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Optimizing Content for Voice Search

Voice search is being used more than ever before, as evidenced by Google’s report that more than twenty percent of its searches are now performed through voice command. More significantly, due to the increasing amount of businesses and individuals utilizing the Internet for advertising and informational services, experts predict that this number will increase to 50 percent by 2020.

While this might seem hard to believe, voice search’s rapid growth indicates the projections are realistic. Amazon Echo and Google Home are not only creating a buzz in and out of tech communities, they are also receiving numerous positive reviews. In fact, the Amazon Echo was the best-selling product during 2016’s holiday sales. Also, every modern smartphone comes with a pre-installed personal assistant, further escalating voice search’s reach and possibilities.

Voice search makes it easy for anyone to ask questions hands-free without struggling with tiny keys on smartphone screens. Also, the fact that many people can barely type 40 words per minute but can speak up to 150 words in the same amount of time pushes the possibility of rapid, efficient searching even further. Google reports that its voice recognition software is now 95 percent accurate, up 20 percent from 2013.

As a business owner, it’s crucial to keep an eye on trending changes in technology. Until now, optimizing content for voice search was mainly for the B2C business sector, but since this new kind of search has a growing potential to go mainstream, it’s highly advantageous to optimize your site for voice search. Not only can voice search optimization put you ahead of the competition, but it can also strengthen your overall efforts to expand your existing SEO practices rather than undertake a new, separate initiative.

Here’s how you can easily optimize your website’s content for voice search:

Information Satisfaction: Your web content should be searchable and relevant, similar to the requirements specified by the user.

Length: The information should not be overwhelming, nor should it be too minimal. Unlike a web search, voice search users cannot visually scan the results and identify their usefulness, which is why your content must be substantial enough to fulfill the user’s query.

Formulation: This simply means that the source (e.g. website), language, and the content itself should be grammatically sound and easy for the user to understand.

Elocution: Resources such as WaveNet and Tacotron 2 are rapidly simplifying the text-to-speech generation process, thereby minimizing the need for human performance.

Optimize for long-tail keywords: Voice search queries are longer compared to text search queries, which can be beneficial for your business since long-tail queries are less competitive and more specific. Therefore, imagine long-tail questions that could be directed to your sites and optimize your content for those searches.

Featured snippets: Targeting featured snippets will help you grab the coveted position zero (equivalent or better than a first-page ranking).

Provide answers: Prepare content that can provide answers to the common questions related to your business, product, or services. Around ten percent of voice searches are questions which start with “who,” “what,” “how,” “where,” or “when.”

Use schema structured data: This means purposely structuring content using related headers, which are then arranged in a numbered list.

Want to learn more about optimizing your website for voice searches? Get in touch with one our SEO experts today!