Voice recognition systems aren’t nascent. In the 1960s, IBM released its first speech recognition system, namely “Shoebox.” Today, voice-enabled assistants like Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri have made voice-enabled searches more popular.
It’s estimated that by 2024, there will be 8.4 billion digital voice assistants around the globe. Elsewhere, the global market for voice recognition tools will reach a value of $26.8 billion by 2025.
About 90% of consumers find voice searches “faster and more convenient” than text searches. This means that consumer brands must be more aware of expanding their SEO strategies beyond text-based search.
How Can Voice Search Enhance SEO And Website Search Functionality
Why should consumer brands optimize their site for voice search? For a start, voice search is no longer a “passing fad” — it’s slowly becoming the preferred search method. As per the latest research, around 3.25 billion are already using voice-activated search. Users find “smart” voice-activated devices much more convenient, faster, and friendlier than typing in a search query.
Through voice search, brands have the opportunity to tap into organic search, irrespective of the industry. It enables them to tap into the user base that prefers using voice-activated search to learn more about products and services.
Voice search optimization also enables brands to improve their SEO efforts. Most popular search engines are now optimized for voice search — thus ranking voice-enabled sites higher on search engine results.
That said, here are some of the benefits of optimizing websites for voice search:
- Improves the listing of the website against voice search queries, thus improving brand awareness among the target users
- Provides valuable information about offered products or services to online users. The fact that users can conveniently find the most relevant content amplifies their engagement with the brand and works to build user trust and recognition.
- With voice search, companies can expand their brand appeal to consumers with special needs, thanks to improved accessibility. As such, they have a wider market to promote their products or services.
Optimizing a website for voice searches is much different from traditional text-based search. Let’s see how.
How To Optimize Websites For Voice Searches
Humans do not talk the same way that they type. This means that brands must have a different SEO strategy for voice-based search. For example, instead of typing, “Apple stores near me,” they may ask the question, “Which is the nearest Apple store?”
Here are some tips and best practices to optimize websites for voice searches:
1. Include Conversational Queries As Keywords
To optimize any website for voice search, brands must include long-tail and conversational keywords in their SEO strategy. Besides, in voice search, users are more likely to use complete sentences or filler words in their queries. This requires that websites focus on keywords along with the extra words to capture more organic traffic.
2. Improve Local SEO
For brick-and-mortar stores and locally operating businesses, in particular, it’s essential to improve local SEO. This is because most voice search users may search for products or services using local cues — for example, “What are the best spas near me?” or “Find a carpenter in XYZ location.”
Here’s how to improve the local SEO:
- Create and update a local Google business profile
- Aim to capture Google’s featured snippets for the targeted set of keywords
- Optimize the website for mobile phones
3. Utilize Schema Markup
Schema markup works for both voice and text-based SEO. It provides key website information like the company’s name, address, contact numbers, and customer reviews. With it, indexing bots on search engines can understand the website content and improve its search engine visibility. Effectively, schema markup contributes to a better ranking for websites for text and voice queries.
4. Create Informative Content
Along with conversational keywords, websites must also include conversational content that is more likely to appeal to customers. Websites with informative content prove more viable for voice search results. To build informative content, brands must understand what their customers speak about and their interests. Additionally, companies can monitor how consumers interact with the brand on the website and social media pages.
5. Focus On Semantic Search
Semantic searches define users’ intent. By focusing on semantic search, companies can cater their content to address exactly what users are looking for. For instance, the search phrase “pharmacies in Canada” could signify either of the following intents:
- Nearest pharmacy stores in Canada
- Details about the pharmacy industry in Canada
Depending on the intent, companies can optimize their website content to display the answer on the search results page.
Going forward, voice-activated search is likely to become even more popular. As the number of voice-activated devices proliferate, consumer brands can no longer “put off” optimizing their websites for voice-based search. They need a comprehensive SEO strategy for both voice and text search.
At EnFuse, our SEO services allow organizations to optimize their content for the most relevant search queries, drive local SEO success, assess the performance of the website and SEO endeavors, and more. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you win with voice search.