The popularity of voice search has been growing for quite some time but the use of voice search skyrocketed beyond expectations in the past couple of years, thanks to virtual assistants on mobile devices. This has changed the way people search for information online and how search engines ‘see’ content. In fact, writing voice search-optimised content is a necessity if you really want to cater to the needs of your audience and stay on top of search results when more people start using Voice-based Search.
In simple words, voice search is the youngest kid on the black and businesses must gear up for it to keep getting organic traffic.
Voice Search: Brief Introduction
Voice Search is a revolutionary change in how people search for information online. So, before moving further we will tell a bit more about this game-changer. First and foremost, understand what voice search is.
It entails requesting or searching for information by giving a voice command to a mobile or computer (virtual assistant) instead of typing is basically a voice search. In the nascent stages, voice search on Google was no less than a nightmare. You could not speak in a formal tone to get the information you were looking for since the virtual assistants could not understand your question or have the intelligence to find the exact information you were looking for. However, today you can ask the voice assistant simple questions and it would be able to provide you with the best-suited results.
Voice Search and Google
The journey of Google to provide users with the best results started with the ‘Knowledge Graph’, which is a massive database designed for public information. After this, Hummingbird came to light. This considerably improved the core algorithm of Google and made the use of voice search possible. To sum up the journey of voice search in minimal words, we can only say that it has improved a lot in the last few years, but many more milestones are still to come as Google finetunes its algorithms to give you expected results.
Tips for Writing Voice-SEO Optimised Content
Even though updates to search engine algorithms are quite useful, solely relying on them is not going to help you in the long run. It is because search engines will strive to provide better information to their customers and give preference to websites that provide direct answers to their customer’s questions.
To make the most of these updates and changes, you will need to optimise your content to meet the parameters set by the search engines. Failure in doing so can significantly affect your ranking and even attract a penalty lowering your ranking in the search results. Here are a few tips for writing content optimised for voice search:
#1. Understand Searchers’ Intent
User intent is what you need to focus on when it comes to Voice Search. Understanding the intentions of your users will help you provide them with the services, products and information that would please them. There are mainly four types of user intent, namely:
- Information Intent: This is the most common type of user intent. This is used when the user has a specific query or question and they need solutions.
- Commercial Intent: This is the intent in which the users search for the products and services they want to get in the future.
- Transactional Intent: Purchase of products and services online is quite common and this is the reason for transactional intent.
- Navigational Intent: This is the intent in which the users are looking for a specific website or webpage.
It is good to know the user’s intent and do adequate research to provide them with relevant information.
#2. Research for Long-tail Keywords
Using a voice search engine means being conversational. Start looking at the ways how people search for information through voice search. People usually ask questions as if they are talking to human beings. This user behaviour calls for the research and use of long-tail keywords and phrases. Look at the following to find the right long-tail keywords for your content:
- Work on Google suggestions
- Use related searches by Google
- Use keyword research tools like Google Trends
- Check internet forum sites such as Yahoo Answers, Quora, Reddit, etc.
The best way to make Voice-SEO optimised content is to create questions that your potential users can ask a search engine/virtual assistant for information and then answer those questions promptly.
#3 PerfectYour Structured Data
Search engines are constantly working on refining their algorithms to understand the way different people speak and how to find relevant information to answer the user’s questions. You can help search engines understand human language through your web copies. For this, you must improve the structured data and work towards perfecting it. This will help search engines direct the users towards you.
#4 Focus on Making it to Position Zero in SERP (Featured Snippets)
Have you ever noticed that when you type something on Google, it shows answers directly from a website at the very top of the page? It is called SERP snippets or the ‘Position Zero’. When a voice search assistant answers a query, it will read out the featured snippet in most cases to answer the questions. Here are a few points to keep in mind if you want to make it to the coveted Position Zero:
- Do thorough keyword research so that you answer the questions properly by including the required information
- Create a Schema to make sure that the data can be pulled up to be featured at Position Zero
- Always start your post with a direct answer and if you cannot do this, try to write the direct questions that your customer can ask before answering them promptly
#5 Make Your Website Mobile-friendly
Search engines have started giving preference to mobile-friendly websites. This is because the number of searches on mobile has overtaken the ones conducted on desktops. Since mobile is one of the main sources of voice search, it is important to have a mobile-friendly website to get organic traffic to your website. You can use several tools to determine and enhance the mobile-friendliness of your website. And of course, keep the basic requirements of such content and layout in your mind while creating content. Some important points have been listed here:
- Always write bite-sized paragraphs, 2-3 lines
- Use bullet points, sub-headings and list-based content
- Remove non-optimised images
- Keep your content concise
- Use white spaces properly
#6 Answer Queries in the First Paragraph or in a Separate Section on the Page
To acquire ‘Position Zero’ on the SERPs, it is essential to give straightforward answers to the queries. In addition to this, create content which is easy to read as well as hear. You can also answer frequently asked questions to create content perfect for voice-based search. One more thing to note down here is that people generally use similar words, keywords and phrases while conducting a voice search. So, it is suggested to understand the kind of queries they usually ask and phrases of words you hear repeatedly. With this, you will be able to answer queries in your content.
#7 Optimise the Existing Pages
If you want to keep ranking high in search results and get organic traffic, it is advisable to check the content published on your website and optimise it for voice search now. You need to determine exactly which queries you are trying to answer through your content and then make sure that the content directly answers the questions. In-depth research will help you understand your visitors and provide them with better information.
Putting yourself in the visitors’ shoes will help you write content which can be easily optimised for voice search. This revolution has brought a change in the way people interact with businesses through search engines. You can improve your chances of being noticed by people by creating content for voice search.
If you want to improve your ability to reach out to your targeted customers or are interested in talking to our experts to know more about voice search, get in touch with us.
This post originally appeared on our earlier website: ihusresearch.com