In an uber-connected world, where we are constantly on the move along with our gadgets, it was only a matter of time before the way we searched for things online changed.
A tectonic shift has been noticed towards voice-based searches, as opposed to text-based ones.
Two of the giants of the search industry – Google and Microsoft’s Bing- have stated that a majority of their search queries are placed via voice on mobiles.
Given the hands-free and wireless nature of voice searches, not to mention its ease, more and more people are gravitating towards them. The industry was bracing for this shift, but it came too fast for most organisations – Voice search optimization.
As recently as early January 2019, Google’s own resident expert, John Mueller, said- in a widely-quoted Webmaster Central Hangouts video – how he envisioned the future of search, and where many organisations were erring.
Google, together with its subsidiary YouTube, controls over 90% of the total searches conducted worldwide. Being a market leader, it also influences how smaller players and consumers react, to an extent. Thus, when the Google Assistant was launched, the Mountain View, California-based giant also highlighted how online publishers could make their content more discoverable.
One of the ways was to introduce voice search optimisation.
The rise of voice assistants
Intelligent voice assistants have long dominated mainstream science fiction. Now, it is here. The major players in the digital voice assistants industry are Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana (which initially promised to become a standalone AI platform, but Microsoft has since backtracked), and Amazon’s Alexa.
There are also smaller players like Robin, which does not have the same market heft as its bigger rivals, but nonetheless has enough search capabilities. It is still in its Beta stage, however.
She’s still learning.
The moot point is: the rise of AI and Natural Language Processing or NLP has now led to voice assistants gaining prominence.
The top players in this domain are rivals, notably Apple, Microsoft and Amazon. For many years, these companies fought each other bitterly over data and search rights. Recently, however, Apple has stated that it will shift its search for Siri, Search Inside iOS (or Spotlight) and Spotlight for Mac from Bing to Google. Thus, voice search 2019 results will see faster, better and more real-time results.
So, where does it leave small, medium and large enterprises? They have to adapt the latest voice search trends in their business models to retain their competitive edge.
At Das Writing Services Pvt. Ltd., a leading content writing agency, we provide our clients with the latest voice search SEO trends. We rely on proven SEO trends coupled with the latest in voice searches, which has its own set of rules. We can provide you with customised voice search optimisation services which will help you see through these technologically challenging, yet stimulating, times.
The impact of voice searches
Over the last decade, Google has repeatedly refined its algorithms to deliver better results. The Possum and RankBrain updates brought local search results into every query. 4 years ago, if you typed in “weather Miami”, you would have been delivered results on the broad outlines of Miami’s weather.
Now, however, a simple search using the same keywords will fetch weather-specific data, flight diversions, road disruptions and real-time updates on weather conditions. Infographics on weather forecasts will also show up.
Imagine looking up the same details using voice search trends. A speaker might ask their Google Assistant or Siri “How is the weather like in Miami?” While the search results will be the same, the user noticeably uses Longtail keywords, not the short text snippets.
- Takeaway: Organisations need to focus more on Longtail keywords and phrases
To stay relevant and up-to-date, organisations will have to shift to natural language, the way most people speak. This indicates a clear shift from the terse and brief typed keywords and may even incorporate entire sentences at times.
Focusing on phrases and Longtail keywords is key to achieving sustained success in voice search SEO trends. The content you create, and upload may sometimes need to be redeveloped from scratch because they might abide by the ‘older’ style of keyword usage.
People speaking to their smart digital assistants do not tend to ramble on; rather, they tend to focus on specifics. To that end, a user might ask Siri: “Find me a good local Italian restaurant.” This is a spontaneous conversation, and the user expects a single, clear answer.
- Takeaway: Anticipate conversational tones in search queries
Business owners, regardless of their scale of operations, must ramp up their digital marketing strategy by optimising their websites for specific, but conversational, queries. Sites need to be content-rich but ad-light, especially after the emergence of Fred, Google’s updated search algorithm, which de-ranked more than 300 domains because they had too many ads and too little content, according to analysts.
The fact that Google is said to have nearly 600 algorithm fixes each year, none of which can necessarily be counted as a proper update makes ad-dependence dangerous.
Under such circumstances, you might want to hire a professional content writing agency like Das Writing Services Pvt. Ltd.
Moving on, studies suggest that most voice searches tend to have a localised context. Thus, when a user asks Google, “Find me a good coffee shop in Seattle,” the results will have a lot of topical and local input. People may even be covertly asking where the shop is located, what its working hours are and what types of coffee it offers.
- Takeaway: Focus on localised SEO
To do that, you have to identify your website’s target audience and then adjust your SEO audits accordingly. You need to anticipate what the user might ask, and when. For instance, most coffee shops in Seattle close by midnight, and round-the-clock joints are few.
People who ask about coffee shops at midnight may also have a proper dinner on their minds; the search results may be expanded to include restaurants and pubs too.
Finally, ever since the dawn of mankind, people have asked themselves, and often others, how to ‘live in the moment.’ Internet search queries using these keywords are frequent, and the results are surprisingly diverse. But Google has come up with a new and powerful tool, called Micro Moments, which is a broad term that encompasses those moments when we demand immediate information.
According to Google, Micro Moments promise to bridge the gap between traditional search, and mobile-based searches. Real-time relevance is the key to success.
- Takeaway: Optimise your website for voiced searches now
Google has consistently reminded webmasters and developers how useful mobile devices are as mediums of communication, and how they are primary sources of information. To retain a north-facing growth trajectory, your website must be immediately optimised for voice searches.
