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The voice search revolution is in full bloom. Since 2016, the majority of internet searches came from mobile devices. Studies indicate that 40% of American adults use voice search at least once per day. The proliferation of smart speakers, such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana is quickly growing. Moreover, reports indicate that 47.3 million Americans have access to a smart-speaker.
This change will shake up the search results metrics. Some of the old rules will no longer apply. Opportunities exist for websites to rise (or fall) the SEO rankings. Most importantly, voice search provides businesses with a chance to make better connections with potential customers online.
Optimize For Voice Immediately
Businesses, especially restaurants and retail stores, have the opportunity to grow their online presence by taking full advantage of voice search.
For restaurants, a Yext.com survey showed roughly 25% of consumers visit a restaurant they found via search. Voice search and smart speakers are influencing searches made by the user looking for a restaurant nearby. Currently, most voice searches will net a list of five options. A list of only five restaurants means the competition for ranking high in SEO continues to become increasingly competitive. A text search on Google will give ten results on the first page, including advertisements. As a result, these businesses must be at the very top or at risk of being ignored. Therefore, more accurate questions will yield to more accurate results.
How Is Voice Search Different?
Voice search varies from a typical text search. According to Moz.com, voice searches are more extended than text searches. Most text searches are 2-3 words long, while most voice searches are 6-8 words long.
Another interesting trend to track is the explosion of question phrases. Research from Search Engine Watch offered surprising results. Text searches have become increasingly inquisitive. Searches with the word ‘who’ in them grew by 135%, while four other questions (where, when, why and how) increased by 40% or more. This aspect of voice search affects marketing strategies and how to ensure your business is staying ahead.
Actions To Take Today
There are a few simple steps any business should take to optimize with voice search and implement it into existing SEO techniques:
Elaborate On Back-End Tags
As we have learned, voice searches are more specific than text searches. Search engines are exploring pages with answers to the user’s question. For example, “Is white chocolate toxic to dogs?” is a detailed query. However, a page containing the tags, “Dog, food, healthy, unhealthy,” is missing hits. Instead, “What is healthy for dogs to eat,” optimizes for voice search results than keywords clustered together. Flooding your content with keywords is an SEO error that is vital to avoid. However, adding applicable phases that naturally flow within your site will boost those results.
Highly shared web pages jump to the top of voice searches. For example, a site selling furniture with high-quality images of their products will see results from users looking for similar products. That website is more likely to get results for, “Show me nice furniture,” with images that directly connect to it. In this example, spreading images of your furniture on social media platforms pays off considerably. Online users sharing these images freely help the website’s SEO rankings. Shareability is the product of organic growth, hard work, and perseverance.
The Faster, The Better
Another common SEO tactic is boosting page speeds. Google has openly acknowledged page speed is a factor in determining a site’s search rankings. A few simple tricks include optimizing images, simplifying web design, and enabling page caching. Furthermore, a few technical options include limiting the number of HTTP requests per page, paying for a higher speed DNS provider, and using compression.
HTTPS Is Best
Perhaps the most important technical change is switching to HTTPS. According to Rank Ranger, almost 70% of first page results were pages with HTTPS, opposed to a simple HTTP. HTTPS is a great idea, generally, as it is much safer and gives consumers more confidence when purchasing products off of a website. There are plenty of companies who assist in adapting to the HTTPS protocols for a site. Even though these services are not free, it can pay huge dividends in both search results and on-site purchases.
Create An FAQ Page
Want an easy and effective way to incorporate relevant keywords without paying the price? Filling up your pages with too many keywords will hurt you more than help you. Luckily, an FAQ page is common among all websites and is an effective way to fill the page up with content that targets searches. If someone searches for, “Best Burger Joint in Des Moines,” having an FAQ directing at a specific phrase will help the website in being found in the search results. Remember, voice searches are longer and more detailed.
Understand The Needs Of Your Audience
According to Google, 58% of voice searches are done to find specific prices on products or services. Specifically, people are often searching to see if there are sales. Make sure the website is capitalizing on these searches. Again, it is not enough to state “sale.” Longer searches require extended and specific keywords and phrases. Replace “sale” with “hardware sale,” or any other combination which best describes whichever special offers your business is currently providing
Voice search and smart speakers are the future. The statistics prove that digital marketing is growing stronger within the world of voice search and smart speakers. For some businesses, it could be now or never to take advantage of this opportunity to rank high on results pages and see conversions with leads to customers.