Voice Search and SEO
Three decades ago, it would have seemed unthinkable to think that there would ever come a time when computers would be used to recognise voices. Well, that time is now here! In fact, it is accurate to say that, as voice search becomes more and more popular, it will completely revolutionise mobile SEO and website SEO as we know them today.
Accuracy of voice searches
Most people say they use voice search because it yields faster results. As voice search continues to become more widely used in search engines, it will be interesting to see how marketers will fit into their SEO strategies. As search engines become better and better at interpreting natural phrases, voice search will become the preferred tool for SEO marketers.
As it is, voice search has some interesting capabilities;
Voice Search Provides locations based on context
Although there are many airports in the country, if you are in London and you ask Google for the distance to the airport, it understands that your current location is London, as such you would be expecting results about airports in or around London.
Voice Search Gives Relevance Answers to Follow up Questions
If you ask a follow-up to a previous question, Google is able to link the two questions. For example, if the first question is about Mount Everest’s location and the second question is about its height, Google understands that the word “its” refers to Mount Everest and answers accordingly, pretty cool really.
Personal information via Voice Search
Google will provide you with your personal information without requiring you to specifically mention your name. So if your name is John, you don’t have to say “John’s address”. Saying “my address” will suffice.
Recognise content on screen
If you are doing a Google search of Pierce Brosnan and you have the name on your screen, you can ask for “photos of Pierce” and Google will provide photos of Pierce Brosnan. The assumption is that you are looking for photos of the “Pierce” that is on your screen.
Voice Search is still a Work in Progress
Although voice search is still a work in progress, it still offers a lot of cool benefits. Here are some of the ways you can use voice search to your benefit in search optimisation strategies:
Make greater use of FAQs
When people use voice search, they use questions that begin with “what”, “where”, “who”, “when” and “how”. They are looking for an answer to a question that they have at that moment. The best way to deal with these queries is to have a FAQs page and use these adverbs at the beginning of every question. Remember to make the answers you provide appealing to voice search.
Make your microdata clear and concise
Voice searchers are always searching for things like directions, XML Sitemaps and specific locations. Make your website in such a way that these things are easy to read and interpret for both search engines and visitors.
Prioritise long-tail keywords
These keywords are usually longer while remaining specific. They are the phrases that a visitor is most likely to use naturally. Although they may seem counter-intuitive, they can be highly useful if used properly.
Look for the most common keywords
There are several tools to help you research keywords. By knowing the keywords that are most commonly used, you will have a better idea of the questions that you should be trying to answer. Base your questions on the FAQs.
Context for SEO is crucial
It is very important for your content to be interpreted in its proper context. This will go a long way in improving your ranking in normal searches in Google or other search engines. At the same time, your content will not go stale but will stay relevant in voice searches.
Is there a place for short-tail keywords?
With the evolution of voice search, context will continue to be crucial. SEO will have no choice but to embrace voice search. In fact, it is fair to say that voice search will form an integral part of SEO in future. So what about search queries that only have only one or two words?
The problem with such short phrases is that they can be a bit ambiguous. Although short-tail keywords bring in more traffic, it may not necessarily be what you are looking for. Sort-tail keywords have a very low conversion rate. Long-tail keywords cut out some of the noise and bringing you the content that is most likely to be relevant.
Although long tail keywords can be dormant at times, they don’t have a lot that competes with them. They are always likely to give more accurate results. They have a very high focus.
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