There are now two focus areas: text search and voice search. These two can run simultaneously, but eventually, the shift to voice search SEO trends will overtake the older means, paving the way for IoT to gain a toehold in our daily lives.
Businesses which pay special emphasis on these Micro Moments stand a better chance of converting more clients. Micro Moment optimisation includes:
- Anticipating when people might search for a service.
- Identifying the types of answers that they will require.
- Delivering the answer with zero or negligible downtime.
How to optimise your website for voice searches
At Das Writing Services Pvt. Ltd., content is created keeping in mind the specific nature of voice search queries. We have the technical know-how and a creative content creating a team which can provide you with a varied range of content at very short notices.
Here is how we recommend you ensure voice search optimisation for your website.
- Engage structured data: When asked about emerging SEO trends at PubCon 2018, keynote speaker Gary Illyes- who returns to PubCon 2019 in Florida too- suggested that websites should use structured data. Illyes is a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst and a frequently-quoted authority on voice search SEO trends. Illyes suggested that Google was developing a suite of software changes which would enable good developers to become great ones- mainly through making content Voice Assistant-friendly.
John Mueller was even more forthcoming, suggesting that Google ‘loved’ structured data as it helped the bot understand what a page is all about, thereby allowing it to respond better to voice search queries.
- Make your content easy to read: One word which must be hammered home when initiating a proper voice search optimisation schedule is that ‘conversational’ is key here. The content must be in an easy-to-read and digest, but not informal, manner. Mueller had an interesting analogy in this context: he said that when people search for the world’s tallest mountain, they generally tend to read only the first paragraph of the suggested answer and skip the rest.
The message is a simple one: easy does it.
- Use voice snippets: Snippets regain importance when you look at voice searches. For instance, a page full of tabled data will not rank on a voice search for the simple reason that it is not easy to read out aloud. In this context, reading out aloud is the point to ponder. When you are drawing up fresh content, how does it sound like when reading out aloud? Does it sound like any average person talking, or is it reminiscent of a machine trying to imitate a person?
Voice snippets work well when an FAQ page or one with lots of data is being drafted. It helps in the flow of information without interfering with the tonality.
- Say no to over-optimisation: Google believes that there exists such a thing as over-optimisation or trying too hard to take great strides in voice search optimisation without an adequate gestation period. Mueller, again, has a great point here; he cautions that to reap voice snippets, a website content developer must not try and highlight every paragraph.
Over-optimising is never a solution to proven methods of ranking pages. These methods include writing top-notch content with adequate research backing, a rigorous SEO system in place and situ and avoiding shortcuts that Google believes are ways to deceive its algorithms.
- Write naturally: Mueller signs off by adding there is no substitute for writing naturally, for the readers en masse. It is essential to remember that no matter how much mobile devices and IoT systems proliferate, people will inevitably ask a machine a question differently vis-à-vis asking another person. That is the key to the Turing and the reverse Turing Test, and content must be structured likewise.
Experts believe that writing for the layperson is essential for search engines to pick up bits and pieces of information to solve vocal queries. Emerging voice search trends also suggest that writing naturally helps ease the man-machine divide when searching by voice.
How can we help you?
Das Writing Services Pvt. Ltd. offers you a complete package of voice search optimisation programs, starting from the bottom of the pyramid: the content. In the end, content is still king. We also have our own in-house SEO team which aids in making your voice search SEO strategies top-notch.
Let us break down the process a little.
- We optimise your local listings: Little things like local listings can add value to your voice search results. We ensure better last-mile delivery by listing your latest available social media profiles and addresses, mainly to bolster your presence on Google My Business Anyone searching for “pizza in Austin near me” or similar queries will automatically get rerouted to your website.
- We target longtail keywords: Before your organisation is ready to face the vast and profound challenges online, you need a proper keyword strategy in place. Das Writing Services Pvt. Ltd. uses proven methods of keyword research and usage to provide you better solutions.
- We know how people talk and make changes accordingly: Language and linguistics are fluid and generally have no set rules of usage. Dialects may vary in a single city, which makes voice search sound daunting. We can ensure adherence to a single natural language which will deliver results — the result: better and more variable longtail keyword which add value.
- We take care of Google Analytics: While there are no concrete reports, Google plans to tweak its popular Search Console reports and suggest which keywords and phrases worked the best. We will deliver content accordingly, once that update rolls out.
- We correct your Microdata: Googlebot uses a site’s Microdata to crawl through billions of webpages and deliver the most accurate results. That means that your site’s Microdata- a sitemap for Google, in a sense- has to be precise. We will help you take appropriate steps. Microdata may include directions from highways, store hours, telephone numbers, and physical addresses among a variety of other data.
- We help your site ace the Mobile Friendly test: Google has its own Mobile Friendly test which analyses your website and enables you to focus on areas which need reworking to become mobile friendly. Increasing site loading speed is just one criterion: we can help you with the entire gamut. We also abide by Google’s own guidelines.
- Competitive pricing and professional quality: Das Writing Services Pvt. Ltd. offers you the best value-for-money packages for optimising your website and amp it up to face the challenges of voice search 2019 You are guaranteed timely delivery and thoroughly checked, plagiarism-free content (Copyscape Premium passed) and a robust gallery of content.
The taste of the pudding…
… lies in the eating. If you believe you are ready to take the competition head-on but are unsure of where to begin, start by contacting our team at Das Writing Services Pvt. Ltd. today. We are a professional content writing agency with a firm grasp of how the technology of tomorrow will look like.
It’s time to leap of faith, don’t you think?