Voice – the final frontier for SEO, or is it? Voice optimization has been at the forefront of SEO best practices since the arrival of digital assistants such as Siri and Alexa. Consider this – Google’s SMX keynote speech this coming year is aptly titled ‘Age of Assistance’. Microsoft will similarly give an address called ‘The Quest for Intelligent Search’. While finding the right mix of SEO hacks and Google training to score more links may seem to be an impossibly byzantine practice, voice optimization provides a clear path to success. Voice assistance has revolutionized the way people consume and live their lives. Optimizing voice search is key to surviving the ever-changing SEO labyrinth.
If You Build Voice, They Will Come
It’s common knowledge that search optimization has always been a booming but hard to understand business. However, if you look at the trends, particularly those of voice, mobile, and machine learning, there are many thoughtful insights you can gain. As with voice optimization, the push for mobile indexing has begun with Google rolling out its mobile-first indexing initiative to make things more friendly for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
While the standard fare for SEO perfection from having enough links, optimal page speed, keywords, websites that are technically flawless, and yes, are mobile friendly remain viable, the field of voice search and SEO involves new ways of search optimization. This is intricately entwined with machine learning affecting both mobile devices as well as laptops and PCs. Let’s take a deeper look at voice search and command.
Voice search has paved the way for smarter AI and deep learning bots. Smart devices are flooding the market, allowing new ways for consumers to search. What does voice optimization look like exactly, you ask? There are many similar attributes of standard SEO with voice SEO. However, voice SEO focuses on websites with a strong social engagement factor, easy to read content, and websites that have faster loading speeds. If you have ever used a digital assistant, you’ve probably noticed that answers aren’t overly long and maximized for the most information. This is because speed still matters. After all, you don’t want to wait around for your Alexa or Cortana to answer — you want an answer right away.
Stay Local, Think Directories, Reviews
Websites that reflect this kind of short, easy to understand, conversational response will have more chances of ranking higher. Another key feature for voice optimization is featured snippets. Websites that are placed as part of Google’s Featured Snippets seem to perform well. This is because of the short nature of the snippet. It provides maximum information in a small easy-to-understand explanation. This is also a pretty key point in garnering voice optimization — content that is engaging and understandable, but which is also original. Ranking in the Google top 10 doesn’t hurt either. Voice optimization falls in line with the standards and practices of regular SEO fare with most searches pulling from those sites that not only have new, original content, and optimized, quick loading pages (speed is really key here), but also that respond to a variety of local factors.
This is where vocal search gets more intricate. A number of voice searches are for local things, such as “Where is the best Indian restaurant around me?,” or “What is the weather forecast in x city?” Optimizing for local SEO is important here. If you have a local business, get your page ranked on Google Business and other directories such as Yelp, CitySearch, Facebook, Apple Maps, etc. More recognition on the internet, means the more likelihood your web page will rank higher. Online reviews and accurate information (this includes opening times and address if you have a business) are nothing to sneeze at in the voice SEO game.
Making your website optimized for voice searches will keep you one step ahead of the SEO game. Indeed, Google’s method may be held in relative obscurity, but there is a method to the madness. Whether building a new website or looking to improve your old one, it’s important to consider the latest trends and use them as much as you can to your advantage.
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