Hey Google: How to Optimize for Voice Search?
By optimizing your content and making it consumable by bots, we will take a moment to prepare some foundations for you to reach a broader audience on external public-facing websites: “How to optimize for voice search?”. And if you do not have a website, stay tuned, as you could still learn one or two things for your Medium blog.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search is a well-known and established function that helps users search the web through spoken voice commands rather than typing them on their keyboards. The voice search can be executed on desktop and mobile (yes, you heard that right, desktop too). It has dramatically changed how Google handles searches, but more importantly, how users search for the information they need throughout the day.
The main difference between usual text searches and voice searches is not only orientated around the input methodology chosen by the user. The mechanism behind the scenes must include automatic speech recognition (ASR), or natural language understanding (NLU), to treat “natural search queries” such as “What is the population for Switzerland?”(over 8.7 million in 2021 — no need to ask anymore you are welcome).
Understanding that we will focus on one study case in this article, you might also perform different types of searches on your devices that will use other types of assistants, such as:
— Apple: Hey, Siri
— Amazon: Hey, Alexa
— Microsoft: Hey, Cortana
— Samsung: Hi, Bixby
— Line: using Google Assistant
Some facts about “Google Voice Search” :
— Initial release date: May 20, 2012.
— Launch of the Google Assistant in 2016.
— 75% of households in the US are expected to own a device in 2025.
What are the benefits of voice search :
The list is long, but we could start with the below advantages:
— Users instantly get better answers to their questions or information.
— It’s quicker to speak than to type for most of us.
— It enhances customer service and relationships.
— It raises brand awareness, reputation, and visibility
— It connects the brand differently with its end-users.
All in all, it’s about right here and right now for most internet users. Although, of course, serving fast and up-to-date information to answer back search queries is not a “nice to have” anymore, despite some debates in the SEO community. Still, it’s one additional powerful tool on your digital belt.
Just think about these types of search queries, where we could position ourselves better or answer questions from the public:
— “Hey Google, who is Dimitri Pletschette?”
— “Hey, Google, where is the closest pharmacy?”
— “Hey, Google, what is the latest stock price for Tesla?”
For example, the first question returned an answer related to my blog (let me know if it is the same for you in the comments. It will help me too).
So what can I do?
The good news is that it’s not rocket science. First, apply the HTML & editorial guidance below, understanding that some will not apply to your Medium page. Then with some time, you should have a chance to compete on this “Position Zero” that returns answers to voice queries linked to search engine results pages (SERP).
—The H1 tag should be formatted in a question (often the page title).
— Optimize your content for rich answers (Open Graph protocol).
— Target content that will be between 500 and 1000 words.
— Avoid grammar mistakes.
— Avoid commas & parenthesis, and keep it simple for bots.
— The answer should be provided in the first 30 words (at max).
— Make sure to have clean HTML Markup.
— Use bullet lists when possible.
— Integrate “speakable” tags from Schema.org.
Feel free to comment below if you have any other questions; let me know if this article was helpful and good luck on that journey!
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