Voice Search in 2019
As 2020 quickly approaches, voice search is becoming more and more prominent in today’s world.
Whether you’re on the move using Siri.
Or using Google home at, well, your home.
Love it or not, it’s here to stay.
According to Google, 20% of all searches within the Google App are done using voice.
And I can’t see this slowing down with features even making their way into factory model cars so you definitely want to be optimised for it.
Google suggests that by 2020, more than 50% of all searches will be from voice devices.
This really hits home with Google’s requirement for all websites to become content and education-based.
As we discuss here regularly, content is king when it comes to search engines.
There is a new wave of highly educated shoppers making their move, so how do we capitalise on this while the iron is hot?
First of all, we have to understand how voice search is being used.
Why do people use voice search?
People use voice search because it’s easy to use a handless device and get a clear answer to their search query.
Voice search is generally broken into 2 categories:
1. The Customer Wants to Go Somewhere
This category is predominantly focused on local SEO search, and how customers are looking for something nearby.
Take this voice search for instance:
“Hey Google: Find me the best coffee shop near me”
The businesses that should be focusing on this category are generally local, with a brick and mortar store.
We’ll call this category: “Nearby Voice Searches”
2. The Customer Wants a Query Answered
This category is focused on national or online businesses that can help answer queries with great content using what we in the industry call “featured snippets”.
Take this voice search for instance:
“Hey Google: How do I bake a Cake”?
Wikihow is appearing in the featured snippet area, this is commonly referred to as position 0.
We’ll call this category: “Snippets Voice Search”
You can imagine how much traffic these websites would be getting from these listings.
And no, don’t think it stops at baking a cake.
Take this for instance:
“Hey Google, What is the best website platform”?
These searches are in the beginning buying cycle and have a high chance of converting into a paid customer.
There are actually 3 different types of featured snippets:
List and Table Snippets (seen above)
3 Steps to Rank for Nearby Voice Searches:
There are 3 main steps to ensuring you get a prominent Google positioning for nearby voice searches.
1. Get Listed Online
This is something we often talk about here not just for local searches, but as an online reputation hub.
If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business listing, it’s not too late.
Head over to this website and get it set up: https://www.google.com/intl/en_au/business/
2. Implement Local Citations
A Local citation is an online listing or mention where you include your NAP (Name, Address & Phone Number).
This includes listings such as Yelp, the Yellow Pages, Directory Listings and even Social Media Profiles.
This is a crucial component of local SEO and it means that all of your online listings need to be congruent.
There are tools that can help you find and claim your local citations.
Some of our favourites are:
3. Optimise your Local Citations
You can optimise your online listings and local citations by adding new content regularly.
This includes photos, blog posts, videos and more.
We highly suggest implementing a review building strategy for your Google My Business listing.
Siri and Amazon don’t actually use Google’s software to answer local voice searches.
This means that step 2 and step 3 will also help your business appear for more 3rd party searches.
If you can follow the above 3 steps, you’re well on your way to generating more traffic through local search from Google devices, Siri and Amazon Echo.
A large ranking factor when it comes to these local searches is obviously location.
So don’t feel like it’s not working because you tested a voice search and you didn’t appear.
As with all SEO, results come with time, so be patient.
How to Capitalise on Snippets Voice Search?
So what if you’re an online business or don’t have a brick and mortar store.
You want to optimise around voice snippets searches.
This will not only generate more traffic, but you will also appear as the authority when the customer is looking to make a purchase.
I have two tips when it comes to ranking at “Position Zero”.
1. Looking at the “People also ask” in the SERP
2. Using Answer the Public to find question suggestions
Answer the Public is a keyword research tool helpful for question suggestions.
Now, obviously not every website is going to get the magical position zero. So you’ll have to make sure you follow some key steps in getting there.
We suggest your website to have clean code, content that clearly answers the question, and other search engine optimisation signals.
In other words, Google won’t just rank any random site because they answered a question. Your website must still follow Google’s webmaster best practices.
Search Engine Land has written a more in-depth article on how to rank in position zero outlining a few things we didn’t cover within this content.
The answer is clear, Google is changing.
Google wants to serve their users content. So let’s give it to them!
If you want to start increasing the number of people visiting your website, it’s simple. We devise an in-depth SEO strategy to get your authority as high as possible. This includes social signals, authority backlinks, content development and more.
Then, and only then, will Google start to hand over the keys to your organic presence!
Share your thoughts, and let us know if you hit any of those magical position zero listings!