Voice search is revolutionizing the way search is carried out today. With 20% of the overall online searches made solely through voice, the time is near when typing to look for something online will go obsolete.
Today we have voice assistants from tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, which are just a voice command away from getting things done for you.
Internet users aged between 25-34 years spend more than three hours on average browsing their mobile devices. From ordering groceries at home while driving to booking flight tickets while baking cookies in the oven, voice search has been helpful to people of all ages.
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Google Voice Search
Google Voice Search is available on both mobile and desktop devices. To conduct a voice search on Google, you need to tap the microphone icon on the right side of the search bar. You can speak out your search query, and Google will show relevant results based on it.
With google’s Hummingbird update, the most significant change that was brought in was the emphasis on semantic searches. This meant that Google would now consider a user’s search intent before showing up results in the search engine for any query.
Why is Voice Search Getting Popular?
Currently, the use of voice search functions have been limited to navigational queries and calls, but by 2020, 50% of all searches across the internet will be voice-based. On average, a person can type up to 40 words per minute but speak around 150 words in a minute, which means you have to put lesser effort.
As per a recent study, voice searches have also revolutionized local searches by accurately listing local businesses when users look for the availability of restaurants, cafes or bookstores near them. According to Internet Trends 2016, 22% of all voice search queries are local.
When looking for local businesses, users are clear what information they want, so, when Google returns with the search results, users can find information like ratings, reviews, distance, and timing’s right on the result page.
If anybody is interested in making a call to know further or book an appointment, they can call the business directly by clicking on the phone icon beside each of the local listing.
With this increased popularity of voice search and its usage on mobile devices, businesses need to optimize their content for voice search to rank in the SERP. Voice search optimization services are one thing that every business must invest in 2020.
How to Optimize For Voice Search?
Set Up a Google My Business Profile
If you have a local business, the first thing that you should do is to help people recognize your business is to set up a Google My Business Profile.
This will help people who already know your business and those who are new to locate you and make a purchase decision based on your location, ratings and reviews, phone number and business hours. Since a major part of voice queries are for local searches, every local business must have their GMB profile claimed.
Write User Engaged Content
Next, you need to focus on how you write content for your site. Since search queries are often question-based, create content that answers specific queries. Use tools like AnswerthePublic to find what users are looking for on the internet.
Focus on developing content that satisfies the user-intent; this will increase user engagement as well. You can take help from professional SEO content writing services to write compelling pieces of content for your business.
Add listicles and sub-headings to break your content into different sections. Give reference links to sites from where you’ve added facts. Write in-depth answers as much as possible. The more detailed your answer is, the more credible your content will be, and Google will choose to rank it in the featured snippets.
Optimize For Local Keywords
Besides good research, you should also conduct proper keyword research and optimize the content with relevant keywords. Try incorporating long-tail keywords in your content since they have lesser competition but are highly specific in nature.
Local keywords (location-specific) should also be implemented if you want to rank for local searches. With location-based keywords, you can increase your business visibility in a particular area; this is beneficial when you have a business based in a single location.
You can also try to add FAQ pages on your site by looking for your industry-related questions on Quora or similar sites. So when someone types in one of such queries on Google, your content may rank in the featured snippet.
Head to Mobile Friendly Website
Another essential element, as per the Voice search trends 2020, is to have a mobile-friendly site. This means that all the texts, images and graphics on the website should be optimized to fit smaller screens and load without distorting or dealigned.
You also need to make sure that your mobile site is easily navigable and has all the features as your desktop site.
Optimize Your Pages to Load Fast
Voice search SEO must also focus on increasing the page speed because nobody likes to wait, and it can increase the bounce rate to your site. Optimize your webpages for speed, compress images, and reduce the size of other files to let your site load quickly.
Implement Structure Data
From the technical SEO aspect, structured data plays a vital role in improving the quality of search results. Structured data markup of your site tells Google what your site is about. They are not directly linked to your site ranking, but can boost your website by showing it up for relevant search queries.
Structured data markup can extract part of your content that is relevant to the search query and show it to the users in the featured snippet without them needing to go through the entire content.
You also need to implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) id you want your site to load instantly on Google. AMP optimized pages get high priority in news-related content.
Voice search will go through a lot of new development in the coming years, and the best way to stay ahead of the enormous competition is to keep optimizing your site for voice search and improve the user experience.
Adopting the above measures will ensure that your website is ready to attract the huge traffic that is going to come through voice search optimization in 2020.
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