Ultimate Guide To Voice Search SEO for Your Online Store

Undoubtedly, the technology today is experiencing the voice search revolution where soon every piece of technology will function on voice. 

The rapid increase in voice automation, artificial intelligence, the use of voice instruction in the smart tech equipment, all aiming to this monumental change.

Well, if you do not comprehend the magnitude of this snowball change, here are some statistics to grab your attention. 

  • 41% of adults and 55% of teens use voice search on a daily basis. 
  • 20% of all the mobile-based Google search queries are voice searches. 
  • Since 2008, voice search has exponentially grown 35x times. 

You see the popularity of smart voice devices such as Google Home or Amazon Echo at its peak. 

Image Source: WordStream

So much so, that 65% of Amazon Echo or Google Home owners cannot imagine going back. 

More and more people are used to talking to their computers, desktop, smart house automation system, smart speakers or their mobile phone. 

Voice control can be applied to most of the household appliances today such as fans, AC, lights, music system, television and more. 

The Rise Of Voice Searches For Buyers 

Voice search isn’t just an overhyped technological trend or a fad that you see people are excited for only some time.

It is in fact the future of online searching on the web where spoken language to the machines will be preferred over typing into the search box.  

People got comfortable with talking to their digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Google Home, Amazon Echo or Microsoft’s Cortana. 

Image Source: Paymill

These voice assistants are not just only limited to these specialized devices but also your smartphone. 

Now such accessibility and ease in the use also give a good reason to rethink your ecommerce marketing strategies. 

Also,  now you need to optimize your online store for the voice search in order to rank in the voice-driven search result pages. 

Here are some statistics on how voice search optimization is significant for ecommerce SEO and marketing. 

Image Source: Carson

  • 50% of searches are now done using voice search. 
  • 55% of all the residents in the United States will own a smart speaker by 2022. 
  • 1 in every 4 buyers used a voice assistant for their holiday shopping in 2017. Now it has been only rising significantly. 
  • Another study says voice shopping will grow to $40 billion by 2022. 
  • In January 2018, voice search frequency went to 1 billion a month. 

So everything clearly signifies how online sellers, ecommerce websites and marketers have to include voice search, SEO and marketing in their plan. 

In fact, another study says, 62% of marketers are not taking voice search into their accounts. 

So in that case, it is critical that you get a competitive edge over them and start preparing for the voice search boom from now on only. 

howto optimize content for voice search

The intent, practises and habits for the voice search queries are different from the typed search queries. 

You need to understand the difference to optimize the content particularly for the voice search. 

Image Source: Slideshare

When you search through voice, context and intent becomes the more integral part of the query. 

The when, what, how and where of the people’s search queries are as relevant as the keyword itself. 

How People Are Searching

The way you speak to your digital or voice assistants is different than the usual that the algorithm understands. 

Image Source: Elegant Themes 

It is more conversational in the tone than your typed keywords.  So how you are asking also affects the search results in the realm of voice search SEO. 

Usually you will type-search “ white sauce pasta recipe “  whereas with the voice search you are more likely to use “ how do I make white sauce pasta” 

The voice search queries are more question-driven as people ask their voice assistants queries with specific answers and then a follow-up on it. 

Google’s Hummingbird Update 

The working of this search algorithm can be comprehended through Google’s Hummingbird update. 

Image Source: Alchemy Interactive 

Google with this update focuses more on “answers” rather than “results”. 

So when you voice-search something, it will give you an exact answer rather than pulling up the whole article or web links. 

It matches the context and user intent with the current requirements of the voice search on the basis of the asked terms. 

Optimizing Micro-Moments 

You need to optimize your targeted micro-moments when it comes to optimize your content for voice search queries. 

So What are micro-moments? 

Well, these are intent variation or understanding of the search algorithm for the searcher’s asked terms. 

   Image Source: UX Collective 

Google has defined four primary types of micro-moments to different the intent of the searcher : 

  • I-want-to-know moments 
  • I-want-to-go moments 
  • I-want-to-do moments 
  • I-want-to-buy moments 

If you optimize your content according to one of these micro-moments, it is more likely to rank higher on search engines for the targeted audience. 

It will also boost your conversion rate to the roof if you learn to optimize your content accordion to these micro-moments. 

When someone is voice searching also makes the difference on the search results, and how you need to optimize your website accordingly. 

You do voice searches from home, office, on travel or between the transits all the time. 

So most of the time people tend to use their mobile for voice searches. Especially when they are travelling or driving. 

  Image Source: WordStream

One of the most popular voice searches are like “_____ near me now” where Google uses their geolocation data to offer them an answer. 

This varies in the case of Google and Siri as they both have different geographic databases. 

Google prefers to read out the answer if found in the featured snippet of their search results. 

What you need to takeaway here is people use voice search when they are looking for a quick answer rather than reading long paragraphs or blogs. 

So now when you optimize your content for voice search, it should be more focussed to give clear and concise answers for the questions. 

What People Search For  

When someone is searching something through voice, it is more likely they are looking for a micro-data, and not detailed information. 

