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What Is Voice Search and How Do I Optimize for It?

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Orange SEO blog discusses anything new and current in the digital marketing industries. Because we work with influencial people in the digital marketing scene we are always on the cutting edge.

 

What Is Voice Search and How Do I Optimize for It?

Michael Richmond

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For years, the usage of voice search and voice assistants to answer questions has been on the rise. Based on Google, 20 percent of mobile search queries are voice search, and that number will only go up.

Voice recognition technology is becoming better and better: Google's technology is currently 95 percent accurate.

Yet for many SEO professionals, not much has changed in the way they optimize content for this brand new way to search. Now's the perfect time to look closely at voice search and to start integrating SEO strategies that can increase your odds to show up in voice success.

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Gary Vaynerchuk agrees. “It's named Voice-First, and anybody currently building a personal brand should find out about it fast and early. Its platforms are the equivalent of yet-to-be-discovered Malibu beachfront land, similar to Twitter in 2006, Instagram in 2010 and Snapchat in 2012.”

Instead of typing a cryptic search term such as"hair stylist Chicago," people using voice search can ask a question as though they're speaking to another person:"OK, Google, where should I go to get a haircut?"

If you ask Alex what's happening today, you can hear your personalized "flash briefing" which contains information such as the local weather forecast, local news highlights, and what's on your calendar and other fast tidbits of items Alexa already knows you are considering. It's a terrific time-saver.

Use of voice technologies and number of devices are growing

I can recall when I got one of the first Amazon Echo devices in the email back in 2014. It was supposed to be a Christmas present for my children, but it found its way into my bedroom, where it's functioned as my alarm clock, Audible audio book participant, SiriusXM music TV, weather reporter and a system that answers many questions like"Alexa, what is the telephone number for Marco's Pizza?"

I recently spotted this Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker at a neighborhood store. It includes Microsoft's virtual helper Cortana to answer inquiries and manage smart house technology to streamline jobs.

Based on reports on ZDNet, Alexa is going to be added to personal computers (PCs) and laptops from Acer, Asus and Hewlett Packard (HP). This could make Alexa an important challenger to Cortana.

Google Assistant is on 400 million devices (like Android smartphones, Google Home and other tablets and devices.) According to Forrester, the usage of smart devices will continue growing.

As a search engine optimization (SEO) expert, are you prepared to try and get your content to show up in voice search results? Voice search is here. Voice search is currently. And voice searc is our potential. If you want to keep ahead of your competitors, now's the time to start optimizing your content .

Voice search continues to grow

According to ComScore, half of those smartphone users use voice technology, and of those, one in three uses it daily.

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As an SEO, you need to get a good understanding of some of these search strategies that could help you rank for voice search, particularly since voice searc volumes continue to rise. By understanding these strategies and efficiently using them on your website, you are able to increase your odds of being the reply to a query.

Voice search optimization fundamentals

When you are optimizing for voice search, you need to think about SEO otherwise. For instance, unlike typical search queries that you do in your PC, voice search questions are longer than their text counterparts; they are normally three to five (or more) keywords in length. This usually means that you need to change the way that you do keyword research and consider more long-tail keyword phrases.

Search queries also often specifically ask a query and typically use keywords like that, how, what, where, best, where, why and when. Use these phrases in your articles.

Voice search best practices

Moreover, you need to make sure your site and its content fulfill SEO best practices.

These include optimizing your web pages for:

  • Mobile compliance.

  • Great articles that answers people's questions and solves problems.

  • Strong site hierarchy.

  • Website authority.

  • Navigation is easy to follow.

  • Local testimonials.

  • Images with alt tags.

  • Respond to testimonials.

  • Secure website by installing an SSL certification (this implies properly installing the SSL certificate).

  • Schema Markup.

Voice search and featured snippets

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This featured snippet is meant to be a fast answer to your question.

The featured snippet typically includes a review of the answer taken from the site, a hyperlink to the web page where the info came from, the page name and universal resource locator (URL) of the website. Here Is What a featured snippet looks like when you do a search for"how do you change a bicycle":

On occasion you will find the featured snippet reduced on the very first search engine result page (SERP). Sometimes the snippet just reveals a response without any other info. This type of featured snippet typically appears when the response is a known fact.

