Since the last few years, voice search is the fastest growing technology. In 2020, voice search is everywhere. It has landed on all your voice-enabled devices. It is available on your smartphone, your desktop and also on smart digital assistant speakers such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and many other smart devices.
As a business owner, you might be doing business online through your website. You might be also publishing content on your website. Your first and foremost target is to facilitate potentially interested customers to find you and purchase your products or services.
Voice search will keep on growing, covering at least 50% of all searches by 2020 – ComScore.
Therefore, in 2020 if your online business wants to cop up with the latest online trends, you need to optimize your website with voice search.
Why Should You Care About Voice Search In 2020?
As the technology is improving, people are getting more comfortable with voice search and its usage will grow in 2020 and coming years.
This is just the beginning. It’s already the smartphone generation. Smartphone has taken over the internet world by a storm. The sale of the smartphone is rising day by day.
Nowadays, most probably all smartphones come with much pre-installed with some kind of a voice assistant. Moreover, these systems are being integrated into everything from smartphones and speakers to vehicles, appliances, wearables and more. Therefore, it is crucial that voice searches will continue to grow in volume.
User behavior is rapidly changing. They want it to be as simple as verbally asking a question. A voice searcher will only seek information with a Quick Answer.
In a traditional SEO, when you make a search, you will get a couple of ads, a local 3 pack search result and along with top organic results. Whereas, a voice search has only one correct answer. If you do not rank on top you are going to lose all your traffic. For this reason, you should care about the voice search in 2020.
Voice search is going to make SEO much more competitive as businesses try to ensure they show up first at #0 position. This is particularly important for local businesses. Thus, you need to prepare your business website for a voice search in 2020.
60.5 Million People in The US Currently Use Digital Assistants – Search Engine People
People are shifting towards voice search in 2020 for reasons:
- Faster Response, Faster Results
- It finally works!
- It’s multitasking
- It’s mobile-friendly
- More contextualized
How to optimize for voice search SEO in 2020?
Here are some effective methods to optimize your website for voice search.
1. Optimize for Answering Questions
One of the most common sources of voice search traffic will be informational questions. Usually, the questions which start with Why, Who, What, When and Where are the information that people seek instant answers.
Users ask their voice assistant a question and are then read back with an answer. Think as the audience and figure out the types of questions that your audience generally asks. Create content related to those questions.
It is also very helpful to create a question and answer format on pages targeted for voice searches. Pages that are voice search ready and would be able to answer the question of the user are preferred by Google and feature them on top of the results pages.
Companies should begin preparing for this unavoidable transformation now and begin to create voice-friendly optimization strategies and content around conversational keyword phrases.
2. Easy to read content
Arrange the content structure of your page with clear headings, subtitles, bullet points, tables, and some highlights. It will help machines understand the content on your page.
Also, remember that many people are likely to quickly scan a page before actually reading it. If you have a neat content organization of your page, it will help your hurried readers a reason to thoroughly read your article.
Focus on headings and subtitles that provide questions. The content below them should be the answer to the questions. Long-form content tends to rank best in Google voice searches.
3. Use of Long Tail Keywords
Keywords have always been significant to SEO. Although, the keywords for voice search SEO are not always the same. Effective voice search optimization requires researching your keywords but with a different approach. It is more like how people communicate in real life.
To understand deeply think about how you might ask a question of Google if you were typing. You might type “carpet cleaning near me”.
Whereas if you perform a voice search you might speak “which is the best carpet cleaning company near me?”. This might bring up results for the top 10 lists for carpet cleaning companies near you along with their reviews and offers only on smartphones and voice-enabled desktop devices.
But for smart digital assistants, it will read aloud with one of the top results for the search query.
Because speaking a longer, more specific search query is easier than typing one. Voice search will often give more context about searcher intent, meaning search engines can deliver more specific, relevant results in response to a query.
This also means it’s a good idea to research relevant long-tail keywords and integrate them into your content to drive voice traffic to your sites. This means keywords are often phrased as questions. It is also beneficial to use a more natural conversational tone.
