The Impact of Voice Search on SEO
Voice search is currently the most trending strategy in SEO right now. And it’s no wonder why. The increasing prevalence of virtual personal assistants and voice searches is changing the search engine optimization (SEO) landscape.
As more customers turn to their voices rather than typing keywords into a search bar, companies must employ different tactics to ensure their content is discovered by prospective customers using various search methods.
In that regard, keywords are becoming increasingly important. To rank for voice searches, you must ensure that your content contains the keywords people will likely use when searching by voice.
In addition, voice search optimization is also changing how people interact with search engines. When people search by voice technology, they ask complete questions rather than typed keywords.
Therefore, your content must be well-written and informative to rank well in voice search. Also, you must optimise your voice search content to stay ahead of the game. This article will discuss the potential impacts of voice search on SEO.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search technology is an emerging digital capability that enables users to interact with web applications using their voice rather than needing to type words or commands into a device. The technology has seen increasing usage across devices, allowing users to search the internet and perform other tasks without requiring manual typing.
With voice search, users can speak their queries aloud to their device, using speech recognition technology to understand the question and provide a response. It is becoming increasingly popular due to its convenience and ease of use, exceptionally when typing may be difficult or impractical, such as when driving or multitasking. Besides, they can search with voice assistants on mobile devices, smart speakers, and other devices.
Popular Voice Search Devices
The Amazon Echo is a popular voice search device that Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, powers. It is a smart speaker that allows users to access information, control smart home devices, and play music using voice commands. Users can activate the device by saying the wake word “Alexa” followed by their query or command.
The device also supports a range of third-party skills and integrations, allowing users to access various services and content using voice commands. Some examples of popular skills and integrations include news updates, weather forecasts, and the ability to order products from Amazon.
Google Home is a voice search device powered by Google Assistant, Google’s intelligent voice assistant. It is a smart speaker that allows users to access information, control smart home devices, and play music using voice commands. The device has a superior-quality speaker and far-field microphone array, allowing for high-quality audio playback and voice commands from any room corner.
Users can activate the device by saying the wake word “Hey Google” or “OK Google,” followed by their query or command. Multiple versions of Google Home are available, like Mini and Max. These devices offer similar functionality but in different sizes and with varying audio capabilities.
The Apple HomePod is a voice search device powered by Apple’s intelligent voice assistant, Siri. It is a smart speaker that allows users to access information, control smart home devices, and play music using voice commands. The HomePod has an advanced speaker system that delivers a robust sound and a six-microphone array to capture voice commands from anywhere.
Its defining characteristic is its ability to provide quality audio playback and respond to vocal input. Users can activate the device by saying the wake word “Hey Siri,” followed by their query or command. The device also supports third-party services and integrations, including news updates and weather forecasts. The HomePod offers enhanced voice search capabilities and can serve as a central hub for home automation devices.
Microsoft Cortana is a voice search device powered by Microsoft’s intelligent voice assistant, also named Cortana. Cortana is available on various devices, including Windows PCs, smartphones, and the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker. The device is outfitted with a powerful, premium speaker to deliver clear, robust audio.
It also includes a microphone array that enables voice activation anywhere in the room. Users can activate Cortana by saying the “Hey Cortana” wake word followed by their query or command. Cortana can remind users to complete certain tasks, provide customised to-do lists, and even report the weather forecast.
Samsung Bixby is a voice search device that Samsung’s intelligent voice assistant, Bixby powers. It lets users access information, devices, and tasks using voice commands. Its microphone array can receive vocal instructions from any angle and is a quality speaker that produces clear and strong sound.
Users can activate Bixby by saying the wake word “Hi Bixby” followed by their query or command. Bixby also can recognise objects captured by the camera – a feature called Bixby Vision. Bixby Vision provides users with extra information about the object in question.
Positive Impacts of Voice Search on SEO
Increased Use of Long-tail Keywords
Increased use of voice search queries gives businesses more opportunities to optimise their content and improve rankings. These queries are often more conversational and use natural language, which requires longer keywords. By targeting these queries, companies can improve their visibility and attract more potential customers.
More Local Search Opportunities
Voice search is growing in popularity, and this trend will likely continue. It presents an opportunity for businesses with a local presence to improve their visibility and rankings for local search queries.
Voice search often includes location-based information, meaning companies with a local presence can benefit from increased visibility and rankings for local search queries.
This voice search is a great way to boost your local visibility and reach. Optimise your website and local listings for voice search to capitalise on this opportunity.
That means including relevant keywords and ensuring your listings are accurate and up-to-date. It will help improve your site’s visibility so potential customers can easily find your business.
Improved User Experience
Voice search is an easy and convenient way for users to access information, making it more user-friendly. Enabling these capabilities can significantly improve the user experience since they will easily find what they seek. You can do this by ensuring that their content is well-organised and easy to navigate and using keywords likely to be spoken by users.
Increased Website Traffic
Voice search can be a powerful tool for driving website traffic, particularly for businesses that provide quick and direct answers to users’ queries. It can lead to more engagement and conversions for businesses. Companies can also capitalise on this trend by utilising voice search to connect with potential customers and efficiently direct website visitors.
As voice search grows, businesses optimising for voice search can gain a competitive advantage over those not. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to changes in search behaviour, businesses can position themselves as leaders in their industry and gain a larger share of voice search traffic.
Therefore, businesses need to optimise their website and content for voice search to stay ahead of the competition. Besides, they can gain a competitive advantage and attract more voice search traffic.
Negative Impacts of Voice Search on SEO
While voice search has several positive impacts on SEO, there are also a few potential adverse impacts to keep in mind:
Fewer Options for Ads
Voice search results typically provide only one or a few results, meaning ads have fewer opportunities to display. It can limit your advertising options and make it more challenging to reach your target audience through voice search. Fewer options for ads can modify your advertising options and make it difficult to reach your target audience through voice search.
