How To Optimize Your Content For Voice Search in 2020

voice search trends

Amazon’s Alexa. Apple’s Siri. Microsoft’s Cortana. You have probably used all of these devices at least once in your life. But what do they all have in common? All three devices use voice search to help you find the content you are looking for on the Internet. Voice search is exactly what it sounds like – it allows people to search the Internet by using a voice command. Whether you are looking for the closest furniture stores around you or you are just simply wondering what the weather is, you can simply call out to the device and get the information you need within seconds. The phrases “ Hey Google ”, “Hey Alexa” or “ Hey Siri ”  has become common in our daily routines, and with voice search slowly becoming a necessity for most adults, businesses need to learn to optimize their content for voice queries to continue to succeed online.

Logos of voice search assistants Google, Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri
Logos of voice search assistants Google, Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri

How Does Voice Search Work?

Voice search typically involves the help of a voice assistant – Alexa , Siri, etc. When asking your voice assistant a query, it finds the first information regarding the topic online, which is typically located in the featured snippet. The featured snippet is search results in a box that is at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). 

Why Are People Using Voice Search More in 2020?

When Google introduced voice search in 2011 , it was seen more as an accessory than a day-to-day feature that people could use. However, presently in 2020 around 41% of adults use voice search at least once a day. So what encouraged people to use voice search more often? 

Throughout the years, Google improved the speech recognition part of the technology so the feature understands more accents and is more user friendly. Other companies have also adopted the technology, and nowadays there is at least one voice assistant in most houses in the USA. In fact, by 2022, it is predicted that around 55% of all households in the United States will have a voice assistant.

The use of voice search also surged with the invention of smartphones. Nowadays, most adults and even a majority of kids carry a smart device with them at all times. As smartphones updated, they gained features such as voice search, and it was perfected to give customers the perfect user experience. Voice search on smartphones also allows for a handoff means of searching the Internet. It is the perfect tool to search for directions or quick restaurant locations while driving or doing other tasks that do not let you use your vision to type in a question. 

How Does Voice Search Affect SEO?

Based on how popular voice search is getting, it is easy to see that it is the future of SEO. Google has placed a higher emphasis on voice searches for SEO agencies due to its growing popularity. Since voice queries are most common on smartphones, it is important to develop your website to be more mobile-friendly. If your website has a fast loading speed on desktops but has a slower loading speed on mobile devices, Google will rank your website lower. Google only uses your website’s features on a mobile device to rank your website on the SERP.

How Do You Best Optimize Your Content For Voice Search?

Optimizing your content for voice search is not just important, but it has become necessary for the success of your company. Your main focus should be on how you write your content.

People do not write the same way they speak. This has always been the case as local lingo and slang plays a big role in our language. Voice searches tend to be more conversational and people use more of their regular spoken language. For example, if users are doing a text search for local pizza places, they may type “pizza near me”, while if they are using a voice search, they may ask, “What are the local pizza places near me?” To optimize for voice searches, you should write your content in a more natural, casual way. Imagine you are talking to a friend or a teenager when typing anything on your website and you will automatically write more conversationally.

When people talk more casually, they also use more long-tail keywords to describe what they are searching. As a business, you should stop optimizing on the short keywords as much and start focusing on the long-tail keywords in order to match the search results that people are looking for when using voice queries.

When people use voice search, they tend to normally be asking specific questions. You should anticipate the queries that people may have regarding your product or service and set up your content in a question-answer style so that your website ranks higher on the SERP when specific questions about your product arise. 

A popular voice query is looking up local businesses in the area. An important part of optimizing for voice search is optimizing for local SEO . You should incorporate local terms into your website as people from the area will use the local language. For example, if your company sells Coca Cola and you are from the Midwest, you would use the word “pop” instead of “soda” as that is the local lingo.

Optimizing for appropriate language and word choice when writing your content is imperative in the growing market.

Written by Bhavana Ambatipudi, ELITE Intern

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