Voice search has become more popular among people worldwide. Approximately 27% of smartphone users now prefer using voice commands for their daily searches, and this number keeps growing.
One significant reason for this trend is the rise of voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. These assistants are now integrated into many smart devices, making it easy for users to control their homes and get information just by speaking.
The introduction of advanced AI tools like ChatGPT in late 2022 has also played a big role. These tools have improved how well voice assistants understand and respond to us. They make voice search more accurate and useful for complex questions and tasks.
For businesses, adjusting to this change is crucial to stay relevant and meet their customers’ needs.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search is a technology that lets you search and interact with devices using your voice instead of typing. Its main goal is to make accessing information and completing tasks on smartphones, smart speakers, and virtual assistants easier and hands-free.
Using voice search for SEO is simple. You activate the voice assistant or voice search feature with a word or button, then speak your query naturally. The technology processes the words and understands what you want, then provides relevant information or takes the requested action.
Asking a voice assistant to look up information is more convenient compared to the traditional manual searching.
When people use voice search, they tend to ask longer, more conversational questions, like “Where can I find a good sushi restaurant near me?” or “How do I make chocolate chip cookies from scratch?” This is different from text-based searches, where they might type shorter phrases like “sushi restaurant near me” or “chocolate chip cookie recipe.”
How Does Voice Search Impact SEO and Content Strategy?
Changes in search behavior
Voice search has brought about a shift in how people conduct online searches. With voice assistants, users tend to use more natural language and ask conversational questions. Search engines have adapted to understand and respond better to this type of language, which has made information more accessible through voice-activated devices and virtual assistants.
This change in search behavior has led to the growing importance of long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer and detailed that reflect natural language patterns and directly cater to users’ specific search intents. As people verbally interact with their devices, they’re more inclined to speak complete sentences or ask full questions.
Local SEO and “Near Me” searches
Voice search has transformed “near me” searches by making them more convenient and immediate. With voice-activated devices and virtual assistants, users can simply ask for businesses or services nearby, such as “find a coffee shop near me.”
User intent and context
Since voice commands encourage longer and more context-rich search phrases, it now captures not only the explicit user intent but also the underlying context behind the search. For example, users may ask a question like, “Where can I find the best Italian restaurants nearby?” This query not only reveals the user’s intent to locate Italian restaurants but also implies their preference for nearby options.
Structured data markup
With voice queries being more like conversations, structured data helps provide context, making it easier for search engines to show featured snippets in voice search results.
Google SGE and AI results
Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) and AI algorithms have adapted to better understand and respond to more natural language and conversational queries. This has led to improvements in natural language processing (NLP) and the ability to interpret longer and more context-rich search phrases.
Voice search changed how businesses optimize their mobile websites. They needed to adjust content for natural language queries, make pages load faster, and include images and structured data for better user experiences with voice search on mobile devices.
As voice assistants provide multimedia content in response to voice queries, having relevant images helps businesses provide visual information and engage users effectively.
How to Optimize for Voice Search
Understand user intent
When people use voice search, they ask questions in a natural way, like they’re talking to a person. To increase the chances of your content showing up in voice search results, it’s important to understand what people are looking for. By knowing their needs and questions, you can create content that gives helpful answers.
Conduct keyword research
Voice search queries are typically longer and more conversational than traditional text-based searches. To make your content work well for voice search, you need to do some research on the specific words and questions people commonly use. This helps you find the right words and phrases to include in your content so that it matches what users are looking for.
Craft conversational content
Voice search queries often mimic natural human language. To optimize for voice search, your content should reflect this conversational tone. Create content that answers common questions in a friendly, easy-to-understand manner.
Optimize for featured snippets
Featured snippets are the short, concise answers that appear at the top of search engine results. Voice assistants often read out these snippets as responses to voice queries. To optimize for voice search for SEO, structure your content to provide clear and complete answers to commonly asked questions.
Leverage structured data markup
Structured data markup provides search engines with specific information about your content’s structure and context. This helps search engines better understand your content. Structured data also enhances your content’s appearance in rich results and Knowledge Graph panels.
Enhance mobile friendliness
Voice search is primarily conducted on mobile devices. To optimize voice search for SEO, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly on mobile devices. Mobile friendliness is essential for both user experience and search engine rankings. Voice assistants are more likely to recommend mobile-friendly websites for voice search results.
Get Found in Voice Search
Voice search is a rapidly growing technology that’s changing the way people interact with the internet. As its popularity continues to grow, embracing voice search for SEO is not only a smart move for businesses but also a key factor in staying ahead of the competition.
To help you optimize your website for voice search, work with a reputable provider such as Web.com. Our SEO services team will help you implement tailored strategies to maximize your voice search visibility. We’ll conduct thorough keyword research, focusing on long-tail phrases and user intent, enabling your content to resonate with voice search queries.