When someone uses voice search, they typically seek a specific answer. That means they are less likely to scroll through page results, limiting the opportunities for potential customers to see your ad. To reach people through voice search, you must ensure that your ad is targeted specifically to the question they are asking.
Limited Control over Voice Results
With voice search, users often receive a single answer or a limited set of results based on their query. Businesses should know that image search results may be harder to control than text-based ones. They may have a different degree of influence over rankings and visibility than they might with regular, text-based searches.
More Competition for Top Spots
As voice search technology becomes more popular, businesses face more competition for the top sites in search results. Voice search often prioritises the ultimate consequence or featured snippet, meaning there is more competition for these top spots. It can make it more difficult for businesses to rank highly for voice search queries, particularly in a competitive industry.
Companies must try to make their website as optimised as possible for voice search. It includes ensuring that their website is mobile-friendly and that their content is well-written and relevant to the keywords people will likely use when conducting a voice search.
Limited Engagement Opportunities
One of the potential downsides of voice search is that it can limit engagement opportunities. It is because voice search results often provide users with direct answers to their queries, which may not include opportunities for engagement or lead generation. Building customer relationships and generating leads through voice search can make it more difficult.
When utilising voice search, accuracy can be an issue that could negatively impact your business. To address this potential concern, consider linking to extra resources and including actionable steps in the results. With these tactics, you can reduce the risk of inaccurate results and optimise your search engine results pages success.
Different User Behavior
Different user behaviour is one reason businesses may need to adapt their content and marketing strategies to target voice users better. As people use voice search more often, their expectations for the results will differ from when submitting text-based searches.
Voice searches are generally longer than text queries and use a more natural language. As a result, businesses need to be sure their content is geared towards voice search users to reach their target audience better.
How to Optimize for Voice Search
The utilisation of voice recognition-activated assistants is becoming more popular, making it essential to refine content for voice search optimisation for your SEO strategy. Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are two examples of such platforms that have seen rising use levels in voice recognition technology.
It is changing how people find information online, user intent, and businesses must adapt their content to make the most of this new technology to offer relevant search results. Here are some tips to optimise for voice user search:
Use Conversational Language
When optimising your website for voice search, language that mimics how people speak is essential for internet search. It means using natural language rather than technical jargon and long-tail keywords that reflect how people search using voice technology devices. You can use conversational language to ensure your website is more likely to appear in voice search results.
Focus on Local Search
More than half of voice searches are for local businesses and services, so optimising your content for local searches is essential. It includes optimising for local keywords, creating location-specific content, and ensuring your business information is accurate and up-to-date on local directories and search engines. It is where voice search grew for most mobile searches.
Optimise for Featured Snippets
To optimise your site for voice search, you should create content that answers common questions about your business or industry. Keep your answers concise and to the point, as voice assistants often pull their information from featured snippets.
Short summaries of content appear at the top of search results. By formatting your content this way, you can make it more easily digestible for voice assistant and improve your chances of appearing in featured snippets.
Improve Site Speed and Mobile Optimization
As mobile devices become increasingly popular, it’s essential to ensure you optimise your website for voice search as it has proved to be an effective digital marketing strategy. A slow or poorly optimised website can negatively impact your search rankings and user experience.
Voice search functions are typically used on mobile devices, which means website speed and responsiveness to smaller screens are essential elements. Designing a website with these factors in mind can allow businesses to capture more organic traffic.
By improving your site speed and mobile optimisation, you can ensure your site is ready for growing mobile users.
Leverage Schema Markup
Schema markup is a type of code that helps search engines understand the content on your website. Using schema markup to tag your content, you can make it easier for voice assistants to identify and surface relevant information in response to user queries.
It can be a valuable way to improve your website’s search visibility since voice search is becoming increasingly popular. You will need to add code to your website to leverage schema markup.
You can do it working with a web developer or using a schema markup generator. Using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool can help ensure your code functions properly on your website.
The tool can identify any errors in your code, thus letting you make any necessary corrections before they have a potentially negative effect.
Focus on Natural Language Queries
As the number of people using voice search continues to grow, businesses need to optimise their websites for this type of search including the FAQ page.
Voice search relies on natural language queries, so focusing on answering common questions that your target audience is likely to ask in a conversational tone is key for digital marketers.
It will help improve your chances of ranking for voice queries. In addition to optimising your website content, you should ensure search engines are mobile-friendly and adequately index your website for virtual assistant.
By taking these steps, you can ensure your business is ready to take advantage of the growing voice search trend.
Is optimising for voice search different from optimising for text-based search?
Yes, optimising for voice search on your web pages is different from optimising for text-based search. Voice search queries are often longer, more conversational, and include natural language, meaning businesses must adapt their SEO strategies to target these questions by offering rich answer boxes.
That includes using long-tail keyword research, providing direct answers to user queries, and optimising for local search.
What are the benefits of optimising for local search in voice search?
Voice search often includes location-based information, meaning businesses with a local presence can benefit from increased visibility and rankings for local search queries.
How does voice search impact advertising opportunities?
Voice search results typically provide only one or a few results, which means fewer opportunities for ads to be displayed. It can limit advertising options for businesses.
Technological advancement has significantly contributed to the increased use of voice search in search engine optimisation. Using voice commands is quicker and more comfortable than typing out questions, making it an attractive option for many consumers. That means businesses need to understand the impacts of voice search on SEO.
It is important to note that voice search can positively impact SEO. That includes increased website traffic, competitive advantages, and improved user experience. Voice search can also affect SEO by reducing ad options, reducing engagement opportunities, and high competition for top spots.