30 Nov What is Voice Search, and How Will it Impact SEO? What You Need to Know!
Alexa, Siri and Cortana – along with the unanthropomorphic Google Assistant – may seem like members of the family, (perhaps the only ones who’ll listen to you) but they represent a serious change in the SEO game. According to Backlinko, voice search isn’t the next big thing. It’s already here. So now, the next big project on your company’s to-do list (along with optimizing your video content for SEO) is optimizing your SEO for searches based on the sound of someone’s voice instead of taps on a keypad.
Here’s what you need to know about this brave new world of search, and how to not get left behind in the SERPs!
The rapid leap to voice search isn’t hard to understand. As most people access search engines on their mobile phone, it’s much easier to speak a query than use the keypad. Even at home, an ever-decreasing number of searches are conducted on a desktop computer. The popularity of the afore-mentioned digital voice assistants make voice searches even more convenient.
While voice search is undeniably beneficial for end-users, business – that is, their websites and web developers – have some cause for concern. A traditional search brings up numerous results on screen, although only the first few are meaningful from a search ranking standpoint. Still, the user has the opportunity to choose from several results provided. Voice search, however, typically provides only one result.
Valuable voice search tips
As Vincent Lambert – president and co-founder of digital media agency TactikMedia – reports for Torque, making sure that all of your website’s pages are optimized for voice search is essential. Different voice search engines require different kinds of optimization. For your convenience, Lambert’s list is as follows:
Google Assistant – Focus on a local pack and featured snippet. Together with this, Google play optimization is also taken into consideration to offer relevant results.
Alexa – Pays attention to Bing places, featured snippets and Yelp.
Cortana – Do better optimization for Microsoft App store.
Siri – Optimize according to Google Assistant and also develop Siri-compatible applications.
Bing – We can see in all the four voice search processes, three of them Apple’s Siri, Cortana, and Alexa take in Bing search for basic information rescue. Facebook is also joining the league and Google obviously powers its very own Google Assistant.
Lambert further recommends paying attention to local listings and featured snippets, regardless of which search engine you give favor to. Speaking of those featured snippets, Search Engine Land columnist Bryson Meunier elaborates on optimizing for them in voice search.
“Understanding voice search queries could help us better understand the types of queries that surface featured snippets,” Meunier writes. “As marketers, we could then devote time and resources to providing the best answer for the most common featured snippets in hopes of getting promoted to position zero.
“This helps marketers drive credibility to their brand when Google reads their best answer to the searcher, potentially driving traffic to the site from the Google Home app.
“And this helps Google because they benefit when featured snippets provide good answers and the searcher is satisfied with the Google Home results. The better the service, the more consumers will use it — and potentially buy more Google Home units or Android phones because they think the service is worthwhile.”
How voice search will impact SEO?
So is traditional search as we know it doomed, headed for obsolescence? Returning to Lambert’s observations, he writes: “Voice search is simply an additional interface and is not expected to replace old SEO in any case. This may change the technique or add some tasks to SEO optimization but won’t kill the good old SEO of course.”
This aligns with the insights that Kameron Jenkins, SEO Wordsmith at Moz revealed to us for our July 27, 2018 blog post, “Understanding Consumer Behavior in Digital Marketing.”
“If consumers’ transition from desktop to mobile is any indication, our transition from mobile to personal assistants will be just as rapid,” says Jenkins. “And we’re already seeing that. comScore’s research predicted that half of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 – that’s not even two years away… I don’t believe mobile and desktop are going anywhere. I just think that it’ll be more important now than ever for marketers to give equal weight to a multitude of devices.”
To make sure you’re ahead of the SEO curve, regardless of search method or device, Virtual Stacks Systems has a dedicated SEO department that can ensure your website is fully and seamlessly optimized to rank at the top of the SERPs. Contact us to learn how we can help you achieve your marketing goals.