The Rise of Voice Search and What It Means for SEO

SEOSearch engine optimization (SEO) plays an important role in website discovery. Most websites utilize some form of SEO – whether that’s in the design of the Web page itself, specific key phrases in the copy, or metadata.

But SEO is always changing. That’s because a new brand of technology is making its way onto the market. Specifically, voice-based assistants and voice search.

It’s precisely as it sounds: a search conducted by asking an interface something out loud versus typing it in. Basic examples include Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri.

In these instances, the interface draws from a series of algorithms and sources to perform efficient searches. Voice search isn’t slowing down either. Emphasis on voice-based searches and SEO is expected to rise in the coming years.

But what does that mean for everyone who runs a website and is trying to promote their brand online? Long gone are the days when a site could saturate itself with popular keywords to get the most traffic and clicks. Now, it takes a bit more nuance and quality. The same rule applies to voice-based SEO.

While the technology is still evolving, there are a few things you can do to optimize your website for voice searches. It’s a good idea to start soon, because chances are voice searches will become even more popular.

For example, Google’s voice search doesn’t just retrieve text-only results including a meta title and description. It also targets snippets – quality chunks of Web pages that sum up the answers to queries – and brings them to the reader’s attention. That means website owners can spend more time working on capturing snippets, allowing them to gain traffic and rank.

It’s also crucial to identify and utilize search behavior specific to voice search. In other words, the method of the search query will determine what key phrases you’ll want to target. With mobile searches, for example, an increase in certain phrases was seen such as “near me” for locations. Contextually that makes sense from a mobile device.

So, what kind of search queries work for voice? That largely depends on what people are searching for. There are, however, specific phrases only related to voice search. Therefore, it’s important for any business to identify and prioritize those phrases for the best form of optimization.

Voice search still has a ways to go. However, as an escalating technology, it’s good to start incorporating voice-based search into your SEO strategy. The potential for traffic generation and advertising is huge.

Keep your eyes on voice tech this year and research popular voice-based phrases. It could help you achieve new levels of traffic.

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