What Is Google Voice Search?
Google Voice Search or Search by Voice is a Google product that allows users to search the web by speaking on a mobile phone or computer rather than typing.
In order to use this feature, the searchers must say a wake-up phrase, which is ‘OK, Google’ and wait for the words ‘Say Your Search Keywords’. This can be done either by hands-free voice command or by tapping on the microphone icon found beside the Google search field.
Inception of Google Voice Search:
Google Voice Search was born in Google Labs in 2010. Initially, it required users to call a phone number from their mobile device, after which they were made to prompt a recorded message to ‘Say Your Search Keywords’.
In the subsequent years, Google integrated its voice recognition technology into Google Products such as Google Maps, Google Now and other underlying search engine technologies. Today, Google Voice Search has become an integral part of Google’s experience and is compatible with lots of applications.
Growing Popularity of Voice Search Queries:
Data obtained from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report has revealed that use of Voice Search has increased sevenfold since 2010. As of May 2016, one out of five searches is a voice search. Andrew Ng, the former chief scientist at Chinese search engine Baidu, speculated that by 2020, around 50% of searches will be made through voice recognition technology.
How to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search?
So, by this time, you might be wondering how to make your website friendlier to voice searches. If you are using the best SEO practices, then you have only little thing to do. However, we have come up with effectual tips that will give you ideas on dominating voice search.
Create Contents Using Long Tail Keywords:
Your content should address the needs of both the mobile users and the desktop users. These two types of searchers are entirely different, and the content you build must gratify both the type of users. Searchers who use voice search will be looking for immediate and quick answer while those who type queries will undertake extensive researches.
One of the best ways to gratify both types of searchers is to build content using long tail keywords. While long tail keywords are extensively used in voice queries, it can fetch more relevant contents, which would be beneficial for desktop users as well. In simple words, content build using long tail keywords will be appealing to both types of searchers.
Build Mobile-Friendly Contents:
As voice search is conducted extensively via mobile devices, optimizing your content for mobile will help attracting, engaging and retaining existing and potential customers. According to a study by HubSpot, websites or contents that are poorly optimized for mobile have a higher bounce rate. This means that voice search should be your priority when running a mobile optimization campaign.
Focus On Mobile Page Speed:
It’s not just enough to build a responsive website, but should also focus on how it loads and performs. Searchers using voice queries are typically on the move and expect quick answers. So, loading speed is more important for mobile users than desktop users. Apart from optimizing images, you will want to minify code and reduce redirects.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights will provide up-to-date information on improving the speed of your mobile site. You can also use Google’s ‘Mobile Friendly Test’ tool to make sure if your website adheres to Google’s mobile algorithm guidelines.
Optimize For Local Listing:
Optimizing your mobile website for localized search terms will increase brand awareness as well as foot traffic. Mobile users will search about local business by adding ‘near me’ or the specific location at the end. When you optimize your website for geo-targeting keywords, it will be easier for search bots to crawl and index your website. It also gives your website more visibility in the search engines for relevant voice queries.
Moreover, when listing on online directories including Google My Business, you must provide accurate and up-to-date information about your business. Name, address and phone number of your business must be consistent in all directories.
Despite the popularity of voice search, accessing reliable analytics and metrics to build a solid strategy can still be difficult. However, paid search can be used to assess the impression and determine the queries conducted on mobile.
At present, there is no special mechanism to determine voice search queries. However, mobile searches can be filtered to identify which of these mobile queries are voice search based. Using analytics and metrics is proven to be beneficial in formulating voice search strategies that can deliver successful results in terms of engagement and conversion.
Use Schema Metadata:
Schema is a markup language that allows site owners and webmasters to provide additional information about your site to search engines. Furthermore schema allows you to elaborately describe about the data on your website. This makes it easier for Google to understand what your website is about, which in turn increases visibility.
Schema Metadata is one of the potential yet rarely utilized SEO practices. So, if you implement schema markup to your site, you can put yourself ahead of the curve and dominate your competitors.
Whenever a user instigates a voice search, they want a quick answer for a little input. Nothing can be more frustrating than getting a list of search results when you need an answer in a timely manner. This is especially true in case of voice searches.
The mobile users will use voice search queries to find an answer on the go. In order to cater to this type of answers, Google has introduced Quick Answer Box or a featured snippet that displays a summary of an answer relevant to the user’s search query.
To rank with Quick Answers, you need to find questions that people might be asking pertaining to your business. Then, give the answer to that question in bulleted points or a couple of sentences.
Undoubtedly, voice search will continue to become more responsive, accurate and intelligent. So, site owners and webmasters should get prepared for optimizing their website for mobile searches.