When you think of voice and search engines, your brain most likely conjures Alexa and Siri. Fair enough! However, it’s not just about smartphones or smart speakers anymore. As a mode and platform combined, there is a growing number of voice-enabled machinery. “Smart” refrigerators and even cars can now take voice commands!
Google voice search is arguably the primary mode for search using one’s voice nowadays. As the name states, the function lets users search using their voice instead of typing it out. It works for desktop (laptop, PC) or mobile (Android smartphone, tablet), sometimes needing a stimulating phrase: “OK, Google.” (For the Apple iPhone, though, one would say “Hey Siri.”)
It’s not entirely new as Google launched it in 2010. However, it required a lengthy process then:
- Call a certain number on your mobile phone.
- Wait for a recorded voice prompt that asks you to “say your search keywords!”
- Wait for the webpage to update with results or link to a search engine results page (SERP).
That’s a far cry from just saying a “wake” phrase and getting your phone or device to search, the way we do today. Over the last decade, the search engine’s voice search has also paved the way for radical developments and innovation in speech recognition technology. Google Maps now uses it, alongside the virtual assistant Google Now.
One of the biggest advantages of incorporating voice search lies in local SEO. Since it’s relatively new on a larger scale, gaining a secure foothold increases the chances of not being swept away as waves of competitors begin to pour in.
It’s easy to assume that search engines will automatically recommend big-name brands when searching for, say, a coffee shop. “Hey Siri, where do I get the best coffee near me?” won’t necessarily pull up the nearest Starbucks if you play your cards right. However, by taking the right steps sooner rather than later, you can get Siri to suggest your cafe instead.
Key Tips for Maximizing SEO Voice Search
- Write the way someone would talk. Use long-tail keywords since they sound more natural than traditional search keywords made up of a word or two.
- Create content chunks. Make a list, use bullet points, and apply appropriate hashtags where you can. This makes it more readable for Google.
- Answer ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘who’, and ‘why’ questions. Think of what your target audience is most likely to ask, and go from there.
- Answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). When you’re familiar with your demographic, you can get one step ahead and answer common questions in one go.
- Use “near me” when applicable. Remember the coffee shop example? Local businesses can gain so much by just using “near me” since most people use that phrase in searches.
The power of voice search for businesses, from restaurants to retail brands, is undeniable. Aside from providing answers, traffic to landing pages also increases considerably through voice search results. Who doesn’t want a smooth user experience?
If you’re searching for an SEO expert that can assist in getting your brand’s platform voice-ready, sign up with Voice SEOPRO today!