understand the importance of this factor for SEO! – WAU
It is increasingly common to do a voice search on search engines, which are adapting to this new reality and, even, changing the ranking based on these searches. Find out more about it here!
Did you know that it is possible to do a search on Google without having to enter your search terms?
With the Google Chrome browser (both on the desktop and on a mobile device), we can select the microphone that is next to the search field and do a voice search.
There is also the possibility of using personal assistants such as:
- Siri, for those using the iOS operating system;
- Google Now, for users of the Android operating system;
- Cortana, for those who use Windows;
- Google Assistant (a kind of evolution of Google Now), which is also available for platforms other than Android;
- Bixby, for some Samsung cell phone models.
They understand voice commands and can help us do research on the web.
There are even more recent options, composed by voice assistants, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, devices whose main user interface is speech.
The interesting thing is that, in the case of Google Home, when you ask a question to the device, it can respond according to a web page, making it clear the source from which it extracted this information and even sending the link to the Google application. Home.
Given all these alternatives, we will see, in this post, how important the voice search factor can be for the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your website or blog.
We will see how Google handles this type of query, why the number of voice searches is increasing and what optimizations you can make on your web pages to improve your positioning for searches that use speech.
How does voice search work?
Google constantly makes improvements to its ranking algorithm, in order to offer the most relevant results for users’ searches.
One of these updates, which went live in 2013 and was nicknamed Hummingbird, was essential to the satisfactory performance of the voice search.
The main advantage of this update was that Google came to better understand users’ queries.
Instead of considering only the meaning of the keywords and listing the relevant results in that sense, the searcher started to interpret what is the intention and the context behind the searches.
That is, Google has come to give more value to the semantics of the content and how relevant it is to the user, taking into account what he is looking for and why.
If the algorithm judges that certain pages are more interesting to the user, it will list them 1st in the results, regardless of whether they have keywords corresponding to the search or not.
In addition to offering more suitable results according to what the user is looking for, this allowed the more efficient operation of voice searches.
Google has worked with natural language processing before, but in combination with the improvements of the Hummingbird update, the results were much more satisfactory.
It is worth mentioning that, in general, researches through speech have some different characteristics from written searches.
In a written search, it is common to use “robotic” terms (which we would not use in a conversation), such as “digital marketing strategies”.
In a voice search, we are more likely to use more complete questions, such as “what are the best digital marketing strategies today?”
Notice some aspects of consultations through speech:
In addition to sounding much more natural, they are more likely to have more terms than textual searches.
Still, these voice searches are not the majority. However, the trend is that they will increase exponentially!
And we will understand the reason below …
Why is the number of voice searches growing?
To understand the reasons why voice search is on the rise, we need to look at the growing use of mobile devices and the development of a chat interface.
Increase in accesses via mobile devices
We are already used to searching the internet using the keyboard, but it is important to note the increase in the number of accesses via mobile devices.
According to the company StatCounter, in 2016, the number of mobile devices surpassed the amount of desktop devices in terms of internet use, considering the whole world.
In London, research has confirmed, every year, that the smartphone is consolidated as the main means of accessing the internet.
Allied to this, we must consider that doing a search using speech tends to be much easier than typing the terms on the small screen of the smartphone.
This, of course, depending on the location and circumstance you are in.
Voice searches make more sense at home, in the car, on the street, etc., but they may not work very well in a queue, on public transport or in the workplace.
Another curiosity is that voice search is quite common for local searches.
This means that the location where the user is located is of great importance for the search engine query, as in “which restaurants are close to me?”.
Advancement of voice assist technology and conversational interfaces
We also have to remember the voice assist devices we mentioned at the beginning of the post.
Although we only have 2 more active players (Amazon and Google), we can expect new competitors in this market for the next few years.
We can even rely on the forecasts of the consulting firm Gartner, which publishes a list of emerging technologies every year.
In July 2017, she released a graph in which the user interfaces per conversation are among the trends that should become popular within 5 to 10 years.
Therefore, it is to be expected that voice search will become increasingly widespread, which will certainly require us to use new SEO techniques and strategies to keep our sites well positioned.
Let us see, then, how to think about this optimization taking into account searches via conversation.
How to optimize your website or blog for voice searches?
Now that we understand the context in which voice searches occur and why they will be increasingly important, we can think of good SEO practices to optimize your web pages.
Let’s see some of them!
Sign up for Google My Business
Google My Business is a resource where you provide data about your business to Google, such as address, phone number, images and opening hours.
If you have a store or physical establishment or operate in a specific region, your organization will have a good chance of appearing when users do local searches on the category of your business or issues related to your activities.
Since voice searches are of great importance in the context of localization – as we have seen previously -, keeping an updated record on Google My Business can be quite interesting to favor the positioning of your brand in search results.
Develop pages or posts with answers to frequently asked questions
Do you know what are the most frequently asked questions from consumers about your business?
Discovering them can be a great opportunity to create pages with answers to these questions and, thus, attract people who search with terms with a more conversational bias.
To find out what these frequently asked questions are, some of the best practices are:
- ask your sales representatives or customer service representatives to document the questions they receive over the phone, social media, email, etc .;
- check in Google Search Console which keywords in question tone bring more traffic to your site;
- use the AnswerThePublic.com website to find out what are the most searched questions on Google about your area of expertise.
Optimize your site to appear in featured snippets
Featured snippets are cards with concise responses, which appear right at the top of the results page and are therefore also known as “position 0 in Google”.
If we do a search for “how long is the film Matrix”, For example, we will see as a 1st result a box with the information“ 2h16min ”, the image referring to the feature and other related links.
The same happens when we ask about the weather forecast, foreign currency quotes and more.
When looking for “content marketing”, you will probably see a featured snippet from this blog.
This was only possible due to the consistent work of the Websites Are Us team and the freelancers who help to produce relevant content on the topic at marketingdeconteudo.com.
But what does this have to do with voice searches?
It’s simple: certain voice assistants and other solutions read the featured snippet or show it on the screen when the user asks a question.
Therefore, it is worth investing in the production of complete and informative materials about your business, your area of expertise and other related matters.
Although the search for typing lasts for a long time, it is undeniable that the search for voice will only grow in the coming years.
This will require decision makers who understand the importance of optimizing sites for search engines to think of new strategies to stay relevant and well positioned in the results.
In this scenario, the organizations most concerned with reaching customers and potential customers according to geolocation criteria will prosper, and especially those most dedicated to helping their audience find exactly what they are looking for.
If you liked the post, be sure to check out our free material on Search Engine Optimization. Download the SEO ebook – The definitive Websites Are Us guide now!