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Optimizing for Voice Search

With the growth and mass production of smart technology we now have access to information and entertainment like never before. With products like the Google Nest or Amazon Echo, just one or two sentences can get you a vast array of information in seconds. The best part about these two devices is that you don’t even have to type out the sentences, just use Voice Search.

 

Voice Search is a technology that has been up and coming over the past 18 years. It originally came to market in 2002 when Google introduced it to their regular Google Search page. Since then, companies such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Roku have all added it to their products capabilities.

Why is Voice Search Becoming So Popular

The main reason Voice Search is growing in popularity is because searching using your voice is 3.7 times faster than typing out a query. On average, people type 38-40 words per minute. This range increases to 110-150 words per minute when someone speaks instead of types. Getting a question asked sooner ultimately gets you the answer quicker. So it should come as no surprise that more people are ditching the keyboard for microphones.

 

Additionally, Voice Search is a breeze to use on mobile. People already talk to their phones every day so using it for Voice Search is a seamless transition. Not to mention typing out “Where to find the best sushi in the Greater Nashville Area” on a smartphone is awful. Saying it however, is much quicker and easier. 

How to Optimize

The first step in optimizing anything is keyword research. The same step is required for optimizing content for Voice Search but with a little caveat. Voice search requires more conversational keywords and keyword phrases. 

 

For example, using one word keywords such as “SEO”, “Agency”, and “Nashville” won’t work as well for a query. Changing those one word keywords to a conversational keyword phrase such as, “Who are the best SEO Agencies in Nashville”, will ultimately work better for a Voice Search query. Additionally, you don’t want to optimize an entire page around these long conversational keywords. It’s better to just sprinkle them throughout your content because Google will pick up on it wherever it is on the page.

 

On top of making your keywords more conversational, another great way to rank for Voice Searches is by building a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page. Voice results are 1.7x more likely to come from a FAQ page. Also, Google tends to respond to voice queries in about 30 words. Building a FAQ page with question keyword phrases and short 30 word answers can help your voice rankings significantly. 

 

Lastly, getting your content to rank as a featured snippet will help tremendously. A little more than 40% of Voice Search results are from a featured snippet. It’s also worth noting that Amazon Echo and Google Home only provide a search with one answer. So if you want to be the answer they provide, getting a featured snippet is a top priority.

Where is Voice Search Going

As of now 50% of all online searches are done via voice. In the year 2020 it’s popularity is expected to continue to increase, making it the most commonly used method for online searching. Much like Visual Search, Voice Search is just another way to make learning, business, and life that much easier.

-Written by Jonah Ericksen

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