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Voice search optimization: Speak your way to success on search engines

mandag den 20. maj 2024
Service reviews 4 - Stone

Remember the days of typing out search queries?  Those days are fading fast. Voice search has exploded in popularity recently, evolving from a novelty to a central part of our digital lives. Gone are the days of Google's first Voice Search app – now, virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Alexa are ubiquitous, fundamentally changing how we interact with the web.

Advances in speech recognition technology have revolutionized voice search and elevated it to a crucial position in search marketing strategies. This shift in status is a testament to the potential benefits and importance of voice search in the digital marketing landscape. 

Voice search marketing is a booming industry and is expected to be a US $45 billion channel by 2028.

Statistics show that 125.2 million people used voice search in 2023, and over 25% of individuals from Western countries indicated using digital voice assistants several times a day. That’s a large chunk of the population and a space ripe for SEO lead generation.

Still, it's crucial to recognize the distinct nature of voice and text searches. When we engage with our devices using voice search, our queries take on a different structure, mirroring our natural conversational style. This has necessitated a shift in the strategies of SEO professionals and marketers. 

That’s where voice search optimization steps in. Voice search optimization fine-tunes your content, keywords and long-tail keywords to rank higher in spoken search queries, driving more qualified leads to your business. 

Voice search optimization is necessary because algorithms have picked up on the popularity and prevalence of voice search, like Google's RankBrain, which prioritizes understanding the context and intent behind user queries. For voice optimization to be most successful, websites must be mobile-responsive, informative, and well-targeted, plus full of conversational language that will show up better in voice search results. 

Location targeting for local lead generation

Local SEO also plays a part in voice search, as all major voice assistants gather business data from their search engines; for example, Google Assistant derives information from Google Business. 

As mentioned above, voice search queries are typically longer, conversational, and focused on local results with immediate needs in mind. Text searches can be more open-ended and geographically agnostic. Text searches tend to be “Mexican restaurant near me,” whereas voice searches are longer, “OK Google, find the nearest restaurant near me in Brooklyn.”

When optimizing your Google Business Profile for local searches, speaking the same language as your customers is key. This means using:

Long-tail keywords: People might use more specific phrases to find your business, like "best dry cleaners near me" instead of just "dry cleaners."

Location-specific words: Include your city, neighborhood, or other relevant location terms to help people searching nearby find you.

Customer review language: Review how your customers talk about your business in reviews. These can be a goldmine for relevant keywords to include in your profile.

Review platforms like Trustpilot are great for gathering customer language and creating effective long-tail keywords.  The good news is that Google's services, like Google Business Profile, are available to all businesses regardless of whether they have a free or paid plan on Trustpilot.

Speaking your customers’ language with conversational marketing 

Optimizing for voice search goes hand-in-hand with the principles of conversational marketing. Both emphasize the power of using natural, authentic language that mirrors how people speak in everyday conversations.

Conversational marketing utilizes real-life interactions with customers to create content that meets their needs. Whether through live chat or social media, conversational marketing is a relationship builder and a highly effective tool in voice search optimization. 

Take eBay’s collaboration with Google’s Assistant. Imagine browsing eBay's massive online marketplace with just a voice. That's the power of the eBay Google Assistant App. Simply say, "Ok, Google, ask eBay to find me..." the app springs into action. Once it finds the best deal, the chatbot will ask you whether to send the results to your smartphone so that you can complete your purchase.

Conversational marketing tactics like this utilize two search marketing superpowers: personalization and voice search optimization. Quickening the purchase journey with simple voice activation creates an environment where customers (literally) feel heard and not confined to a chatbot waiting queue or, worse, call waiting. A survey by PWC found that only 10% of respondents were unfamiliar with voice-enabled products and devices. Of the 90% who were, the majority have used a voice assistant (72%). 

Keyword research for voice search and SEO lead generation

Long-tail keywords reflect how humans speak more than the short-tail keywords typical with text search. 

The competition for long-tail keywords is arguably less heated than for their shorter, snappier counterparts, making it easier for long-tail keyword-led content to rank above other sites on SERPs.

To better understand how your customers are searching for your products with their voice, it’s time for some keyword research. No surprise here: start with the source, a search engine. 

Target question-based, long-tail keywords. These include queries starting with:

  • Who, what, when, where, why, and how

  • Can, could, should, and would

  • Which

  • Is, are, was, and will

  • Do, does, and have

Use Google’s suggest feature to start building a list of long-tail keywords based on your product or service and integrating them into, for example, the below. 

Screenshot 2024-05-10 at 17.38.44

Make use of other platforms like AnswerThePublic, which displays multiple long-tail keyword variations based on your target. A comprehensive list of the best long-tail keywords to include in content, whether within a Google Business Profile or in a blog title, ensures that your digital storefront is optimized for all types of searches. 

The future of search may become entirely voice-activated, and businesses that embrace voice search optimization will be well-positioned to thrive in this evolving landscape. By speaking your customers' language and creating content that resonates with their conversational queries, you can unlock a new level of visibility and drive qualified leads to your business.

Key takeaways

  • Embrace conversational marketing: Voice search users ask questions in a natural, conversational way. Align your content with this by using conversational language and long-tail keywords that mirror how people speak.

  • Target local leads with location targeting: set up your Google Business profile for local voice search optimization by including relevant keywords and positive reviews that reflect how customers speak in your area.

  • Leverage long-tail keywords for SEO lead generation: People use longer, more specific phrases in voice search queries. Conduct keyword research to identify question-based long-tail keywords related to your business and integrate them strategically.

  • Speak your customers' language: Understanding user intent is crucial. Optimize your content to answer users' informational, transactional, navigational, or commercial queries phrased conversationally.

  • Optimize for voice search: Voice search algorithms prioritize mobile-friendly websites with clear, concise content. Ensure your website is optimized for voice search to improve your ranking and attract qualified leads.

Trust (and reviews with long-tail keywords) get results. Let our experts show you how.


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