In the last few years, the use of voice searches has been an increasingly popular option for many users. It offers them a simple way in which they can interact with a search engine at their own convenience. This should come as little surprise given the increasing popularity of virtual assistants. Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri are all virtual assistants with voice search capability and are now a mainstream technology with many homes having access to at least one of these. With the increase of voice search as a popular option, it is important to consider the implications that this might have for SEO. 

The rise of voice search popularity

More and more people are now making use of voice assistants like those we have already mentioned to conduct their internet searches. According to a recent study, around 50% of all the searches that are being made on the internet are done via voice searching. There are several reasons that this shift in the way that people search for things has taken place. These include the increase in the accuracy that now exists for voice recognition software, the convenience that users get from hands-free searching, and the fact that smart speakers are even more popular. 

How does the use of voice search affect SEO?

Because voice search has altered the way in which individuals look for information, this has implications for SEO. The way in which individuals phrase the questions that they ask when doing so verbally compared to written questions is a huge difference when talking people will usually use more natural language and perhaps longer phrases rather than making a much shorter typed query. This makes it important for anyone creating content to make sure that their content is optimised for theses newer more natural language enquiries .

Something else that can also have an affect on SEO is how search engines show voice search results. When voice search is used, the individual asking the question will usually only be shown a couple of results. This is in comparison to the long list they will get with a typed search. This means that it is essential to be in the top search positions for the relevant keywords. 

How can you optimise voice search?

When optimising voice search you need to have a focus on long-tail keywords and natural language. Content should include conversational language and focus on answering the questions a  user may ask. Websites should also load quickly and be mobile friendly. 

Data markup should be structured in order to assist with website visibility for the results of voice searches. When data is structured, this offers additional context for search engines. It then assists them in understanding website content and therefore the relevance to certain enquiries. 

Because voice search is increasingly becoming a mainstream technology, businesses must optimise their content to meet this new search method. This will help them when it comes to ensuring they are as visible as possible to voice search results. And, perhaps most importantly, will ensure that they stay ahead of their competitors.