Once upon a time, Siri was a novelty used to pass the time and get a laugh from her endless mistakes. Nowadays, voice search has become a huge part of our lives and its popularity is going through the roof. Siri is living up to the Norse meaning of her name ‘beautiful woman who leads you to victory’, and could hold the secret to leading your business to victory.
So, how do voice searches affect SEO for blogs and websites?
Let’s start by looking at the facts…
Voice search currently makes up around 20% of all searches and half of all searches will be made by voice by 2020. Voice assistance technology is also rapidly improving in quality with frequent programming updates reducing word error rates from over 20% in 2012 to a low 8% in 2017.
It makes voice searches a convenient and hands-free alternative, which is perfect for multi-tasking. Whether your audience is travelling in the car between work meetings or school drop-offs, cooking in the kitchen or juggling armfuls of shopping, you should consider the impact of voice search on your content and SEO results.
So why does voice search affect SEO for your content?
For starters, natural speech patterns make voice searches very different to type searches. We often type in shorthand and broken sentences such as ‘choosing business insurance.’ When we voice search, we generally use a complete question or add more detail such as ‘how do I choose the right insurance for my business?’, or ‘what type of insurance do I need for my retail business?’
The more specific your audience is with their searches the less search results will be thrown up by Google, which offers your business a better chance of hitting the top of the search rankings.
Removing general spelling errors improves the accuracy of search results, of course, but if your business name or key product or service is spelt unusually or different to the way it sounds, you may have to work a little harder to rank in voice search results.
When writing content, it’s actually easier to incorporate SEO for voice searches. Rather than having to use broken sentences and individual keywords such as ‘storage Sydney’ or ‘best storage Sydney’, you use longer phrases that are similar to the way we speak. Something like ‘storage service in Sydney’ or ‘the best storage company in Sydney’.
You should also consider using questions as blog post titles. When we search a question, the first few results are often a blog post titled with the question, or a forum where another person has asked the same exact question. Taking a look at your FAQs will give you a number of ready-made blog post topics that improve your search rankings and help to navigate users to your website.
‘How does the graphic design process work?’
‘What can I expect when working with a buyer’s agent?’
‘How much does a good removalist cost in Sydney?
You can easily write a blog post answering any of the above questions and naturally steer your audience towards your service or products.
The rise in voice search popularity hammers home the importance of having a responsive mobile version of your website and blog posts. There’s no point leading people to your newly voice search optimised website if the pages are hard to read or you can’t quickly navigate to a contact or purchase page.
SEO may seem like a minefield at times but every change in Search Engine Land is nearly always because Google (and the other ones) want you to create good content that their users are actually trying to find.
The good news? There are no gimmicks or tricks required. Creating accurate and well-written content for your site is the best thing you can do for voice search SEO.