Although Google launched Voice Search more than a year ago, the feature has only started to ramp up in popularity.
Voice Search is a great tool for smartphones, especially because it prevents someone from having to look at her small screen while driving. Apple's Siri has filled this void for iPhone users, making other smartphone users take notice. Voice search is also a helpful tool when spelling a term is a problem, or for users who speak faster than they type.
For businesses that have invested a lot of time and money into their SEO strategies, voice search queries shouldn't make much difference. However, some companies may be able to find a way to improve their search engine rankings by tailoring their SEO towards these types of searches.
Businesses looking to optimize for voice search should think about the way this type of searching will be used. Searchers will most likely use longer queries instead of the short keywords they've learned to plug into a search engine. This means that if a company hasn't, they'll need to start implementing long-tail keywords on their site. Long-tail keywords are phrases with the potential to drive more traffic than traditional keywords due to a lower level of competition.
To come up with ideas for long-tail keywords, think about what kinds of questions your customers might have. Chances are that many of the questions you come up with will contain long-tail keywords. Once you've created a list, check to see how much search volume each keyword gets. Thinking about these questions can also help you implement a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) strategy.
An FAQ strategy involves you answering all of the questions your customers might have about your product or service on your website. As someone once said somewhere, "knowledge is power." That person (Sir Bacon) obviously knew things.
Anyway, if your customers can get all of the information they need from your site, they won't even think about going anywhere else. You should be the Google (or Bing, if you don't want to strive for mega-excellence) to the customers in your market. Plus, search engines reward quality information with better rankings.
For example, you're in the roofing industry. You have a shingle-selling business. However, you can see that customers looking for shingles might also have a leaky roof. Even though you don't do roof repair, providing your customers with basic information about repairing leaks or protecting their homes from rainwater until the leak can be fixed might be very valuable information for them. Include it on your site. The next time they have a roof dilemma, they'll think of you. For being so helpful, they may also refer you to their friends.
In addition to helping you come up with keywords and when writing questions and improving search engine ranking with better information, writing questions can help you with your voice search SEO strategy, too. When people search by voice, they will probably ask full questions. Plus, when we write questions, we tend to take on a more natural speaking tone than when we're constructing paragraphs.
Natural voice is important because people are just going to talk to the search engines. They aren't necessarily going to think about exactly how the search engine will interpret what they're saying – just like in conversation. How many times have you been in conversation and had to go back because your listener didn't quite understand you?
Voice search will be like that. You'll want to make sure your site is written in a natural way. That doesn't mean you have to be unprofessional or include slang, but you'll just want to think about the natural way your customers might speak in order to find you.
By optimizing your site for search queries, you'll actually improve your overall SEO strategy. Do you think voice search will become the new way of searching? If not, is it even worth optimizing for? Let us know what you think in the comments.