Marketing experts are urging clients to get cozy with voice search optimization. You already have a little SEO knowledge, but what's this new approach? And does it really make a difference? Here are some basics about voice SEO that you need to know and put to good use.
What is a Voice Search Anyway?
A voice search is simply using a voice command to have a search engine return relevant results. This feature is found on many of the search engines currently deployed for mobile phones. In fact, your phone likely has that feature available right this minute.
Instead of typing in your search phrase or question, you say the words instead. What could be easier?
How Big is This Search Method?
While Voice SEO has been around since 2014, it's really taken off the last year or so. It's true that some professionals at SEO companies were slow to see the potential. As more people have turned to using their phones for searches, the value of optimizing for voice searches has become apparent.
If you need more information, consider this. The use of Voice SEO has more than doubled in popularity in the last year. With around 20% of smartphone searches being done using voice as of May 2016, that usage is nowhere near cresting yet. That means it could very well double again in the upcoming year.
How are People Using It?
While statistics vary, roughly 30% of voice searches are for general information. Personal assistant use is around 27% while searches for local data account for approximately 22%. The remaining queries usually have something to do with entertainment.
Why are Voice Searches Gaining in Popularity?
When voice searches first came into being, they were more of a novelty. The main appeal was to a younger demographic. In the last three years, just about every age group has gotten comfortable with the feature.
What makes it so appealing? Here are some of the more common reasons users in different age brackets like it:
- Leaves the hands and the eyes free for other uses. That makes it great for doing a search while you're driving. (61% of users agree)
- Faster results matter for 31% of those polled.
- Eliminates typing issues for those with larger fingers and smaller devices, according to 24% of regular users.
- 22% of users think it's a fun way to search.
- The remaining 12% like the fact they don't have to deal with confusing menus.
So How is the User Searching Differently?
Now that you understand what a voice search is and why people like it, think about what using Voice SEO will do for your business. In order to make the most if it, you should remember what sets this apart from traditional searches.
A voice search is more like a conversation. Instead of the short phrases people type for queries, they are more likely to toss out a full question like "where's the nearest gas station to me right now?" When creating content for your web pages or social media posts, remember that.
Voice searches are also more intent-based. That means they want to find a product or service right this minute. It's not just about finding the right pizza place. It's also about telling the search engine to take you right to the place where you can order your favorite pizza, say what dressing you want with your salad, and choose one of the desserts that are on sale. If you have a saved order, you can quickly say "I want my saved order" and you're done.
What Should I Do?
Working with a reputable content marketing company to tweak your pages and make them more Voice SEO friendly is the way to go. You can optimize for voice searches easier than you think.
Start by logging into your Google My Business interface and make any additions or updates to the company address that you've been putting off. That helps you show up in voice searches more efficiently.
Update those local business directories too. Make sure the citation on any of those sites has your complete information, including the address and phone number.
Freshen your landing page language. It may be a little stilted and formal for the age of voice searches. Remember these searches are more conversational. If your text reads more like a conversation, it will turn up higher in relevant search engine results.
Voice searches are done using a mobile phone. If you haven't already, adapt your web pages so they load quickly, use compressed images, and rely less on a lot of text.
Don't wait another minute. Talk with a voice SEO expert and make some changes. You'll be surprised at what it does for your business volume.