What the Rise in Voice Search Means for Your SEO Strategy (OK Google, Hey Siri)

Voice search might have only really started in 2011 with Apple’s Siri, but it’s boomed since then with Alexa, Google, Cortana, and more. Due to its popularity and the frequency in which online and mobile users search verbally (almost 50% of searches), SEO companies are changing their strategies to better incorporate voice queries.

Here are the top 4 ways you should refresh your SEO strategy to better reach voice search queries.

Changes in Keyword Research for Voice Search Queries

Did you know that 20% of voice search queries are made up of the same 25 words? Of course, most of these are question words – what, where, when, who, why – because these are easy questions to both give and get answers to.

In your keyword research, you might usually be skipping question words or question phrases, however, if you want to nab those voice queries, you’ll need to incorporate at least a few question phrases and words into your targeted keywords.

If you’re looking for a good way to find these question words and phrases, then consider a tool like Answer the Public, which is a free visual keyword research tool, or the paid version of Semrush which provides both keyword research as well as reverse research where you can see what pages are ranking for which phrases.

Changes in Content Depth & Layout

Voice search isn’t just about content depth, but it sure helps – as you need to have comprehensive content that fully answers your searchers’ questions in order to rank. Of course, having in depth content is a good idea on every page, whether you are trying to target voice search queries or not, but it’s especially helpful when trying to answer questions.

Consider two pages, one has deep, inclusive content that answers a voice search query and sits right around 2,000 words, the other answers the question as well, but only just and has only 600 words. Which one will the search engines use for their answer?

I bet most of you are banking on the first option, and you’d be right!

But there’s another reason Google would choose the first option beyond just the content depth and length, and it’s the perfect segue into our 3rd strategy tip:

The #1 Spot is the Only Spot

If you aren’t number one, then you most likely won’t be chosen, as most voice search answers only give one answer – the first one.

This means you should be focusing your voice search keywords and optimization efforts on pages you rank #1 for. Much like snippets, you won’t get featured if you’re not ranking well, however with voice search, it goes a step further. Instead of having to be on the first page, you have to be in the top spot.

This connects with our previous tip perfectly, as deep and comprehensive content will help you rank higher as well.

So really, for your voice search SEO, you need to be practicing good general SEO habits first.

Mobile-Friendly = Voice Search Friendly

Our final tip is to make your site mobile-friendly.

This is something you need for good SEO in general, but especially for voice search, because almost all voice searches are done through either mobile devices or home devices. Which means you’ll get very little traction if your voice search answers aren’t compatible.

Usually, when we use voice search, it’s for hands-free searching (like when we are driving), which means we are most likely using our phones to do the searching, not a laptop, desktop, or even tablet.

Having a fully mobile-friendly site means you are at least in the running for that voice query answer, but it also means you will rank better, which means it’s always a good strategy.

Is Your Website Ready for the Voice Search Revolution?

AT JSL Marketing & Web Design, we not only perform in-depth keyword research, but we also create great content, rank high, and always make mobile-friendly and optimized pages.

What we mean by all of this is that we follow our own advice and perform well in ‘traditional searches’ as well as voice searches, snippets, and more.

If your website or rankings could use a boost, reach out to us for a free consultation and SEO audit today. Want to learn more? Check out our resources or blog.

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