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How to optimize your website for voice search?

How to optimize your website for voice search

Voice assistants are currently on the rise. After Google, Apple (Siri) and Microsoft (Cortana), Amazon (Alexa) has now also launched its own service. But what are the consequences of the boom in voice search for marketing?

Speaking is the new typing. Search queries via voice search are increasing on mobile devices, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, for example, already speaks of 20 percent of search queries in the USA. Classic SEO and SEA are still the day-to-day business, but the optimization of spoken search is increasingly becoming the focus.

Search queries, the structure of calls, sending notes and messages – the possibilities of using the smartphone while speaking are diverse and make our everyday lives easier. What is pleasantly easy for users is also a new opportunity for companies to place their pages as high as possible in the search results.

The language query to search engines results in peculiarities that need to be considered in SEA and SEO. Spoken language is far more complex than a deliberately typed search query, which usually only consists of a few keywords. 

Since typed inquiries are structured very differently than their spoken counterparts – they are less artificial and often contain unspecific information – there are some fundamental differences with regard to SEO and SEA. The intentions of the writer and speaker also differ – one researches, the other needs quick, precise answers.

What to watch out for with search engine ads

Currently, combined keywords are usually not that long – around three to four words. With the increasing use of voice search, however, there will be a long-term change towards longer keyword combinations. Users are only just beginning to explore voice search and integrate it into their everyday lives. 

The first questions are rather deliberately formulated simply because you are not sure to what extent the voice assistants can understand complex questions. With younger generations – the digital natives – you can already see that they formulate their verbal search queries longer and in more detail. 

In order to react to this development, it makes sense to create your own campaigns or ad groups for voice inquiries that contain question-word-based keywords. 

Keywords should also be adjusted: longer keywords, which are adapted to the spoken language and matching question words (W questions) in, keywords based on written language and question words that do not fit the product or brand are removed. 

For example, if you offer suitcases, you don’t want to be played out in passenger search queries such as “How heavy can my suitcase be?”.

In contrast to the increasing relevance of long-tail keywords, exact keywords, i.e. precisely fitting search terms, can become superfluous. Since every user asks questions in different ways, only standard questions such as “How will the weather be tomorrow?” Are an exception. 

In addition, the top 3 question word keywords should be represented in the ad text. Most long-tail keywords generate little traffic. By inserting the relevant question words, more voice requests can be picked up. 

Ad texts should be written in such a way that, on the one hand, they answer the user’s question and, on the other hand, lure them to the website and ideally into the sales funnel, not least against the background of growing conversational commerce.

Even a language assistant can be wrong and misunderstand something. Background noise or incorrect pronunciation of names and foreign words often lead to incorrect recording of spoken words. 

According to Google’s Director of Search Behshad Behzadi, the error rate has improved from 20 percent to 8 percent over the past two years, but possible spelling mistakes that the language assistant could make should still be booked. 

For example, the search query “Where can I get a bike?” Could be misunderstood by the voice assistant because the keyword “bike” is phonetically similar to the word “advice”.

What you have to consider when optimizing SE

There is also a lot to do in the area of ​​SEO due to the increasing use of voice search. Since users often resort to voice search, especially for local searches, it is important not only to focus on keywords, but also to include topics. The importance of semantic context is growing rapidly.

As with SEA, the differences between spoken and written language should be noted. Here, too, long-tail keywords are gaining in importance. Generic and typical money keywords lose search volume as a result. 

Pages optimized for individual keywords will lose traffic in the long term. Instead of individual words and phrases, you should optimize with whole sentences and long-tail keywords. 

In addition, question words come into focus with SEO. Search queries that contain words such as “who”, “what”, “where” and “how” have increased by 61 percent since the introduction of voice search – time to use them for SEO. 

Here you can on the one hand process the W-questions on a given topic within the content and on the other hand answer potentially frequently asked questions within the FAQ section. 

For example: “How do I redeem my voucher?” Or “What does the subscription cost?”. In general, when optimizing the page and the content, you have to think about what exactly users are looking for on the page and how these questions can be answered in the content.

Since Google will try to answer voice search queries within the Featured Snippets and Instant Answers itself – the content of the Featured Snippets comes partly from the Knowledge Graph, partly from excerpts from one of the websites on page one of the SERP for the searched phrase – the Content -Structure can be adapted to the format that Google uses within its Instant Answers (position # 0). This increases the likelihood of your own search results being included in the featured snippet.

Quick information for speakers and tipsters

Although the development of queries via voice search is currently still Pandora’s box, websites should be optimized for voice search now. The challenge in the future will be to combine the requirements of both components in such a way that both speakers and tippers can reach their destination in the shortest possible time with little effort.