They are more specific and intent-driven search queries. Google understands the audience’s requirement for getting a quick direct answer in their voice results. 

It is more than possible that the searcher is not ready or wants to visit the website to read out everything just to get their answer. 

Google in this case read out the featured snippet section of their search results as it is already optimized to answer your specifically-asked question. 

Pro Tips For The Voice Search Optimization For Your Online Store 

Tip # :  Be in the Position Zero On Google 

The whole point of search engine optimization is to rank higher on the Google search results. 

And, the first position is the highest of all, prone more to be clicked as compared to other positioned websites. 

But have you wondered, what is even better than the number one position on Google?  Well, it is called “zero position” on Google. 

Now how would you achieve that? You need to be at the featured snippet section of Google searches. 

Image Source: Search Engine Watch

If you want to rank highest in the voice searches which means your answer will be read out by the voice assistant, you need to get into featured snippets. 

However, it is not really guaranteed that your answer will be read out.

So you need to aim for your best chances and that’s about getting your content to appear in the featured snippets.

Here’s what you should to rank your content in the featured snippet : 

  • Write content on the basis of “most asked questions”. 
  • Do include more and more FAQs in your blog/website
  • Optimize your content for zero position 
  • Write only 40-50 words short introduction 
  • Make sure you use bullet points or tables as much as possible. 
  • Use a numbered list when required.  
  • Avoid too long paragraphs 
  • Do not write lengthy or complicated sentences. 

Tip # : Knowing Your Customers 

The most obvious and yet highly significant marketing strategy is to know your customers. 

That’s what you need to target them, serve their better product, more customized offer and more on. 

Voice search optimization is no different. Search algorithms need to understand how the person on the other end responds. 

So, the more your content is tailored for your target audience, higher chances for search engines to pick it up for the answers. 

Make sure you define your target audience and customize your content accordingly. 

You can even incorporate the audience-sensitive key phrases into your content to make answers more specific. 

Pro Tip:  One of the most peculiar habits of your target customers you can understand generally that they use their voice assistant on the go. That means, you need to optimize your website and content for mobile. 

Tip # :  Understanding The Difference Between Voice Search Terms and Typed Search Terms 

Doesn’t matter how obvious it sounds to you but if you do not really understand its implication in the voice-search optimization, it’s not happening. 

In this voice-activated ecommerce world, you need to understand the simple fact that people don’t speak-search the way they type-search. 

That means, you do not need to optimize your content but actually write it in a way that it is more prone for listening rather than just reading. 

You need to see your content more like a conversational-driven information you want to pass on. 

Voice search demands a behavioural shift in the way people communicate to their devices. 

For instance : 

To know the weather in California, you would type-search something like “weather california”. 

However, you won’t ask that to your voice assistant or digital assistant. Rather you would ask something like “  Siri, What will the weather be like in California? “

So to make it work, you need to think of your content more like a conversation. Optimizing your content with context of voice search gives you higher ground in the ranking. 

It increases your chances for counting as Google answers to be read out on specific voice search terms or questions. 

And since, these voice search terms are more like questions, you need to focus on long-tail keywords and FAQs to optimize your content. 

Pro Tip :  Don’t hesitate to make your blog content in a conversational tone and so your product descriptions as well. 

Tip # :  Focus More On Long-Tail Keywords 

When it comes to voice search, long-tail keywords become an essential part of your keyword research. 

As you know voice search commands or queries are basically questions or very long-tail keywords and phrases. 

So you need to focus less on short keywords and more question-based search terms. 

Image Source: Neil Patel

The long-tail keywords even have varieties such as long informative keyword or question-based keyword. 

Also, long-tail keywords are not generic and more specific, so it has less competition to beat and makes your content or website easy to rank higher. 

You have to target the long-tail keywords even with filler words such as “to”, “and”, “the” and so on. 

Voice searches are casually asked queries and they are more conversational in the tone.  These queries are often asked on the run. 

So make sure you optimize your content accordingly increasing your chance for ranking.

Tip # :  Write As You Are Answering Specific Questions Clear & Concisely 

You need to understand the way you optimize your content for voice search SEO is not the same as usual Google SEO. 

Because people search through voice by asking questions not specific search terms. 

As you know that for voice search, they are not going to type in but search through asking questions in conversational tone. 

So you need to focus more on writing your content to the subject of the answer to something. 

It should be clear, concise and to-the point as it is made to proving a point or answering a question. 

tips optimize content as answers for questions

Pro Tip :  Do your keyword research on the basis of relevant and more common questions and answers rather than keywords or phrases. 

Tip # : Optimizing Voice Search For Local 

Lot of mobile-related voice searches on the web are more likely to be demographic-based. 

This means, their search terms or queries are connected to their place they are living. It can be  asking about the nearest coffee shop or finding the best doctor in their area. 

Especially for local stores or e-commerce stores based on particular locations need to optimize their content locally. 

For example :  If you sell handicraft items in California but also online. Someone in your area asked their voice assistant “ Siri, find me the best handicraft items store in California?” 

