What is voice search?
Voice search is a technology that allows users to search the internet or access information on their devices using voice commands rather than typing out a search query and can be used to search the internet, access specific websites, find information about local businesses, and more.
Voice search is often used through voice assistants, such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri, software programs allowing users to interact with their devices using voice commands.
Voice search is becoming increasingly popular, as it allows users to easily and quickly access information and perform tasks without typing out a search query. ‘…Around half of all internet users in the US… are users of voice search‘ and ‘27% of the global population is using voice search on mobile devices.’
It’s especially convenient for users on the go, as it allows them to access information and perform tasks without typing on a small smartphone keyboard. It is also helpful for users who may have difficulty typing, such as those with disabilities or mobility issues.
Overall, voice search is important for businesses and website owners looking to reach and engage with consumers.
What is voice search optimisation?
Voice search optimisation is the process of optimising a website or its content to improve its ranking in the results of voice search queries.
There are a few key strategies that can be used to optimise a website for voice search:
- Use long-tail keywords: Voice search queries are often longer and more conversational than typed queries, so it’s important to include long-tail keywords in your content.
- Use structured data: Structured data, such as schema markup, can help search engines understand the content of your website and improve its ranking in voice search results.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly: Many voice searches are conducted on mobile devices, so it’s important to make sure your website is optimised for mobile.
- Use clear and concise headings and subheadings: Voice search results are often read aloud, so it’s important to use clear and concise headings and subheadings to make it easier for voice assistants to understand and present your content.
By following these strategies, you can improve the ranking of your website in voice search results and make it more easily accessible to users through voice assistants.
What are long tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are specific and highly targeted keywords that are typically longer and more specific than shorter, more general keywords. They are usually made up of three or more words and are often more descriptive and specific than shorter keywords.
For example, “red leather shoes” is a long-tail keyword, while “shoes” is a shorter, more general keyword. Long-tail keywords are often more effective for voice search optimisation because they more closely match the way people naturally speak and ask questions.
Using long-tail keywords in your website’s content can help improve its ranking in the results of voice search queries, as they are more specific and relevant to the user’s search. By including long-tail keywords in your content, you can make it more likely that your website will appear in the results of voice search queries related to your business or industry.
What is structured data?
Structured data is a standardised format for providing information about a webpage and classifying the page content. It allows search engines to understand the content of a webpage and provide more relevant and accurate search results.
By adding structured data to your webpage, you can help search engines understand the content of your webpage and improve its ranking in search results. This is especially important for voice search optimisation, as structured data can help search engines understand the content of your website and present it more accurately in voice search results.
There are many types of structured data that can be added to a webpage, including information about products, events, people, organisations, and more. By including the appropriate structured data on your webpage, you can help search engines understand the content of your webpage and improve its ranking in search results.
How to add structured data to your webpage?
There are a few different ways to add structured data to your webpage:
- JSON-LD: This is the most common format for adding structured data to a webpage. To add structured data using JSON-LD, you will need to create a JSON object that contains the structured data and then add it to the head of your webpage’s HTML code. You can find more information about how to create a JSON-LD structured data object on the Google Developers website.
- Microdata: This is another format for adding structured data to a webpage. To add structured data using Microdata, you will need to use HTML tags to mark up the structured data on your webpage.
- RDFa: This is a third format for adding structured data to a webpage. To add structured data using RDFa, you will need to use HTML attributes to mark up the structured data on your webpage.
Regardless of which format you choose, it’s important to make sure that the structured data you add to your webpage is accurate and up-to-date. This will help ensure that search engines can accurately understand the content of your webpage and improve its ranking in search results.
What headings should you use for voice search optimisation?
When optimising your website for voice search, it’s important to use clear and concise headings and subheadings to make it easier for voice assistants to understand and present your content. Here are a few tips for choosing headings and subheadings for voice search optimisation:
- Keep them short and concise: Headings and subheadings should be short and to the point, as they will be read aloud by voice assistants. Avoid using overly long or complex headings but be sure to use your designated SEO keyword where possible.
- Use natural language: Headings and subheadings should be written in natural language that is easy for people to understand. Avoid using jargon or technical language that may confuse users, especially since ‘41% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say it feels like talking to a friend or another person.’
