Despite its relative infancy, industry experts do not doubt that the voice search functionality is here to stay. Introduced in 2011 with the release of Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, voice search usage has increased from a statistical 0 to 27% of the online global population in 2020.
As more and more people start to use virtual assistants, speech recognition and voice search are only bound to improve and become more ubiquitous in modern society. Since search engine optimization is all about aiming for long-term results, it makes sense to futureproof your SEO goals by integrating voice search to your strategy.
Here are three ways to ensure that your SEO strategy stands the test of time by integrating voice search to your plans.
Start with a test
Since voice search usage is dominantly mobile, it stands to argue that anybody looking to optimize for voice search needs to adopt mobile-friendly practices first. To ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, submit your website to a Google test.
This free tool will tell you if your website scales properly on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and ensures that it conforms with Google’s standards. If your website isn’t up yet, you can also paste your entire code on the field provided, and the tool will evaluate it for you.
To gauge the entire site’s usability, you can log in to your Google account and use the site-wide mobile usability report’s advanced features.
Incorporate conversational tone in your content
If you’ve ever watched someone use voice search, you’ll notice that the search terms they use can differ from the way that one usually types search queries. The most distinct difference is how search terms are generally in complete sentences—which is the same way one would talk in real life!
A traditionally typed search query asking for Jay-Z’s real name would simply be “real name” and “Jay-Z.” However, if you used voice search, you would probably ask Alexa or Siri a proper question, phrasing it as, “What is Jay-Z’s real name?”
To ride on this difference, you can optimize your content by using a conversational tone. One effective way to do this is by using words like “what,” where,” “when,” “who,” “why,” and “how” in your website copy and blog posts to emulate voice search terms.
By speaking in a style and language most likely used by voice search users, you can increase your chances of having Googlebot index your mobile website’s content.
Optimize for local SEO
Like voice search today, local SEO is beneficial in finding local businesses, which makes the two almost inseparable. With 46% of all Google searches today seeking local information, companies are incentivized to strengthen their local presence online.
When you optimize for local SEO, you are not only solidifying your roots with your local customers; you are also optimizing for voice search, too!
Despite starting as a novelty feature that customers would use to get a funny or weird response from a virtual assistant, many users today use voice search to look for local businesses, ask for directions, or get the latest weather reports. By following these three tips, you are getting ahead of the trend of incorporating voice search in their SEO strategy.
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