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Tips for optimising for voice search and voice-activated devices

Tips for optimising for voice search

Voice search is a rapidly growing technology that allows users to interact with search engines and digital assistants using spoken language. It's essential for SEO professionals to understand and optimise for voice search because it has the potential to significantly impact search engine rankings and user engagement.

The adoption of voice search is increasing with the uptake of voice-activated and hands-free devices. Here are some tips on how to optimise for voice search

Understand How Voice Search Works:

  • Voice search relies on natural language processing and speech recognition technology to understand user queries.

  • It often provides direct answers to user questions, so optimising for question-based queries is crucial.

Use Conversational Keywords:

  • Incorporate conversational and long-tail keywords that mimic how people speak naturally.

  • Focus on question-based keywords like "what," "how," "where," and "why."

Optimise for Local Search:

  • Many voice searches are location-based, so ensure your website is optimised for local SEO. Users may use hand free voice-activated devices to search for services in their area for example "Hey Google, where is the nearest tyre repair place to my location?"

  • Include location-specific keywords and create Google My Business listings.

Featured Snippets and Structured Data:

  • Google often pulls information from featured snippets to answer voice search queries.

  • Implement structured data markup to make it easier for search engines to understand and display your content as featured snippets. This will help your ranking potential

Mobile-Friendly and Fast Loading:

  • Voice searches are frequently performed on mobile devices, so ensure your website is mobile-responsive and loads quickly.

Create Comprehensive Content:

  • Develop content that thoroughly answers common questions related to your niche.

  • Use clear headings and bullet points for easy scanning.

Focus on User Intent:

  • Understand the user's intent behind voice queries and tailor your content accordingly.

Growing adoption of voice search:

According to a study by PwC, 65% of 25-49-year-olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once a day.
ComScore predicts that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2023. reported that there were 4.2 billion voice assistants in use across devices in 2020.

What SEO professionals need to know

SEO professionals need to understand the importance of voice search because it impacts several key areas:

  1. Search Engine Rankings: Websites optimised for voice search have a better chance of appearing in voice search results, which can lead to increased visibility and traffic.

  2. User Experience: Voice search is all about providing quick and accurate answers. Optimising for voice search often results in a better user experience, which can lead to higher user satisfaction and engagement.

  3. BERT and EAT: Voice search is closely related to Google's BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) algorithm and EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) guidelines. BERT helps Google understand the context of natural language queries, while EAT emphasises the importance of high-quality, authoritative content. Optimising for voice search often involves aligning with these principles.

Voice optimisation on other platforms

Voice optimisation is not limited to just search engines like Google. Many voice-enabled platforms and devices, such as Amazon Alexa and Apple devices, can benefit from voice optimisation and meet the growing customer expectation on how to interact with brands.

Amazon Alexa and Echo Devices:

  • Amazon's Alexa-powered devices are some of the most popular voice assistants in homes worldwide.

  • Importance: Optimising for Alexa can help your brand or business reach users in their daily lives. Users can ask Alexa for information, make purchases, and interact with various skills (voice apps). If your content or service is voice-optimised, it can be integrated into Alexa Skills, expanding your reach and providing a new channel for engagement.

  • Example: If you run a recipe website, you can optimise your content so that users can say, "Alexa, ask [your skill] for a chicken curry recipe," and Alexa will provide the information from your site.

Apple Devices (Siri):

  • Siri is Apple's voice assistant, available on iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and HomePods.

  • Importance: Optimising for Siri can help your content or app be easily discoverable and usable on Apple devices. Siri is used for various tasks, including searching the web, setting reminders, sending messages, and controlling smart home devices. Ensuring your content or service is voice-accessible on Apple devices can improve user experience and engagement.

  • Example: If you have a mobile app, optimising it for Siri integration can enable users to perform actions using voice commands, enhancing convenience and accessibility.

Smart Home Devices and IoT:

  • Voice assistants are integrated into an increasing number of smart home devices, including thermostats, light bulbs, and security systems.

  • Importance: Optimising for these devices can provide a seamless experience for users who control their smart homes through voice commands. Brands that offer smart home products or services can leverage voice optimisation to enhance user convenience and compete in the IoT market.

  • Example: A smart home security system can allow users to arm or disarm it using voice commands, making it more user-friendly.

Automotive Systems (e.g., Google Assistant, Apple CarPlay):

  • Voice assistants are integrated into modern vehicles through systems like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

  • Importance: Optimising content for voice in vehicles is essential for user safety and convenience while driving. Users can ask for directions, make calls, or access music and content hands-free, reducing distractions.

  • Example: An optimised restaurant website can provide voice-based navigation to the nearest location and read out menus to drivers using voice commands via these systems.

Chatbots and Customer Support:

  • Chatbots and virtual assistants in customer support can benefit from voice optimisation.

  • Importance: Offering voice support through chatbots or virtual assistants can enhance customer service accessibility and reduce wait times. Voice-optimised chatbots can understand and respond to voice queries efficiently.

  • Example: An e-commerce website can integrate a voice-enabled chatbot to assist customers in finding products, checking order status, or answering common queries.

Incorporating voice optimisation strategies across these platforms can expand your brand's reach, improve user engagement, and adapt to the growing trend of voice-enabled interactions across various devices and contexts. It's essential to consider these platforms in your holistic digital strategy to remain competitive and provide a seamless voice experience to users wherever they interact with your brand.

Voice search is a rapidly growing technology that SEO professionals should not ignore. By understanding how voice search works and implementing the tips mentioned above, you can enhance your website's visibility, user experience, and relevance in the voice search era.

Additionally, optimising for voice search aligns with Google's BERT and EAT guidelines, making it crucial for SEO success.

Making your website content compliant with voice search not only allows for a better discoverability and user experience but will give businesses a leading competitive edge building brand and a strong customer base.

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