“Touch controls aren’t the future. Voice activation is!” ~YouTuber CaptainSauce
Remember when voice-enabled technology was a thing of fiction? Well, it’s not a work of the overactive imagination any longer.
Voice-enabled searches are all the rage in SEO circles these days. In fact, voice-search is the future of content marketing by 2022.
With the emergence of AI voices like Google Home, Siri by Apple, Cortana by Microsoft, and Alexa by Amazon, voice-search share in the SERP (search engine results pages) pie is growing.
Britney Muller of Moz has this to say about the future of voice-search: “Usage rates are likely to grow as more consumers buy virtual assistants, and as the natural language processing and machine learning behind these engines become more accurate and useful.”
Given your mobile devices’ hands-free capabilities, it stands to reason that voice would eventually take precedence over text-based searches. Vast improvements have been -- and are being made -- to digital voice assistants. Now more and more people are turning to the convenience of voice search and rely on it for their queries.
So as a content marketer, how are you going to quickly adapt to this rapidly growing trend?
1. Conversational keywords
What you need to know as a content marketer is that the search focus has shifted from short awkward keywords to longer phrases -- or in some cases, actual full-length sentences. This is because voice searches are making use of conversational language.
You don’t say, “weather Florida,” when you’re asking for Florida’s weather in real-life conversations, do you?
No. Normal people usually ask, “What’s the weather like in Florida?”
Going by this logic and analogy, it would stand to reason that we would input search queries differently when we speak to digital assistants. The way we talk is completely different from the way we type.
Content optimized for voice SEO would need to pay extra attention to the keywords it will use.
2. Anticipate queries with FAQs and Google Suggest
Voice searches are conversational and specific in nature. People who already make use of digital assistants like Siri don’t intend to ramble on and on. They are using the voice assistant to get accurate answers to specific questions.
Queries like, “A government university near me,” along with the user’s location enabled will return precise results for the user. For this reason, you, as a content marketer, should optimize your content for specific queries.
How will you do this?
Research the kind of questions your target audience is prone to asking when they look for services that you offer. You can accomplish this kind of research with a detailed FAQ page, or through Google Suggest.
Google Suggest is a quick way of getting question data. It occurs when you start typing keywords into Google without hitting enter or search. It provides a drop-down of popular questions. You can use that information to fuel an FAQ page for reference.
Produce content around your target audience’s questions. Take each of their queries, and flesh out the answers by way of quality blog posts.
3. More readable content
It’s basic advice, but it’s more prominent now as searches are shifting to voice searches. Google’s John Mueller suggests that it’s more useful to give direct answers to questions. Make it very obvious that your content exists to answer that specific question.
“I know for some other kinds of voice assistance they try to match the question more directly… so they’re looking for maybe web pages that say… …what is the tallest mountain as a title and then they read the first paragraph.” ~ John Mueller
4. Make sure your website is ready for voice-search
According to Google, micro-moments (moments where users are in need of immediate, relevant, and ready-to-use information) are the key to capitalizing on any kind of search -- especially voice search.
Think about it. Every day, we rely on our smartphones for a multitude of functions. For this reason, our phones are our constant companions and first sources of information. With the internet practically anywhere, this doesn’t really come as a surprise.
Google encourages site owners to recognize the increasing use of mobile internet searches and optimize their websites for mobile accordingly.
The workings of technology and the internet continue to advance. People’s inquiries are no longer limited to text-only searches. Now we have voice-search to pay attention to. And it wouldn’t do any of us any good to fall behind the competition.
So to summarize:
- Use conversational keywords
- Anticipate your target audience’s questions
- Make sure your content is readable
- Set your website up for voice-search
SEO consultant Al Gomez is the man behind Dlinkers, a company dedicated to complete digital marketing services. With more than ten years of experience, he enjoys supporting smartpreneurs like himself achieve online success.