Voice Search Optimisation: Preparing for the Next Big Shift in SEO

Tue, 18/06/2024 - 10:33

When was the last time you typed a query into your search engine? If you’re anything like the growing number of tech-savvy, multi-tasking individuals, your fingers are getting a well-deserved break while your voice does the heavy lifting. Welcome to the age of voice search, where asking Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant to find the best sushi restaurant nearby is as natural as breathing. But how do we, as digital marketers, navigate this talking revolution? Grab your virtual surfboard, because we're about to ride the wave of Voice Search Optimisation (VSO) with a splash of fun and a dash of creativity.

The Whispering Winds of Change: Why Voice Search Matters

Imagine sitting on a beach, cocktail in hand, and saying, “Hey Google, what’s the best surf spot around here?” In seconds, you have your answer. This seamless, almost magical experience is becoming the norm. According to ComScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2024. It's not just a trend; it's a tsunami changing the SEO landscape forever.

Speak Easy: The Art of Conversational Content

Voice searches are inherently different from text searches. They are more conversational and often longer. Instead of typing “best pizza NYC,” a user might ask, “What’s the best place to get pizza in New York City?” This shift means our content needs to be more natural, more conversational, and yes, a lot more fun. Imagine your blog posts as friendly conversations with your audience. Use questions and answers to mimic natural speech patterns. The more your content sounds like it came from a friendly neighbourhood pizza lover, the better.

The Long and Short of It: Keywords Evolved

Keywords are no longer just a string of search-friendly words. They’re entire sentences, questions, and exclamations. Enter the era of long-tail keywords. Instead of optimising for “cheap flights,” think “Where can I find the cheapest flights to Hawaii?” It’s time to get into the heads (and voices) of your users. Tools like AnswerThePublic can help you understand what questions people are asking about your industry.

Local Legends: Optimising for Local Search

Voice search and local search are like peanut butter and jam – they go hand in hand. Most voice searches are local, with users looking for businesses or services “near me.” Ensure your business is the local legend of your industry. Keep your Google My Business listing up to date, complete with accurate contact information, hours, and high-quality photos. Don’t forget to include location-specific keywords in your content. If you’re a bakery in Greenpoint , “best cupcakes in Greenpoint” should be your mantra.

Speed Demon: Page Load Time Matters

Voice searchers are in a hurry. They want answers, and they want them fast. If your website is slower than a turtle on a treadmill, you’re going to lose them. Make sure your site loads quickly on all devices. Compress images, leverage browser caching, and minimise your code. Remember, a speedy site isn’t just good for VSO – it’s great for user experience and traditional SEO too.

Snippets of Success: Aim for Position Zero

Position zero, the holy grail of search results, is where you want to be. This is the featured snippet that appears above the traditional search results. It’s what voice assistants read out loud to users. To land here, create content that directly answers common questions in a concise, informative way. Use bullet points, numbered lists, and simple language. Think of it as providing the best possible answer to a user’s question, gift-wrapped in clarity and precision.

Schema Superstars: Markup Magic

Schema markup is like giving search engines a VIP pass to your content. It helps them understand your content better and serve up rich results. Use structured data to mark up your content, making it easier for search engines to pull relevant information. This can include everything from your business’s address and phone number to product details and reviews. It’s like handing Google a map to your website’s treasure.

Voice Search and the Fun Factor: Keep It Playful

Now, let’s talk about keeping things fun. Voice search is inherently playful – it’s like having a conversation with your tech. Embrace this playfulness in your content. Use humour, tell stories, and create engaging, interactive experiences. Imagine your content as a friendly guide, helping users find what they need while sharing a laugh or two.

The Future Sounds Bright

As we look to the future, it’s clear that voice search isn’t just a fleeting trend – it’s a fundamental shift in how we interact with technology. By embracing Voice Search Optimisation now, you’re not just preparing for the future; you’re shaping it. So, let’s get talking. Ask your audience what they want, listen to their queries, and create content that’s ready to answer, inform, and entertain.

In the words of a famous assistant, “Hey, let’s get started!” Voice search is here to stay, and with a bit of creativity, strategy, and a whole lot of fun, you’ll be ready to ride this wave all the way to the top.

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