If you've recently launched a new product or campaign then you've probably remembered to optimise it, too. But have you considered those users who search using digital voice assistants? Here's why you need to include Voice Search SEO in your marketing strategy...
Keep watching to see my top three tips to improve your Voice Search SEO.
Siri, Alexa, Cortana. These words, spoken on a daily basis, form some of the activation or “wake” phrases for the devices, in our homes and work, that are slowly enhancing our lives. These devices are voice-activated digital assistants that use voice recognition and natural language processing to perform tasks for users.
The concept of voice search is nothing new. Did you know that voice search has been around for about 9 years now? That’s quite a long time in the tech world. The rapid increase in smart speakers and voice assistants being used as part of people’s daily routines has definitely piled on the importance of these intelligent little machines.
So what does this mean for marketers?
As a large portion of people now search almost exclusively with voice, marketers have to re-evaluate their SEO strategies to fit the bill.
We’ve laid out three key areas to consider for anyone who’s stuck on SEO for voice search.
First up: Semantic Search
Put simply, semantic refers to the meaning of words, and the relationship between them. You might be thinking, what’s that got to do with SEO? Basically, people who use voice assistants will search differently to those typing something into a search engine. Voice assistant users will search using natural language, whereas someone typing is likely to use single keywords and broken up sentences.
Semantic search is becoming more and more relevant. So how can we optimise content for semantic search? Here’s a couple of handy tips:
Don’t just rely on simple keywords, look into key phrases and topics as well. Remember that people using digital voice assistants will search in a more conversational way, so be sure to target those long-tail keywords.
Create high-quality, comprehensive, relevant content. This could be in the form of ‘Ultimate Guides’ or information-rich blogs, infographics and videos.
Create topic clusters. Topic clusters allow you to capture a wide variety of search traffic over your relevant keywords and core topics. Because people change all the time, and their search behaviours are no exception.
Second: Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are essentially the summary of an answer. You’ll find them at the top of your search engine results page, which will include a link to the content site, the page title and the URL.
While you can’t manually place your website in the featured snippet spot, you can optimise your content by making it so relevant that the search engine basically has no choice but to feature you - because your content is the richest content, and the most relevant to a user’s specific voice request or query.
To reach that desired featured snippet spot, all you need to do is…
Use question-form keywords like how do i…what is the best… how to create… these forms of questions cater to long-tail keyword optimisation, which is super important for voice search SEO.
Think about the core question or information your website intends to answer or address, and tailor your content accordingly. This also means including a summary to your content in the form of bulleted or numbered lists.
Organise content in short, snappy sentences and paragraphs that are bursting with those keywords and phrases.
Personalisation means tailoring your content to suit the needs, wants, choices and interests of individuals.
So how do you personalise content for voice search?
Look at your relevant data. Which devices do people use to search? Because each voice assistant uses a particular search engine, and each search engine yields different results. Do you have access to your customers’ or users’ behavioural data? If the answer is yes, then analyse your data and adapt your content to suit their varied needs.
If you’re working with personas - analyse them to see what drives your target market, or if there are any noticeable trends in the data that could be useful.
If you’re not working with personas, look at demographic data to identify your ‘typical’ voice assistant user - you might find that married couples are the most likely demographic to own a smart home assistant, or that younger users are more likely to use mobile voice search for music over queries.
It’s clear that voice is becoming one of the most frequently used means of searching and, if understood and applied correctly, optimizing your content for voice search will definitely increase your website traffic, advance your reach and boost brand affinity.
That being said… it’s good to know where to draw the line between personalisation and invasion of privacy… let’s not get creepy.
So let’s summarise the key points:
Number one: get to grips with semantic search. Make your content relevant and valuable and create topic clusters to maximise your website traffic.
Number two: Aim to get your content as the Featured Snippet. This means including question-form keywords which cater for long-tail keyword optimisation.
For more ways to optimise your marketing strategy, check out our resources page. It’s all free!
Finally, we’d like to hear from you. Are you going to start using any of these Voice search SEO tips in your strategy? Or maybe you’d like to share some of your own tips that we might have missed.
Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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