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What You Need To Know About Voice Search Optimisation

Voice Search Optimisation | Proof3

As we see changes in how people search for information, people are becoming more dependent on voice search optimisation (VSO) to get the results they need. But what exactly is voice search optimisation, what does it mean for you and how can we help you incorporate it into your SEO strategy so you can stay on top of your competition and enhance your user experience? In this article, we will explain VSO in detail, delve into why it is essential for search visibility and how we can help you implement VSO in your SEO strategy.

What Is Voice Search Optimisation?

Natural language processing (NLP) is the conversion of natural language to machine-based language, and vice-versa. Through NLP, voice search platforms are able to process verbal commands from users over a variety of devices and platforms.

VSO refers to how organisations optimise their content to deliver the information that voice-recognition technology (like Amazon Alexa) and digital assistants (like Google Assistant and Apple Siri) expect to tell their human users.

Examples Of Voice Search

Due to its convenience and accessibility, voice search has risen in popularity. Below, we’ve added some examples of when people might use voice search to find relevant information:

  • While cooking, people might ask their device to find a recipe without having to pause and type out their query.
  • Voice search can be used on a busy morning to check the weather forecast.
  • On-the-go queries, such as “give me directions to the nearest coffee shop” or “convenience store near me”.

Although these are just some of the many occasions where people use voice commands, people also use voice search commands in many other instances.
This highlights how important voice search optimisation is for significantly influencing search behaviour and SEO strategies.

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The Importance of Voice Search Optimisation for SEO

Optimising SEO strategies for voice search is a no-brainer for any successful business. Below, we have added some key advantages that have made voice search optimisation so important for businesses:

  • Improved User Experience: The biggest advantage of voice search is that the voice commands are understood and processed in a natural and intuitive way. If users get their desired answer quickly, they will spend more time on your website and their experience is much better.
  • Increased Website Traffic: If your site is optimised for voice search, you’ll likely perform better organically. Remember: voice searches often return single-answer results, making ranking at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) more important than ever.
  • Competitive Edge: Optimising for voice search can indicate that you care about your user experience. This can significantly give your site a competitive advantage.

Statistical Insights Into Voice Search Usage

Increase in voice search assistants, Statista

Voice search, along with other advancements in AI technology, have seen the biggest changes in search in recent years and it looks like it’s here to stay. As more and more people begin to use voice assistants and other voice search technologies, it’s vital to stay ahead of the game and make your SEO strategy suitable for it.

To show you just how important optimising for voice search is, here are some interesting insights around voice search usage for you to be aware of:

  • According to Statista, there were 3.3 billion digital voice assistants in 2019. By 2020, this number rose to 4.2 billion and in 2024, forecasts suggest that this number will double to 8.4 billion as shown in the image above.
  • According to Think with Google, 27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile, highlighting the importance of optimising voice search for mobile in particular.
  • Millennials have adopted voice search the most compared to any other age group. In fact, 58% of 25-34 year olds use voice search daily.
  • Adobe Analytics research found that 35% of consumers have used voice search to research information, 34% use it to ask for directions and 30% use voice search for online orders, highlighting its rising importance for local SEO.

Expected Trends In Voice Search

Voice search is set to further evolve, with several trends shaping the future of how users search online. By adapting to these trends, your site is more likely to stay ahead of the competition and you will help to further enhance the UX on your site.
Here are some of the trends that we expect from voice search:

  • Precision in NLP: Voice search technology will continue to evolve to better understand complex queries and accents.
  • Integration with more devices: More devices will incorporate voice search capabilities, broadening the scope of voice-activated interactions.
  • Personalised results: Algorithms are expected to provide more personalised search results based on user history and preferences, enhancing the relevance of voice search.
  • Voice commerce: Although voice commands are already prevalent in how users search, we expect to see more people researching and buying online through eCommerce stores using voice search.

Implementing Voice Search In Your SEO Strategy

There are a number of ways that you can make the most of voice search. Below, we’ve gathered some of the key tips and best practices that we recommend to implement voice search into your content and SEO strategies.

Target Questions & Long-Tail Keywords

Voice searches are conversational and often framed as questions, so it’s important to identify the common queries your audience might ask related to your products or services. In 2017, Moz revealed that 8% of search queries were questions, with this percentage rising to 15-25% in recent years. This shows that there is a clear opportunity to increase traffic if your site is optimised for question-based search terms.

Remember: Voice search and manual searching use different speech patterns. Utilising long-tail keywords that mirror natural speech patterns increases your chances of capturing voice search queries.

Examples of question-based queries in Google Search Console | Proof3

Prioritise Local SEO (only if it’s relevant for your business)

Voice searches are frequently local. If you have a physical store, ensure your business is listed accurately on Google My Business and other relevant directories. Ensure that you have set attributes like holiday opening hours, facilities available and regularly upload imagery to promote engagement. Additionally, you can engage in local community events and use local landmarks in your descriptions to enhance local relevance.

As well as Google, you must also consider which algorithm powers the different search assistants and how to optimise for each. For example, in the case of local searches, there are:

  • Google Assistant’s algorithm relies on Google Maps.
  • Siri is powered by Apple Maps (which takes information from Yelp).
  • Alexa relies on Microsoft Bing.

If a user asks Alexa or Siri for “the best flooring store near me”, you’ll want to make sure that you’re showing at the top by ensuring that you have a Yelp page and that reviews are visible.

Use Schema Markup

Structured data markup helps search engines understand the content on your website, increasing the likelihood of your information being used to answer queries. To increase your chances of your content ranking, ensure that schema markup is implemented to highlight your products, services and location. If you’d like help implementing schema on your website, get in touch with our SEO team.

Optimise For Mobile

The majority of voice searches are conducted on mobile devices, so it’s imperative that your site is mobile-friendly. Ensure fast loading times, responsive design and navigable interfaces to facilitate seamless mobile experiences.

Ensure Your Site Is Fast

Speed is crucial for voice search optimisation. A delay of even a few seconds can drastically reduce page views and customer satisfaction. We recommend that you invest in reliable hosting, compress images and minify code to enhance your site’s performance. For more information on the importance of site speed, take a look at our Core Web Vitals article.

How To Measure The Effectiveness Of Voice Search Optimisation

Currently, there is no set way to distinguish which queries were originated by a voice assistant. However, at Proof3, we have access to a range of tools to help measure how your site is performing for voice search-related queries.

One of the easiest ways to measure how well your site is performing is by using Google Search Console. Google Search Console will help us to see which queries your site performs well for, and by using the following voice search indicators, we will get a better understanding of which terms are likely being triggered by voice search:

  • Uses natural language.
  • Long tail keyword.
  • Asks a question.
  • Localised query.

By consistently ensuring that your site is incorporating and optimising for voice search-related queries, we can help to keep your business at the forefront of voice search innovation.

Ready to take your marketing to the next level?

Ultimately, voice search optimisation is becoming increasingly important for businesses to get right. Not only does it help to increase website traffic, but it also helps your business to remain competitive and relevant. If you’d like more help with adapting your voice search optimisation strategy, get in touch with us today to embrace the power of voice search.

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