Voice Search and how it challenges SEO

Published: December, 12 2018
Author: Alex Bieth

Once you are ready for mobile first, the next step is to prepare your website for Voice Search.

Facts:

People are more and more equipped with Voice Search devices and use them, in fact 40% of adults perform a voice search at least once a day.
Voice searches are not formulated the same way as when one searches when typing.
Google Voice Search accuracy is now 95% accurate versus below 80% 5 years ago.
20% of mobile queries are voice searches and this figure is rising expected to reach 50% by 2020.

Voice Search devices and technology:

Google Assistant
Google Home
Amazon Alexa
Echo
Microsoft Cortana


How are voice search queries different to text searches?

They are more conversational therefore they are longer queries with question words (how, why, who, where, what).

A useful tool to find questions asked for a specific them is Answerthepublic.

Finally a lot of these queries are Local, another good reason to integrate Local SEO in your SEO strategy.

Featured Snippets (or Answer Box)

Google mostly uses Featured Snippets to answer voice queries. These are in most cases Paragraphs. but they can also be Lists and Tables.

15% of all queries come up Featured Snippets

To get your site as a featured snippet does not require you to rank #1 in organic search but in most cases you need to be on the first page already..

Also there is no schema Featured Snippet but a page in your website needs to the target search term in the correct format. There is an interesting article on Moz about how to optimize for Featured Snippets

What else to do:

On top of trying to feature in Featured Snippets for the searches which matter aim to optimize for long tail terms, using a conversational tone.

Adding an FAQ section which includes the important questions will also help.

Finally, if this is not yet done optimize your google MyBusiness profile for better visibility for Local SEO as many searches are local ("near me")






Alex Bieth, SEO Consultant