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Why Voice Search Will Dominate SEO in 2020

October 06, 2020 | 4 minutes to read

If you’ve ever found yourself asking your phone “Hey Google, Hey Siri, or Hey Alexa” then you’re more than familiar with voice search. Since the first introduction of smart phones, voice search has seen growing popularity as a hands-free alternative to browsing popular search engines. In recent years, this trend has only continued to increase as more people are inclined to use voice commands for their on-the-go searching needs. Many digital marketing companies in Sonoma County agree voice search shows no evidence of slowing down any time soon.

What Is Voice Search?

At this point, you may be wondering exactly what voice search is and how it can impact your business. Specifically, voice search is the act of querying Google (and other search engines) using a mobile voice assistant like Siri, Google Voice, or Amazon Alexa to navigate to relevant information to their search.  One key distinction between voice search and a regular Google search is the tonality and way of speaking that the questions are posed in. Text searches tend to be very quick and brief whereas voice searches may be phrased more naturally. This is an important distinction between the two that we will discuss further a bit later on.

Voice search continues to show signs of rapid growth as studies show that nearly half of all searches are done with the assistance of voice assistants. So in an ever increasing, interconnected digital world how do you maximize your digital presence and take advantage of voice search?

One cannot perform well on voice searches simply by following the same tactics that they use for traditional local SEO. Voice search optimization needs to be tailored appropriately to in order to rank well. It is important to understand that as voice search becomes increasingly common, optimizing your website for users navigating via voice search is vital. So, let’s explore some of the best methods to help optimize your site for voice searches.

 

How Can I Optimize My Site to Leverage Voice Search?

The first thing to note regarding voice search optimization is knowing that the vast majority of voice searches are done using mobile devices. This means that having an efficient, quick website is key to maximizing your voice search results. Ensuring that you have a fast website includes items like optimizing any images, compressing files to their smallest workable size, and ensuring the site has a responsive design on both desktop and mobile. These factors together will help the site be as fast as possible which helps immensely when speed is the name of the game.

Write Content to be Conversational

When creating content, it is important to live by one specific phrase: write how you speak! This point is already important for traditional content marketing. However, it is crucial in optimizing for voice search. Google searches tend to be quick, brief phrases whereas voice searches are full sentences. For example, if I was trying to find a roofing company in Sonoma County, I may type in “top roofers in Sonoma County”. However, if I was using voice search I may ask “Hey Siri, show me the top three roofing companies in Sonoma County”.

Voice searches tend to be much more conversational in nature than traditional searches. The two aforementioned examples are what we call long-tail and short-tail key phrases. Long-tail keyword phrases can be just as valuable as short-tail phrases for traditional SEO with the added benefit of ranking highly on voice search results as well. Though the keywords phrases may be short, it is important to note that long-form content (greater than 1000 words) tends to rank better and provide more relevant information for web visitors than shorter content.

Aim for a Featured Snippet

When it comes to content marketing, featured snippets are the golden goose. Having your information selected as a featured snippet means that Google has noticed it and found it relevant enough to be presented at the top of the page in “Position Zero”. Simply put, having a featured snippet means that your information appears at the top of the page for that specific question bar none.

Focus on Local Geographies

A large portion of voice searches are done with a location modifier, be it “near me” or “in my town”. By focusing on local searches you enable Google to help narrow down your relevant content and help these users find your business. Oftentimes, when users signify a location in their search it shows that they have intent to purchase or make a decision. Whether this means focusing on “near me” phrases or simply including reference to your location on your site and content, opting for a local search focus can help businesses be found more in the local sphere they are trying to target.

As an added bonus, ranking for phrases targeting local SEO is much easier than trying to rank for national SEO phrases. In this case, a local SEO example is “plumbers in Sonoma County” whereas a national SEO phrase would just be “plumbers”. Understandably, there are many more people competing for rankings on just plumbers than with the geography indicator attached.

So What Should My Takeaways Be?

It’s simple to see that adapting a SEO campaign to include phrases and strategy based on voice search optimization is a path forward that many businesses should move towards. In short, it is imperative to ensure that your business’s digital growth strategy incorporates the following points:

  • Ensure your website loads fast
  • Write the way you speak
  • Include featured blocks of content
  • Concentrate on local searches

Not sure where to start? WSI Smart Marketing is a full-service digital marketing company in Sonoma County. Our team of professionals has the ability and the expertise to help your business find the digital growth you are looking for. In fact, we’ve been doing so for many clients since the founding of the Internet. To discuss your digital marketing goals, please call us at (707) 843-3714.

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