Technology is rapidly developing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on new trends and learn what is necessary for effective SEO strategy. When new tech that affects how we interact with the web grows in popularity, the approach to SEO can change considerably. An example of this is the soaring adoption of mobile handheld devices like smartphones and tablets. This new popularity greatly impacted what it meant for a website to have a great SEO by adding emphasis to things such as page size and page load speed.
In recent years, voice assistants and smart speakers have once again changed how we look at SEO and create the need for a new practice called Voice Search Optimization (VSO). VSO is the process of optimizing website content for digital voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Content needs to be discoverable by search engines to provide information and answer questions based on voice searches. Smart speakers are becoming commonplace in homes and their usage is expected to increase exponentially. Everyday more and more people are consistently using voice-activated devices for various reasons including placing restaurant orders, shopping, and making reservations.
Voice search optimization falls under the umbrella of SEO and focuses on content structure and keywords to best deliver content from users searching by voice. Taking the steps to optimize site content for voice now can increase conversions and result in higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Below are brief overviews of a few strategies and components of VSO.
Long-tail keywords are relatively long, specific phrases that mimic natural speech and deliver higher quality search results. An example of a long-tail keyword is “buy smoked turkey in Dallas, Texas,” while “smoked turkey” would be a short-tail keyword. Optimizing a website’s content with long-tail keywords improves its ability to provide content based on voice searches. An advantage of integrating long-tail keywords is that they tend to lead to higher conversion rates and are easier to rank for than short-tail keywords.
Local SEO involves optimizing website content to appear in local search results. In a mobile-first world, many voice searches are “near me” searches, therefore it’s ideal for physical businesses and organizations to target location-specific keywords and ensure geographic location information is updated and discoverable. One convenient way of achieving this is completing a Google Business Profile.
Featured snippets are short pieces of text often in table or list format that appear near the top of Google search result pages that give quick answers to user queries. They are a big part of voice searches because they are typically used as responses to voice searches. The information in featured snippets is pulled from a website’s pages and Google’s systems decides to create featured snippets based on the content structure of pages. There are several different types of featured snippets, so it’s important to understand how to structure site content for each. Adding page headings in the form of questions and formatting content as FAQ lists are a few common ways to compete for featured snippets.
People typically interact with their voice assistants as they would with another person. Voice searches are usually not as concise as text-based searches. When it comes to VSO, writing content as we talk is more practical. Using simple, non-corporate, straight-to-the-point language appeals to voice search since most voice searches are in the form of basic questions. Adopting a more conversational tone can increase content discoverability and help drive traffic.
The number of voice searches is increasing year by year, so it’s very important to understand how to adapt websites to this growing trend. Voice searches are often faster and more practical than traditional text-based searches and have added extra convenience to millions of people. We encourage you to dive deeper into voice search optimization and stay up to date with strategies to better deliver content to your audience.
Here at DBT, we recognize the necessity of staying up to date with the latest evolutions in technology. Our in-house developers utilize SEO and VSO to ensure that our clients achieve maximal impact by reaching the audiences that are already looking for them, even if they don’t know it.