More than 27% of today’s mobile queries are run through voice-activated technology. With the growing popularity of hands-free searching, the integration of voice search optimization techniques into your marketing strategy is becoming a must.
Voice-activated programs have completely changed the digital landscape. Since the debut of Siri in 2011, a slew of AI-driven solutions soon followed—Alexa, Echo, Cortana, Bixby, and Assistant—making the concept of voice control one of the fast-growing trends in the digital marketing scene. Today, more than 41% of adults use voice assistance in their everyday routines and this number is expected to swell to 50% in the coming years.
As voice-activated technology continues to grow in popularity, optimizing digital platforms for automated voice assistants can give businesses a great advantage over their competitors. While certainly challenging, it’s possible to achieve higher discoverability in voice search results with the right optimization techniques.
Be strategic when crafting content.
Unlike organic search results that deliver multiple recommendations, voice search results pull up only one featured snippet to read out loud. So in the process of keyword selection, it’s important to be strategic.
One effective technique to increase visibility in voice search results is to incorporate long-tail keywords into your content. Including related phrases into your content increases your chances of ranking higher in voice result pages. But keep in mind that since voice assistants are more attuned to natural language, it’s best to adopt a conversational tone into your posts. Format your content in the same way searchers’ speak. This means including filler words like the, and, on, and of and question words, such as what, when, how, and where, which are usually present in verbal queries. The more natural it sounds, the more likely it will be picked up by search engines.
Make valuable information within reach.
Most voice search users run near me questions—from the closest hotels to stay in to the nearest restaurants to eat at. So if you want to enhance your discoverability on voice results, make this critical business information available to the web searchers. You can do this by adding your company to the Google My Business listing. This particular listing allows you to drop crucial information about your business—complete address, contact number, operation hours, area code, and business category—to be easily picked up by search engines, specifically Google. Since this information plays a huge role in pulling up recommendations to searchers, it gives you a higher chance of being included in relevant location voice queries.
Build a definite structure.
Making use of schema markup is just as important for spoken queries as it is for typed searches. Schema markup allows you to create a fixed, comprehensive description about your website. Through this markup language, search engines are able to determine your value and relevance to searchers. This helps them pull up suitable answers to written and spoken queries alike. By utilizing schema markup, the likelihood of landing in featured snippets on voice search engines significantly increases, just like in traditional SERPs. So if you want to rank higher in voice search results, make use of structured data to make your website more readable as well as rankable.
Scratch beneath the surface.
Just like in traditional SEO, determining search intent is an effective way to boost visibility to search engines. According to Google, some of the most common voice search queries among mobile users include asking for directions, making a call, looking up information, and searching for music. Keep in mind that search intent differs based on age group, location, and industry type.
When it comes to voice search optimization, taking a proactive approach is crucial. Make sure to provide information that answers the common search intent of your target audience. Also, make it a point that your useful content is not hidden so that search engines can easily discover your website. By making your platform highly relevant to your market segment, you can definitely improve your search engine performance in voice-activated programs.
Indeed, voice search optimization is one way to gain competitive advantage in such a saturated market. Because in the world of digital, it pays to be one step ahead of the game.