Content optimization for voice search – listen to what Google has to say about it
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Even ten years ago, it was just unthinkable that someday people would become dependent on technology for performing some basic tasks. Still, today it has turned out to be very accurate. In the US alone, 60.5 million people depend on virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana, the newest companion of humans that boast of AI or artificial intelligence. Virtual assistants have become popular because people can speak to them, and they can understand human language to assist them in performing tasks. This incredible advancement has been possible because of voice searches that have gained immense popularity. In 2014, Google admitted that 41% of adults and 55% of teenagers use voice search at least once a day. According to results available from studies in January 2018, one in five Americans use voice searches.
The growing trend of voice searches has not escaped the attention of online marketers who have understood that it will impact SEO but are not sure in which way. However, it becomes necessary to understand voice search in as much detail as possible to gauge how it could affect online marketing. It should help to drive more traffic and gain higher visibility during searches as the transition from traditional to voice search gains speed.
Optimize content for voice search
Until now, all on-page optimization measures revolved around traditional text searches; however, as the popularity of voice search is growing, you must now optimize content for voice searches. Incidentally, you have to know what type of content to optimize for voice search because there are exceptions too. Some kind of content is not suitable for such optimization at all. Google has started advising people on content optimization techniques for Google Assistant. Currently, content like podcasts, recipes, and news are within reach of Google Assistant. The experts at Digital Assets Factory SEO feel that the categories of content will most likely increase soon, and marketers have to be ready with the know-how of optimization for voice searches.
Focus on structured data
Google is all set to give more thrust to handling voice searches more effectively and, in the process, wants to keep digital marketers up-to-date about what is happening and how to adapt to the changes. Google’s Gary Illyes has advised publishers to pay more attention to structured content that should ease the adaption of the new features that Google intends to release during the year. The loud and clear message is that your content must be compatible with voice searches. The optimization has to complement Google’s efforts in understanding scope more efficiently by using the technology to decipher voice searches. Structured data should help to communicate effectively with Google to identify content whenever someone speaks about it.
Get ready for voice snippets.
The way featured snippets function would remain the same, but there are likely to be some changes in its presentation, especially concerning the language structure. Until now, the content structure has taken into account written text only, but from now; it has to consider how the content will sound out when someone reads it loudly. Since spoken words can convey more information than written words within a given period, you must be convinced of how well the snippets sound and whether the content comprehensively answers the query.
Provide timely information to Google, which is great for working as voice snippets. It is not enough for the content to be pleasing to the ears. It should merely sound tremendous and provoke the right emotions to encourage users to take affirmative action. Think about presenting information currently appearing in a tabular form or block text.
Stick easy to read content
It would be best if you never taxed readers’ patience to find answers hidden within the content but made it visible forthright. The content should make for exciting reading, with the answer appearing on the surface. The solution must be comprehensive but precise so that viewers get the information they want without having to peel off many layers of content to access it. Now that the shift towards voice searches is gaining pace, easy-to-read content has become essential. To help voice assistants find answers quickly, provide a direct response to the question instead of hinting at the answer in the range. This is extremely important because some voice assistants try to answer queries about the content directly. It means that the closeness between the opening paragraph of the content and the search query increases the chances of the content appearing in search results.
Over-optimization can be harmful.
It would be best if you respected the meaning of the word optimization in the real sense of the term by taking a balanced approach that helps to maintain equilibrium in the optimization measures. As evil as it is to under-optimize content, it is equally wrong to over-optimize it. Maintain a middle-of-the-road approach so that you neither do too much nor too less. The content structure has to transition from a printed or visual-based system to a more audio-based one. It would be best to consider how the content sounds and appeals when someone reads it.
The answer must be short yet elaborate enough and contain all the required information. It might sound good if someone wants to create fast one-paragraph solutions, but it would leave users dissatisfied. That is a typical example of over-optimization that would backfire. The site would have multiple quick answers with one answer for one specific query and would run into several web pages of low value.
To be ready for voice search to gain mileage in SEO or any other form of digital marketing, create content that search engines understand easily and are suitable to hear when someone reads it aloud. Creating quality content by staying natural is the best way to harness the powers of voice search for marketing gains.