Well, if you have optimized your content with California related keywords, your result is more likely to be answered to that person. 

Pro Tip:  Make your content focussed locally. Add keywords like ‘locally sourced” and add your location as keywords in your content. 

Tip # :  Prefer Semantic Strategy Over Keyword-Driven Strategy 

Semantics is basically the study of interpretation of language creating meaning where context is important to the language. 

Usually the search engines practise to attempt their search results more humane and comprehended for context or meaning. 

However, it still relies a lot on the exact words typed in the search box without the searcher’s context for it. 

Image Source: WordStream

Search engine algorithms are improving over time and try to read the semantics of the search term and understand the responses. 

In terms of voice SEO, it is to make more like human-like conversation. 

So algorithms need to know why you are asking what you are asking to customize the answer accordingly.  

You can use this as a leverage to rank your content over others on the search engines as it is optimized with semantic strategy, not keywords driven. 

Pro Tip:  You need to use a mix of keywords, search terms and phrases to improve your answer’s relevance and relativity with more questions. 

Tip # :  Learning About Intent Behind The Words 

Well, this is quite like semantic-strategy keyword research but more focussed. You need to understand the intent behind the searcher’s search query. 

How many times have you found something else on Google while searching for entirely something else? 

That happens because Google misinterpreted your search query and couldn’t find the content resembling your intent on the web. 

Optimizing Through Intent-Driven Keywords

So, in order to utilize this function, you need to optimize your content for more intent-driven keywords. 

You need to optimize your content on the basis of what your keywords mean to the searcher. 

For Example, if someone is searching “ buy wireless headphones under $100” , you need to understand the intent behind the keyword. 

This means the searcher has already decided his budget to buy the headphones that is  “$100”, also he or she is specifically looking for”wireless” headphones. 

It seems more likely that person is going to buy the product at the moment. He or she has a buyer’s intent towards the keyword. 

So you write your content considering the reader wants to buy. This helps you content optimize the best for the visitor. 

Tip # :  Finding the Right Voice Search Keywords 

You already know how  voice search keywords are different from the typed-based search keywords. 

The usual keyword length in the voice search tends to get longer because that’s how people speak. 

Image Source: Ahref

So here when you are looking for voice search keywords to optimize your content, you need to look for more natural language long keywords.

These keywords are supposed to be conversational and/or in question format as well. They are also usually more than 5 words. 

Voice searches are usually or mostly done in the form of very naturally spoken questionnaires. 

Image Source: Wordtracker

For Example, if a general keyword is  “how to promote ebooks?”, the voice search for this keyword will be something like “ How do I promote my ebook to get more sales”  or “How do I promote my ebook for free?” 

You can always just type in the Google search bar and look for the suggestions related to it. These keywords can be really helpful to optimize your content. 

So to find them, you can use various SEO or keyword based tools such as Ubersugest or AnswerThePublic.com to generate question-based queries out of your primary keyword. 

Further you can always use online forums and social media groups to find out what are some commonly asked questions. 

Tip # :  Optimizing Your Content Using Voice Search Keywords

When you find all your relevant voice search keywords, you need to optimize your content utilizing those voice search keywords. 

        Image Source: TheManifest

Optimizing your content using the voice search keywords is an integral aspect of optimizing the content for voice search for higher ranking. 

Here are the different ways to optimize it using the keywords : 

Select Your Topic According To Your Voice Search Keyword 

Focus on building the content that is more relevant and related to your voice search keyword. 

The best way is to create content on the most commonly asked questions which also happens to be your voice search keywords. 

These commonly asked questions can be about a brand, product, services or just any topic as well. 

Your content needs to be focussing on all the “what, where, who, why and how” aspect of the topic. 

Also, that’s how people ask questions related to any particular topic starting with these question terms. 

Pro Tip :  Don’t over optimize your page for the exact voice search keyword. Just make sure it is in the title for sure. 

Optimizing Long Form Content 

Choose the long form content to rank your website through voice search optimization. 

It allows you to embed as many answers possible in the one piece of content. Also, long-form content has more capability of featuring long-tail keywords naturally. 

Such kinds of pages tend to rank more easily than others. Just make sure you do not over stuff your content. 

It should be as natural as possible when it comes to length and long-tail keywords optimization. 

Optimizing Short Form Content 

Since long form content tends more easily to rank due to the higher capability of long-tail keyword optimization and content satisfaction, short form content are useful in different ways. 

Image Source: Moz

You need to write short form content in the form of FAQ pages because these are easier to get featured in Google snippets. 

Ranking for such web pages are also not difficult, especially if you are able to outrank your competition. 

Brian Dean’s research tells that 40.7% of the voice search results is what shows up as the Google featured snippet. 

So you need to optimize your content to be featured as a search engine snippet in order to land for voice search results. 

It increases the chances of your content to be shown as voice results for the targeted keywords. 

One of the best tricks to optimize your content for featuring as a snippet is to use a code markup to direct Google crawl for recognition. 

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