Voice Searching is not just a talent competition on television with big red turning chairs, it is a trend in SEO that you simply cannot ignore. So, let’s explore the facets of Voice SEO and why you, as a business owner or marketer, need to get amongst it.
What is Voice SEO?
Voice searching is when people speak into a search engine rather than typing, or basically asking their computers, phones and smart home devices for help. This has been popularised with the global implementation of AI platforms such as Siri across newer iPhones, and now is also used by Google, Amazon and many more platforms to solve everyone’s problems without having to use their hands.
Voice SEO is your digital marketing strategy to make sure that you include voice search terms in your targeting campaigns.
Is this trend worth investing in?
Mobile Personal Assistants like Siri are used by over 70% of people under 29, but they are popular across all age groups, so are hard to deny.
They are more convenient and can be used when you are busy doing other things such as driving, carrying loads of groceries, or even using the toilet (gross, but true). They also produce results quicker than typed searches, so more and more people are getting on board.
What are the benefits of Voice SEO for you and your business?
When you are developing an SEO strategy targeting keywords used in traditional search engines, you have very specific algorithms in mind.
You probably know to target long-tail keywords and location-based keywords rather than just generic or broad terms. You also know that you need to solve your audiences’ problem and catch them at the right time to get them to convert to customers.
But voice search terms are different to typed-in keywords, in a number of ways:
- Voice search terms are longer and more conversational
- The terms are more likely to be phrased as questions
- They may form part of a conversation, so need to link intelligently to questions already asked.
The specific keywords and phrases you are targeting for regular search engines are not the same ones that will bring you the most traffic through voice searches. So, your voice SEO strategy has to be different too.
Location data and Voice SEO
If you have a bricks and mortar store or you provide a physical service to a localised geographic area, then you would be foolish to neglect voice SEO in your overall marketing strategy. Almost a quarter of voice searches are about finding something locally.
25% of voice searches are about finding something locally
Voice searches, especially those when the user is out and about, will often be asking questions about services nearby. This is usually without stating specifically where they are just ‘where is the closest pizza restaurant’, ‘find a cafe near me’ or ‘find the nearest petrol station’.
Optimising your business information for these kinds of searches is reliant on the correctness and consistency of your business’ location, not just on your website, but everywhere you can possibly list it.
You should also be targeting your voice SEO to include ‘near me’ in the search terms and recognise how local people may mention landmarks or streets around you when searching for things, such as ‘on Washington St’ or ‘near the MCG’.
How can you optimise your website for voice SEO?
You need to convert your typed keywords into voice search terms by thinking about how your customers talk about you or your products, or how they look for a service like yours.
A great starting tool for this conversion is https://answerthepublic.com/. You can type in single words or short keyword phrases, and it will respond with all of the voice search variations it can think of for that keyword. This is a fantastic place to start your brainstorming and tailor voice SEO terms to your business and brand.
Think about the questions you are targeting
There are many different questions that you can target, but different kinds of questions will bring different customers.
‘What’ and ‘Who’ questions are more often asked by people in the early stage of researching. ‘Where’ questions are much more likely to bring you customers who are ready to buy.
‘Where’ questions are much more likely to bring you customers who are ready to buy.
Provide maximum business information
Include not only location and contact information on your website and directory listings, but include other relevant information as well, such as:
- hours of operation
- distance from major roads
- access via public transport
- wheelchair access
- services available
Include maps to find your business on your website and social media pages.
Potential customers might ask ‘is there a dry cleaner near me that is open now?’ The more information you have available to Google, the more likely you are to come upon these sort of results.
Google My Business
Because of the prevalence of local queries, you should have the most accessible business profile you can. Utilise Google My Business to create a profile for your business, and make sure that it is accurate and up-to-date.
Ensure that your listing is consistent with your website, as well as with the details you include on any other directories.
Use the sections in your profile to best define your business, including writing a good introduction, submitting images and posts, and making the best use of categories.
You should be talking about your business in terms of what it is, not what it supplies or provides. People will voice search for ‘hairdressers’ not ‘haircuts’ or ‘blow dries’.
Optimise your website to be mobile friendly
You might be hearing this a lot, but that’s because it is true; you need to optimise your website to be viewed on mobile devices. This means quick loading, the right sized images, good layout and easy to read content on smaller screens.
Use engaging sub-headings which can be used by readers to find the exact answer they need quickly. After all, quick answers make customers happy!
FAQ pages: Write content that solves your customers’ problems
You might already be writing content to solve or answer your customer’s problems to meet traditional SEO keywords and strategies. To do it for common voice search terms, they need to be address slightly different and in conjunction with your existing strategy.
The best way to do this is to have an FAQ page or series of blog posts that ask and answers all of the questions you think your customers might have.
Get on it!
Because voice SEO is still in its early stages, there may be less competition for your business to stand out. This means it is an excellent time and method of getting ahead of competitors.
This trend is growing rapidly right now. With the advancements in technology it does not appear to be going away any time soon. So, be sure to get on it!
Want some help with your SEO strategy? Contact us today, we can help!
Looking for more information about Voice Search? Check out this infographic at SEOTribunal (click the image to see the full infographic).
Strategic Optimisation + Growth consultant for lean start-ups and change-making entrepreneurs enabling them to grow their business in a sustainable and profitable way.