Note: This is a guest post by Ashley Wilson. The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of Deepanshu Gahlaut’s Blog.
While various revolutionary tech concepts such as AI and VR have changed how people interact today, there are few things more innovative in the landscape such as voice search.
Voice search hasn’t just changed how consumers interact with machines and products, but also, this intelligent new solution is also forcing companies to rethink how they approach SEO.
In a world where people are increasingly searching for what they want with natural speech, rather than a stream of quickly typed keywords, all companies need to look at their SEO from a new angle.
In 2020, 50% of online searches are likely to be conducted using some manner of voice search. Fortunately, there are ways that you can adapt to this new technology.
Here are our five top tips on how to get ready for the voice revolution.
#1. Be More Conversational
In the early days of SEO, people plugged keywords and phrases into their content at every opportunity. They didn’t worry about whether the content sounded bizarre or disjointed as a result, because Google didn’t check for flow or writing quality in older algorithms.
As the search engines began to change, keyword-stuffed content was quickly replaced with more insightful, human and in-depth pieces of writing.
Moving into 2020 and the years ahead, the rise of voice search will make modern content even richer and more conversational.
Your SEO strategy will be based on answering customer questions in a natural and organic manner. For instance, rather than trying to rank for “voice search strategies 2020”, you should target “How to optimize for voice search in 2020”
Write how you and your customers speak, and you’ll automatically be better-suited to rank in the age of voice search.
#2. Think Local
According to Search Engine Watch, voice searches conducted via mobile are 3 times more likely to be local than text-based searches.
When people are talking to their smart assistants, they’re usually looking for “the best pizza near me”, or “Local restaurants”, rather than just searching for basic information.
If you own a business that can serve local customers, your SEO plan should focus on targeting the clients who are near you.
You can refer to nearby landmarks in your keyword strategy or just add the phrase “near me” to some of your keywords to boost your ranking.
Making sure that you’ve set up with Google My Business is another excellent idea. This service will ensure that you can add a wide selection of useful information to your website that appeals to your potential clients.
For instance, you can add your business address, working hours, phone number, and even your website URL into your listing.
Remember, since voice search can be very precise, such as “Which pharmacy is open 24/7”, the more detailed you can be, the better.
#3. Target Google’s Snippets
Voice search isn’t as generous at providing users with information and options as the traditional search engine result pages.
Your clients won’t get many URLs to click on. Usually, if a person uses a voice search assistant, they’ll get a single response based on what’s available in the “featured snippet” section of the Google results.
Although there’s no recipe for success that will automatically guarantee your website a place in the featured snippets, there are a few things that you can try.
For instance, adding structured data into your HTML coding is useful, as it helps search engines to read your content more easily. Schema markup will help you control you present information about your business in a snippet which can make it easier to reach the top spot.
Another way to boost your chances of getting into the featured snippets is to make sure you understand user intent. Give relevant and concise responses to customer questions in your content.
#4. Be Mobile Friendly
If you want to succeed in the era of voice search, then you need to make sure that your content is well-optimized for the mobile landscape too.
Mobile compatibility has been a must of any good SEO strategy for years now. Desktops are quickly losing the race for attracting internet traffic. The majority of voice searches are conducted through mobile devices.
The good news is that there are a lot of things that today’s businesses can do to make sure that they’re optimized for mobile. For instance, make sure you have optimized images and text, as well as compressed files to help your pages load quickly on any device.
You can also make sure that your website is designed to work just as smoothly on a smartphone as it is on a desktop. Avoid any difficult-to-reach buttons or complex navigation that might force your customer to hit the back button.
#5. Get to Know Your Customers
Finally, one of the best things you can do to ensure that you’re ready for the era of voice search is to get to know your audience better.
Voice search isn’t just a solution reserved for the most tech-savvy people with their own smart assistants anymore. Everyone is looking for a simpler and more convenient method of searching. Industry 4.0 is leading the way for voice search to become the norm for most customers.
Getting to know your customers and how they speak will ensure that you’re ready for the future of voice search. This means not just collecting data, but also listening to your audience everywhere you can.
Gather information from social media and collect feedback from your sales teams. Ask your customers to respond to questions in online competition and analyze their speech patterns.
If you can get used to the slang, colloquialisms, and other language terms that your customers use, then you can tailor your SEO to suit how they speak.
Be Ready for Voice
The rise of voice search might still be in its infancy, but it’s growing at an incredible pace. In 2020, the demand for voice search will continue to rise, to a point where eventually, more searches will be conducted through voice than text.
If your business hasn’t evolved beyond text-centric SEO yet, now is the time to do so.
Ashley Wilson is a content creator, writing about business and technology. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.