well on search results. Google gives a ranking boost to sites with SSL certificate. The report has found that around 50% of sites with HTTPS are on the top page of Google (Source). For voice search result, that percentage goes up to 70%.
Here is a relation that you would want to analyze. In the above point, we found that the top 3 results dominate the voice search. The SSL certificate results in a better Google Home Page ranking along with an improved voice search result. The addition of SSL can benefit you in both traditional and voice search.
If you still have not installed SSL, it is a time for you to do so. An authoritative site has an SSL certificate, not only for performing better in search results but also to give additional security to users. It is not an expensive investment as well.
Image Source: IONOS
7. Write Naturally
Here is a fact, “People do not like to think a lot to understand something.” If you use a lot of jargons and insert complicated sentence, you will neither get love from users nor Google. The digital assistants quote sources that are easy to understand; the average is 9th-grade standard.
A short sentence with a simple structure and easy-to-understand vocabulary is a key to increasing your chances of performing well on voice search.
++ Bonus Hack: Schema.org Markup can help you rank well ++
You can Schema.org to make search engines better understand your sentences. Around 36% of total voice searches. Schema markup is not a magic pill that will automatically boost your site rankings. However, the proper use of Schema for voice search can impact your search engine visibility. Give Schema Markup a try.
Increased Voice Search Performance = More Traffic?
It is tricky to know the exact process of how voice search can increase your traffic. However, the truth is that it does increase your site traffic, which will engage your users and improve your conversion rate.
What happens when someone asks something to Alexa or Siri or Google Assistant? They answer the user with the following line, “According to …”. If your site appears on the top of voice search over and over again, your brand awareness and authority will increase over the period. Your targeted audience will be more likely to buy from you if you continually offer value to your audience.
Furthermore, the users are also able to look through written dictations of search results. They will see links to various sites that appear on the top of search results. If the users want to know more about the particular topic, they will visit the site traditionally, resulting in increased traffic and engagement.
Here is one significant fact: The study shows that voice search shopping is going to touch $40 billion in 2022 from around $2 billion. Amazon is already enjoying a great revenue via voice search.
You can do voice search optimization on your own, or you can find voice search optimization services to do the job for you.
Here is the graph that portrays the industry-wise voice search eCommerce status.
Image Source: Voicebot
Is it Possible to Track My Voice Search Rankings?
It is without a doubt that voice search enhances your brand awareness and conversions. When it comes to tracking voice search results, it is tough. ROAST claims that it can monitor voice search ranking via its software. It enables them to run various queries to produce a report that can estimate the ranking.
Even though the ROAST report is not highly accurate, it can be a great tool to estimate how you are doing in a voice search. Moreover, technology will pave the way for better software in the future.
For the time being, you can focus on following the best SEO practices and doing whatever you can (like following the tips that I have mentioned) to get the desired results from your efforts.
Over to You
The number of interconnected devices is expected to surpass 75 billion by 2025 (currently it is over 25 billion). We can expect the voice search to dominate the search result more in the future with the rise in the interconnected devices. With this rate of increment in the popularity of IoT devices, we can say, “voice search the future of SEO.”
The voice search optimization skills must be in your arsenal. You should make necessary changes in all the pieces of content that you have published in the past for an increased volume of traffic and engagement.
You will see an increment in brand awareness, purchase, and revenue if you invest in voice search. There is still a lot of room for growth in voice search. If you start optimizing your website for voice search from this day onwards, you are likely to reap a lot of fruits now and the times to come.