Google Voice Search: The Definitive Guide (2018 Updated)

In the last 5 years or so, voice search SEO has become extremely popular for brands and marketers. This is because over 40% of adults use voice search facility at least once per day.

No wonder, almost all search engine companies including Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa & Echo), Google (Google Home) and Microsoft (have all introduced their voice assistance services in the market.

You’ll be surprised to know that 19% people use Alexa, 23% people use Cortana, and 37% of people use Siri each month.

And that’s not all:

Between 2008 and 2016, queries for ‘Google Home’ increased 35 times.

‘Google Home’ queries increased 35 times over between 2008 and 2016

Now:

We’re sure you know why voice search SEO optimization is so important in 2018 and beyond.

But here’s the BIG QUESTION:

How will prepare to lead the market with ultimate voice search SEO?

Turns out:

You’re in luck today! We’re going to pull the curtains and reveal 5 voice search SEO optimization strategies that guarantee higher rankings on Google Voice Search Result pages.

1. Get Your Business Listed on Local Listings

You probably already know:

22% consumers use voice search to find local information. This includes finding information for local restaurants, offices and their opening & closing hours, movie shows and their timings, and directions to different places.

22% people depend on voice search for local information

This is a huge fraction of potential customer for any local business. And in order to persuade these 22% potential customers to buy from your brand, you’ll need to ensure that your local business features elaborate details and is listed in local business listings. In addition, it makes sense to select correct categories, the ones that are relevant to your brand.

Remember:

Typically, a large percentage of mobile search take place on mobile devices. Quite naturally, the search results (Near Me results) pop-up depending upon the geographical location of the user (tracked by GPS). That’s why it is important to make sure that your brand’s name, physical address and telephone number appear in web listings.

The more elaborate will be your business information on web listings, the better will be your chances of ranking in voice search results.

2. Use Long-Tail Keywords for Voice Search Optimization

Let’s face it – we do not use voice search like we use the text based search on Google.

As it turns out:

Mobile search queries are more personal as against text based search queries. Why? This is because people use conversational tone when using voice search for their queries.

What does this mean?

This means voice search queries are long-tail and are typically around 9-10 words in length.

voice search queries are long-tail

But here’s something you must know:

As discussed above, these long-tail queries are not keyword based, but are actually based upon real speech or human conversational style.

So the normal, long-tail keywords (found via Google Keyword Planner) that we use to rank for Google text based search results don’t really work well with voice search.

Here’s what you should do:

Think on the kind of words and phrases that users will use when using voice search to look for products/services similar to what you’re offering.

Once you find out the words and phrases that your target users are likely to use, run a voice search to look up for the content that ranks for such keywords and phrases. This will give you an idea of the content type you will need to build to rank for those words and phrases in Google voice search.

3. Repurpose Your Content in the Form of Question-Answer

So now you know that voice search results are mostly long-tail.

But here’s something you don’t know:

Voice search queries are typically in the form of questions.

In fact, you’ll be surprised:

Voice searches in the form of questions are increasing dramatically at a rate of 61% year on year.

question-based voice searches are growing at the rate of 61% year on year

Here’s a shortcut to optimize your content to perform well on Google voice search results:

Repurpose your old, evergreen content in question-answer format.

4. Update Microdata to Rank Well for Voice Searches

Did you know?

13.3% of all websites in the world use Microdata markups.

microdata markups are now used by 13.3% of all the websites

Surprised? Here’s a fact that will surprise you even more:

Mircrodata markups can instantly help you rank higher on Google voice search results.

Wondering why?

This is because Google bots find it easy to understand the context and relevance of your webpage if you have microdata markups.

We’re sure you’re thinking:

How do I update microdata markup on my site?

Here’s your Answer:

Submit a sitemap to Google and make sure that your sitemap contains at least these 5 critical piece of information:

  1. Your business’ physical address
  2. Your business’ telephone numbers
  3. Your business’ working hours
  4. Product description and prices
  5. Direction of your business optimized according to Google Map

Don’t worry! It’s no rocket science to create microdata markups and you can create microdata markups without having to burn the midnight oil.

For different use cases and content types that you can use for microdata markup, please visit Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. Here you will also find information on how to easily create microdata markups and how to use correct HTMP (hypertext markup language) for the same.

5. Optimize Your Site for Faster Loading Time

We’re sure you’ve already heard:

Google recently rolled out their “Mobile-first Index”. And it’s very big news for brands and marketers.

Why?

Because now Google wants to make sure that searchers are able to find what they are looking for easily and quickly!

And remember:

This is applicable not just for text-based searches, but also to the voice based searches.

And that’s not all:

Typically, most voice searches happen on mobile devices. Why? Because 43% users want faster results and that’s why they use voice search!

Now it’s clear:

If faster your site loads, the better will be your Google SERP rankings. Remember, site speed has a very strong correlation with higher Google rankings for both voice searches and text-based search results.

site speed and Google rankings have a strong correlation

Now, we’re sure you have understood how important is it for you to optimize your website for faster loading time to rank better for Google voice search results in 2018 and beyond.

Over to You!

You’ve read everything about voice search SEO and the top 5 insanely actionable voice search SEO tips to rank higher on voice search results pages. Now it’s time to implement them.

The first step?

Leave a comment to let us know which of these 5 tips you’re going to try first. Ready to optimize for local web listings? Or maybe you want to repurpose your evergreen articles and blogs into question-answer format?

Either way, leave a quick comment below right now.

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