Getting listed in the featured snippet spot increases your odds of looking in voice search results. You'll often hear phrases like wealthy cards, response boxes, wealthy snippets and other variants. That all gets really confusing. Google is starting to eliminate these terms and is beginning to call what"rich results"

Google recently launched a new, detailed guide all about featured snippets, this is a definite must-read for any SEO.

Anatomy of a showcased snippet

To attempt to get your web pages to rank for voice search results, you have to understand some of the main items Google and Bing are looking for when they search for the best solution to provide active voice key words.

When you look at the way the featured snippet becomes a featured snippet, it's about using SEO strategies:

  • Write a topic-specific page.

  • Produce content that answers a particular question.

  • Search for questions that you will be able to answer in fantastic depth.

  • When optimizing for voice search, research more, long-tail keyword phrases.

  • Optimize for specific long-tail search phrases that contain three to five words or more.

  • Consider semantic keywords, different ways of saying the same thing (i.e., synonyms).

  • Use keywords such as"how,""what" and"best."

  • Understand your customer's purpose, and optimize the content on your pages for every point in your client's buyer's journey.

  • Use conversational language -- write like you're speaking to a buddy.

  • Utilization Headings (H1, H2, H3, H4).

  • Make certain to use special title and description tags on each page -- utilize keywords in those tags.

  • Contain keywords toward the front of the very initial sentence/paragraph.

  • Use the key words in the page's universal resource locator (URL).

Optimize for the types of questions people really ask

It's important that you utilize SEO best practices when you write any content. When you search for"how do you react to negative, online reviews," chances are you will find a search engine results page (SERP) that resembles multiple bullet points of possible answers.

This is a featured snippet. When you click the link, you will be brought to the site highlighted in the snippet. The blog article,"how to answer negative online testimonials," also shows up among the greatest voice searches on an Android and iPhone as a blog outline with a link to this blog and highlighted keywords in from your query.

By looking at the blog article, the article's source code and the featured snippet itself, it is possible to"deconstruct" it to learn how Google created a featured snippet from it.

When somebody does a voice or normal look for"how can you react to negative, online testimonials," Google first looked at the name of this blog article,"How to react to Negative Online Reviews," and found this title to be a close match to what the user meant to locate the answer for.

Google then looked at the keywords on the page, the articles, the name, the description and the URL and found that all those paired directly into the query that the searcher was inquiring.

Next, Google saw that there was a clearly defined structure of H2 tags on the blog post that made it simple for them to pull out the primary points about what to do if you receive unwanted online reviews.

Search Engine Optimization tools help raise the odds of becoming a featured snippet

A number of the more advanced search engine optimization tools can help optimize your web pages to increase your odds of displaying up in featured snippet spots. For example, SEMrush will be able to assist you in finding competitions with featured snippets, and Moz Guru has a find-and-track featured snippet instrument too.

Schema markup and voice search:

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I am saving the best for last! Schema markup is most likely one of the most crucial components you can add to your site to help rank in voice search.

Now, I know many SEOs are reluctant to even consider adding schema to their site since they are uneasy with code, but it is time to get over the fear. Schema is vital!

Schema markup is a international norm vocabulary, the search engines consented would help them better understand the contents of a web page. With the appropriately structured schema markup on your own website , your articles will already be optimized for voice search.

At the simplest of terms, Schema informs the search engines what the page is about -- whether it's your company's address, your business hours, an agency page or a page about a product on your e-commerce shop, for example.

Including Schema on your website helps give the search engines a nudge making it quite clear what your pages are about. When you put Schema Markup on your website, Google will automatically create the marked-up data searchable by voice supporters.

Now, the same as any search engine optimization strategy, voice search is aggressive, and there is nobody easy answer to getting to the top place. You have to make your website and its contents the best on all fronts.

If you are still a little nervous about adding Schema markup to your site, head on over to this Introduction to Data Markup post from Google and read it, and things should become clearer.

More to include voice search:

When I first began writing about voice search, there were very few posts on the topic. Now it appears as if everybody is writing on the subject. Rest assured that the subject of voice search is only going to keep growing in popularity and significance to the search industry.