To get more quality long-tail keywords to use a keyword tool generator or Linkio. This tool gives you the right anchor text suggestion to use as your keyword and will help you with your link building activity. Based on insightful data, Linkio suggests the anchor texts and the right percentage to get over your competitors.
4. Optimize Your Site for Mobile/Smartphone
As discussed earlier, we are in the mobile era. With the growth in the use of mobile phones, a majority of voice searches come from mobile devices. Meaning mobile-optimized sites will give you an upper hand. Having a responsive design website definitely helps.
Keep in mind and consider that a mobile-friendly website is crucial for your SEO. Mobile users want a site that is accessible and easy to navigate on a device, along with having a fast load speed. Think about how your products or services may help people around you and structure your content accordingly.
Optimize your site for mobile by:
- Using a responsive design
- Reducing page load times as much as possible
- Not using Flash, as many users do not have it installed.
- Killing pop-ups
You can run the Google Mobile Page Speed Tool to check how well your site is optimized for mobile users.
5. Optimize for Local Search
One of the most important voice search SEO strategies that need to be done, would be to have your business listed on Google My Business. Because as per a research, voice searches are three times more likely to be local-based than text search. As a result, most smartphones today search for local listing results. A smartphone knows your location.
Most of the voice search queries are for information about places users wish to visit. For example, you search for “which is the best commercial roofing company near me”. Google will instantly track the user’s location and make suggestions for relevant nearby places.
Majority of voice searches contains the words “near me”, it’s a keyword that is universal and one you should remember. Use keywords built around the following: “when,” “how,” “what,” “who,” etc. Ensure your Google My Business Page is up to date, with the name, correct address, contact details and opening hours listed. By making this information available, you are helping with ranking your site on Google in the local search world.
6. Add Schema.org Markup
Schema.org markup is a form of micro-data when added to a web-page, it creates an enhanced description, which appears in search results. Search Engines use these pieces of information to enrich the user experience on their search results and to generate rich snippets.
Featured snippets are selected search results that are featured on top of Google’s organic results below the ads in a box. Rich featured snippets can result in higher click-through rates, as users can quickly and easily determine whether the content on your site is what they are looking for.
“40.7% of all voice search results came from a Featured Snippet”.
Smart Digital Assistants currently read out featured snippets when they answer voice search queries. Therefore, it makes inevitable for your online businesses to aim for the “position zero”. Thus, adding schema.org markup into your website will help you rank in voice search results.
7. Create an FAQ Page for Your Site
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page is the best way to implement more conversational and question words and phrases. After the research of your long-tail keywords, you can use it on your website along with the FAQ page.
This allows you to write your content in a natural speaking pattern and be a probable answer to someone’s voice search query. It also boosts your chances of appearing in Google’s rich-featured snippets.
If you are not sure about what questions your customers search for then, use voice search yourself to get a better feel for user objective. Ask yourself: “What questions I am frequently asked regarding my business, products, or services.”
It is important to use conversational phrases for your questions and answers so they sound natural. Content framed in a Q & A format tends to do well in voice search queries. Phrase the questions in the first person, as someone might ask them. Then offer short, informative answers.
You can use online tools such as Answer The Public to generate questions, which people generally ask on the internet to find answers. Type your keyword and it will generate questions for you.
8. Social Sharing
Share your content on social media sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many more sites. The more content gets socially viral, the more is the chance for the website associated with that content to appear on the first page.
According to the voice search study of Backlinko, “voice search results tend to have a relatively high number of social media shares”. Social sharing helps to boost voice search SEO greatly.
It is highly probable that 2020 holds an even greater move towards the mobile/smartphone, voice search, and AI. Voice search is going to be the future of SEO. It is transforming the way people navigate their online world. Therefore, you need to be prepared for the near future Voice Search SEO strategies.
To optimize your content for voice search SEO you have to rethink your content in a more conversational way. You need to think like a customer, not a marketer. Try to guess what a user would ask a search engine or a personal assistant. Using everyday natural language and switching to a conversational style is important. Focus and strengthen your SEO strategies.
This was my quick guide about how to optimize for voice search SEO in 2020 and beyond. Voice is going to play a major role in 2020 and the next few years. Therefore, it is crucial that you keep a close eye on the latest trends and updates in SEO in order to rank well.