There are different expert opinions on the importance of voice search and SEO, the search for information on the web via digital voice assistants. Some say it is just hype that will soon be replaced by the next. Others are firmly convinced that voice search will prevail over traditional keyboard searches. But what about optimization for voice search: is it worthwhile to target websites to voice search? And if so, how does this new form of search engine optimization work? In our article, we have put together the essential information and tips for everything to do with voice search and SEO.
Voice Search – the search for the future?
While on most desktop computers and notebooks, the “classic” typed request still comes first, more and more users of tablets and especially smartphones, use voice search. The voice-controlled search assistants prove to be particularly popular on the one hand when we are in a particular hurry – and on the other hand, in all those situations in which we cannot or are not allowed to use our smartphone with our hands. In total, however, voice searches currently make up less than half of all searches.
But does that mean that voice search is a negligible trend, a technical gimmick that will disappear again in the coming years? But on the contrary. The numerous statistical surveys on the subject reveal a transparent demographic distribution of those surveyed who regularly use language searches in everyday life. The younger the users, the more often they use Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Co. So it has long been a matter of course for teenagers and also for many teens to contact the digital assistant of their smartphone directly with questions. Given that the habits of these young demographic groups will continue to spread across society in the long term, it can be assumed that in the coming years, more and more search queries will go through voice search. This means that the optimization of websites for voice search is becoming more relevant.
Voice Search as a game-changer?
How is voice search changing SEO requirements?
Basically, SEO optimization for voice search works according to the same principles as “conventional” search engine optimization. The algorithm with which the search engine responds is the same regardless of whether a query is written or spoken: However, what differentiates a typed search engine query from voice search is the number and combination of the keywords used.
When we type a search engine query, we usually try to use as few words as possible. This way, we keep the search effort low. However, since we speak much faster than typing, we usually formulate whole (question) sentences in Voice Search. This method, in turn, means that voice search generates more than twice as many keywords as for a comparable search query using plain text. There are also question words that are omitted in most written searches.
The importance of long-tail keywords
The big difference between regular search queries and voice search is that the latter mainly uses so-called long-tail keywords. As the name suggests, these are characterized by the fact that they are longer than regular search terms. Strictly speaking, long tails are not just individual keywords, but rather specific combinations of keywords.
From the quick and efficient search for “Voice Search SEO” in the voice search, the question “How does Voice Search change search engine optimization?” Or a question in the sense of “How can I optimize my website for Voice Search?” The long tails could, for example, be called “How has Voice Search changed search engine optimization” or “How has a website been optimized for voice search.” Because they narrow the search considerably, these combinations of keywords produce a much shorter list of results. A website that uses long tails to match its content can make voice search all the easier for it to attract attention.
SEO Voice Search Tips
The 5 most important tips to optimize your website for voice search
Many companies have so far made optimizing their search engine ranking for voice search a low priority. If optimization is carried out correctly for voice search, this usually means a careful adjustment of existing content. Basically, this is not a bad idea either: websites that are already SEO-optimized do not have to be redesigned and set up from scratch to meet the criteria of voice search. In most cases, an adjustment of the keywords in content and metadata of existing pages is sufficient. The following tips can help you get your bearings.
1. Find out what interests your target group.
Surveys on the use of voice search show that directions, opening times, and information about the range of services offered by companies are primarily accessed via voice search. To identify the content relevant to your target group, you can also use all those frequently asked questions in the customer conversation or your support.
2. Ask the questions that Voice Search will also ask.
Put the questions that lead users to your website. The use of the so-called “W questions” is particularly useful for this. By presenting who, when, what, where, why, and how of your company, you instantly make your website a whole lot more suitable for voice search. You can address these questions not only in the content but also in the title, description, and other metadata.
3. Offer concrete answers.
Of course, you should also answer any questions that you raise, preferably in short, crisp texts. The quick interplay of questions and answers does not suit every type of text. Still, it is useful, among other things, for publishing small “How to” articles and expanding the FAQ – after all, the density of questions and is not at any point on your website Answers higher than here!
4. Maintain a natural language style.
When designing the texts, you should place less emphasis on keyword density than on a natural language style. The easier it is to understand your text, the more suitable it is for the voice assistant to read it to you. Use straightforward sentence structures and vocabulary appropriate to the topic and the target group – for the content and the long-tail keywords embedded in it.
5. Continue to operate “classic” search engine optimization.
Websites that already have a high search engine ranking mostly keep this in the voice search. Ultimately, the best option to optimize your web presence for voice search is to continue to focus on high-quality content and, above all, on traditional SEO. Create pages that bring added value to their users, increase the length of stay, and generate backlinks. Also, aim to establish your texts as featured snippets. Viral texts that are displayed in this “position 0” above all other search results for a topic have the highest chance of being read out by the language assistant. And since featured snippets are mostly designed as questions and answers anyway, it’s worth it twice,
Would you like to learn more about Voice Search and SEO?
By targeting your web presence to voice search, you ensure that you don’t have to worry about the gradual shift in your customers’ search habits. Our experts for online marketing are, therefore, happy to advise you today on all questions relating to voice search.