- Include long-tail keywords: Headings and subheadings are a good place to include long-tail keywords, as they will be more specific and relevant to the user’s search.
- Use clear and descriptive language: Headings and subheadings should clearly and accurately describe the content that follows. Avoid using vague or misleading language.
Why should you optimise for voice search?
There are a few key reasons why you should optimise your website for voice search:
- Increased convenience for users: Voice search allows users to easily access information and search the internet using voice commands rather than typing out a search query. By optimising your website for voice search, you can make it more convenient for users to find and access your content.
- Improved search rankings: Optimising your website for voice search can improve its ranking in the results of voice search queries, making it more likely that users will discover your content through voice assistants.
- Enhanced user experience: By optimising your website for voice search, you can improve the overall user experience for users accessing your content through voice assistants. This can lead to increased engagement and loyalty from users.
- Growing market share: The use of voice assistants is on the rise, and more and more people are using voice search to access information and search the internet. By optimising your website for voice search, you can tap into this growing market and increase your visibility and reach.
Overall, optimising your website for voice search can help increase its visibility, improve the user experience, and increase its reach to a growing market of users accessing the internet through voice assistants.
How many people use voice search?
It’s difficult to accurately estimate the number of people who use voice search, as this can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the specific voice assistant being used, the device on which the voice search is being conducted, and the region in which the search is being conducted.
Overall, it is clear that the use of voice search is increasing all the time and that it is an important consideration for businesses and website owners looking to reach and engage with consumers.
Disadvantages of optimising for voice search
While optimising your website for voice search can have many benefits, there are also a few potential drawbacks to consider:
- Limited space in voice search results: Voice search results are typically presented in a limited space, such as on a small smartphone screen or through a voice assistant’s speaker. This means that there may be fewer opportunities for your website to appear in the results of a voice search compared to a traditional text search.
- Increased competition: As the use of voice search increases, the competition for ranking in the results of voice search queries is likely to increase as well. This can make it more difficult for your website to rank highly in the results of voice search queries.
- The need for ongoing optimisation: As with traditional text search, the algorithms that determine the ranking of websites in voice search results are constantly evolving. This means that you will need to continuously optimise your website for voice search in order to maintain a high ranking in the results of voice search queries.
- Limited control over how your content is presented: When your website appears in the results of a voice search, the content may be read aloud by a voice assistant. This means that you have limited control over how your content is presented to users.
‘Traditional search and SEO focus mainly on the keyword terms and how your website ranks for them. You can get clicks from Google if your website appears on the first page and even if your website ranks at position number two, three, five, or even ten. Voice search focuses on searching in a more conversational tone. For example, when you Google search “What are the best basketball shoes for kids?” it will return a page with a variable number of paid ads (usually three or four on top of the search page) plus ten organic results below. With VST, Google or Siri will only return ONE result or answer, and not ten results that you can select from. Therefore, using a traditional SEO strategy may not be helpful with voice search websites, and websites need to optimise for voice search,’ AdNews reports.
Overall, while optimising your website for voice search can have many benefits, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks and to carefully consider whether it is the right strategy for your business.
What does the future of voice search hold?
It is difficult to predict exactly what the future of voice search will hold, as it is a rapidly evolving technology that is influenced by a wide range of factors. However, it is clear that the use of voice assistants and voice search is on the rise and is likely to continue to grow in the coming years.
One trend that is likely to continue is the increasing use of voice assistants on a wide range of devices, including smartphones, smart speakers, and other connected devices. As the capabilities of voice assistants continue to improve, it is likely that they will become an even more integral part of people’s daily lives. 26% of Australians own a smart speaker (as at 2021), which has risen from 5% in 2018 and this is only going to increase.
Another trend that is likely to continue is the increasing use of voice search for a wide range of tasks and activities, including searching the internet, accessing specific websites, finding information about local businesses, and more. As the accuracy and reliability of voice assistants improves, it is likely that more and more people will use voice search as their primary method of accessing information and interacting with the internet.
Overall, the future of voice search is likely to be characterised by the increasing use of voice assistants and the expanding range of tasks and activities that can be performed using voice search. So you can’t ignore the need to be focussing your SEO efforts for voice search.