Voice search is HUGE! And its immense popularity keeps on growing. But how can you use voice search for your organization? And how do you make sure you are found through voice search? This new way of searching, asks for a new way of optimizing. We show you how you get found, and how to use voice to improve the user experience and accessibility of your website.
So if you are ready to go all-in with voice, read on!
In this blog, you’ll discover:
- What voice search is
- How voice search announces a new way of searching
- How to optimize your platform with voice search SEO
- What you can do with voice with the help of Google’s Speech-to-Text API
Prior, you could only search by typing in your search query. Luckily, new ways of searching came to the surface: visual, local, and vocal! This made searching a whole lot easier and more accessible. With voice search, you can use your smartphone or a smart speaker like Google Home and Amazon Echo to get your answer in an instant, without even using your hands.
Talking is a lot faster than typing (even 3,7x as fast1), and because speech is recognized better and better throughout the years, it becomes even more popular. These handsfree search queries are also extremely useful during driving, cooking, or cleaning (or any other moment you have your hands full).
Voice search announces a new way of searching. The most significant changes are:
- People aren’t using 2 to 3 keywords to search anymore. Instead, they use entire sentences to get an answer to their question.
- The search intention is, therefore, a lot clearer than with a textual search. Google (and any other search assistant) instantly knows if you want to navigate somewhere or need more information.
- People get just one answer on their search, and will no longer need to scroll through a list of search results. 99% of all voice search results come from the top 10 search results in Google. Featured snippets have an even higher chance of being the answer used by the voice assistant2. So, getting the #0 search result is vital.
How you can deal with this new way of searching, is what you’ll learn below.
"Backlinko shows that the page speed of voice search results is 3,8 times faster than your average web page."
To ensure you get highlighted in Google’s search results, it’s essential to keep on using commonly known SEO techniques. Think of focusing on the right keywords and writing in a natural way, but also the speed and security of your website are crucial. Research by Backlinko shows that the page speed of voice search results is 3,8 times faster than your average web page1.
Of course, speed isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. These tips help you optimize your website so you enhance your chance of becoming the voice search result:
- Focus on question-driven content: Voice search users search in entire sentences, so it only makes sense to include these questions in your content. Find out which questions are asked using the AnswerThePublic tool and get started with long-tail keywords. Tip: Discover which questions are asked in every step of the experience journey, with our experience journey framework filled with examples to help you out ;)
- Make sure your answer is short but sweet: Google changes from an search engine to an answer engine. Even without a voice search, you won’t need to click your way through the many search results. Instead, Google shows the right answer in one paragraph or tells it to you. Many times this paragraph is proven to be even shorter than 30 words1. This doesn’t mean that you have to create short web pages, each answering one question. Ideally, you create longer pages about the same subject, answering multiple questions around that topic. This enhances the chance of Google finding a complete match with the search query, which means a bigger chance for you to show in Google’s voice search result.
- Create a FAQ page that immediately shows the answers of frequently asked questions. This way, you don’t have to write entire blog articles to answer a question, but still make sure you have an answer when the question is asked.
- Optimize for a featured snippet: Over 40% of all voice search answers come from a featured snippet result1. A featured snippet is the first, or #0, search result that Google shows in a huge block in its search results.
- Optimize for local SEO: Voice search is frequently used when on the go and every search with a purchase intention shows local search results. Even 16% of all voice searches are focused on finding local products, services, or companies. Which is why you need to get started on local content, structured data, reviews, and optimizing your Google Business Profile.
- Get started on ranking your videos: Because voice searchers use entire sentences and with a human voice, a huge part of Google’s voice search results are videos. Google is even smart enough that it does not only link to the video, but shows you the parts within the video that answer your question AND the video is shown directly in Google.
"Create a voice search engine in your website using the Google Cloud Speech-To-Text API."
You can also extend the popularity of voice search to your own platform. Create a voice search engine in your website using the Google Cloud Speech-To-Text API. Your visitors won’t need to endlessly scroll through your articles in search of their answer, but can quickly ask their question and get to the right answer in an instant.
This API can also be used the other way around. For example, when you show video or audio content on your website, you can use this API to create transcriptions of these audio files. This way, your search engine can also sort through these files and show specific parts of a video or podcast within your search results. Now visitors won’t have to listen to an entire podcast or video but instantly get to the part that shows their answer. And that’s great for the user experience of your website.