What is Voice Search Optimization?

What is Voice Search? How can you optimize your website to accommodate the latest and probably the best search trend ever?

It has gained mileage because it is more convenient for a user to ask than to type a query. The results of voice queries are also faster.

The voice search works mainly around the questions but keywords. A user is likely to ask a question to the voice assistant, hence it always comes around to What, How, Who, When, and Where?

voice search stats

How does Voice Technology Work?

Voice technology is the three-way interaction of IoT (devices), AI (services), and UX (interactions). The voice search result is a hands-free and frictionless way to use technology.

The AI (Artificial Intelligence) designed to cater voice searches also analyzes query type and other factors to help provide a user with the relevant solution. The AI algorithm keeps updating itself to provide better result the next time a user does the voice search.

The release of Siri in 2011, a virtual assistant part of Apple Inc.'s operating software in all devices, brought revolution to voice search. People started searching for the closest diner, Playoff’s time, and important events through voice.

voice control

In 2018, Google Assistant improved its understanding of the ‘English language’ with an accuracy rate of up to 95% and a word error rate of only 4.9 percent.

Did you know that 50% of local mobile searches by a consumer lead to a store visit in a day?

Two Major Factors

a. Semantics

Voice technology is another step in the direction of improving the user experience with semantics. Semantics, a branch of linguistics and logic, is concerned with meaning and it takes into account;

  1. Logical semantics - sense, reference, presupposition, and implication.
  2. Lexical semantics - analysis of word meanings and relations between them.

b. Natural Language Processing

Another major factor in improving the user experience is with Natural Language Processing (NLP). NLP helps to recognize voice texture, interests, and behavior by taking into account the phonology, lexicon, syntax, grammar, semantics, and reasoning of the ‘voice search query.’

5 Ways to Optimize Website for Voice Search

Over 90% of online searches take place through a mobile device. The UI/UX of a handheld device is more approachable towards voice search than typing.

The website owners must change their methods according to their customers are changing. Most of them are opting for voice search over traditional methods.

a. Natural Language

The modern searches have evolved from showcasing results based on certain keywords to a genuine query made by the user. Since the inception of search engine optimization, we were taught how to strategically place keywords in the content and use the same technique to search online, example “Best + Pizza + New York.”

With the advent of better learning, the search pattern has switched to “Where can I find the best pizza in New York?” or more specifically “Where can I find the nearest Pizza House in New York.”

natural language processing

Google Hummingbird

With the release of Google Hummingbird in 2013, a search engine algorithm the search results are greatly emphasized on natural language queries, considering context and meaning over individual keywords.

The search has evolved into more of a natural process. More people use “Why, where, when, who, and how” to search. Voice Search syntax is used to answering the long query and is more relevant in showing good results when the search phrase exceeds 2-3 words.

You should consider implementing text-based content that accounts for long tail keywords and basically helps to answer the question.

Tip: When you’re researching for keywords, log into AnswerthePublic.com to find the most searched questions based on the keywords, example “How to remove the cat urine from the carpet?”

b. Practical over Technical

As a content writer, you should focus on answering the question in an easy-to-read format. Content writers are often caught with a technique that focuses on writing things that might not be particularly easy to grasp by the average reader. Both Search Engine Optimization and Voice Search prioritize easy to comprehend text over a technical write-up.

Backlinko’s study of 10,000 Google Home results noted that the average content in a voice search result was written at a level that even a 9th Grader could understand.

The searches always cater to the mass, hence, the content should be targeted to the masses as well. To not lose the edge in the ranking, you can add keywords in a manner of answering the question but randomly placing the keyword.

voice recognition for device

c. Search Engine Optimization

Just because Voice search result is getting more hype doesn’t mean you stop optimizing your website. Everything important boils down to the basic. A poorly optimized and formatted website is less likely to rank in the Search Engine or show up in Voice search results.

When publishing content, you should focus on these factors;

  • Choose a Content Topic
  • Find a Keyword
  • Pick a Content Structure and Format
  • Publish Something Amazing

search engine optimization

Page load time is an equally important determinant when it comes to voice search results. A properly optimized website and content have a greater chance to show up in the top search engine results.

d. Focus on Queries

Instead of focusing only on keywords, consider focusing on answering the query. The queries are generally made up of long phrases, hence, long tail keywords are more relevant in ranking the website in the top position.

local seo results

Research shows that 22% of voice search queries are for local content.

You need to produce more locally relevant contents to improve voice search results. Even though you’re not a local business, you can focus your content to the local users to help bring more audience.

e. Structured Data Markup

What purpose does Structure Data fulfill?

Structured data is added directly to a page's HTML markup. Search engines use structured data to generate rich snippets, which are small pieces of information that will then appear in search results.

You must have figured out that voice search results hinge heavily on elements like featured snippets and business listings to deliver quick results to customers. Adding structured markup in your website helps to offer relevant results to your users.

structured data markup

Markup is also known as Schema. You can check Schema.org the detailed markups you can use in your website. Structured data offer in-handy info about events, menus, price range, and location, which are more useful for voice search results.

Interesting Voice Search Facts

  • The chances of getting clicks in the organic search results are up to 35%, however, in voice search, the chance narrows down to the first 3 results.
  • VoiceLabs reported that there were a total of 33 million voice-first devices in circulation.
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that one-fifth of the queries on Google are voice searches.
  • 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, according to ComScore.
  • About 30% of all searches will be done without a screen by 2020, according to Gartner.
  • In 2017, 13% of all households in the United States owned a smart speaker. That number is predicted to rise to 55% by 2022. There will be an estimated 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020, according to Activate.
  • The voice recognition market will be worth a $601 million industry by 2019, according to Technavio.
  • Almost 16% of Americans own a voice-activated smart-speaker.
  • As of January 2018, there were an estimated one billion voice searches per month.

In Conclusion

While voice search is a bit different than traditional search results, it still follows most of the basic SEO principles, hence a marketer and a content writer must be willing to understand both worlds to achieve the best outcome.

Do not forget to optimize your website for your customers.

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