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Voice Search for SEO

Voice search allows users to speak into enabled devices to conduct search queries rather than type them directly into a search engine. Voice search technology is designed to understand what users are saying with extreme precision and generate results that answer the user’s query as effectively as possible. Voice search has become increasingly popular as voice search enabled technologies are more common, more convenient, and deliver faster results.

In a keynote speech by Google CEO Sundar Pinchai, he announced that 20 percent of the queries on Google are voice searches. This was a keynote speech given in 2016, the voice search trend has only increased since then.

This all begs the question, how does voice search impact organic rankings? Voice search improves user experience and as such Google is putting a higher emphasis on optimizing for it. Whether you’re a marketing agency, small business, or standalone blogger, here are few things to consider when optimizing for voice search.

Featured Snippets

Featured snippet questions and answers need to be written for the way people speak, not write. When people type queries into a search engine, they tend to use short, fragmented phrases. When people speak into voice search enabled technology, they use full sentences with important intonations that the technology is able to pick up on. Include long-tail phrases instead of short, direct keywords to optimize your content for voice search.

Example: HVAC queries Traditional Search: “emergency HVAC near me” Voice Search: “What is the nearest emergency HVAC company?”

Local Searches

According to a study conducted by Hound, a voice query app, 22 percent of voice search queries are looking for local information – restaurants, shopping, directions, home services, reviews, events, etc. Brands should be employing local content like “near me” phrases to improve eligibility to rank for local voice queries.

Site Speed

Just like traditional search engine optimization, Google favors websites that load faster when ranking results for voice search queries. Make sure your site is mobile responsive, images are optimized, files compressed, and other strategies to improve site and performance.

EM Search Consulting stays on top of the ever-changing landscape of Search Engine Optimization to give our clients the best chance of success. Contact us today to learn how your website can be optimized for voice search.

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