How is voice search optimisation impacting SEO?

SEO is not a new topic for most businesses. However, the landscape of search is changing considerably today thanks to the impact of searches that are being initiated by voice prompt. According to recent research from Adobe around 48% of consumers are using the voice option for general search queries. While it’s not yet the dominant means of search - and is certainly no reason to abandon other SEO methods - it’s important to understand the impact that this could have on your SEO.

It’s not yet time to focus purely on voice search

There is no doubt that this is constantly increasing as the option that consumers choose when it comes to searching. However, it’s not the first choice for everyone. As a result, not all of your content needs to be voice search friendly. There is some content that users will rarely request via a voice search because the response is unlikely to be detailed enough. Having said that, it’s essential to ensure that some of your content is being optimised for this type of search. This is the kind of content that your target audience is most likely to search with a voice prompt - for example, it’s a good idea to optimise your business listing for voice search so that it’s more effective when a user searches for ‘marketing agencies near me’ or ‘pizza restaurants near me.’

There are different types of voice search to consider

It’s important to be aware of the distinction between a voice search that is simply transcribing the words into the search bar and the searching that happens via a digital assistant. Most content can’t be optimised for both of these and some of it won’t be appropriate e.g. a search result that brings up your video content that can’t be displayed via a smart speaker because it has no screen. So, view voice-optimised content as another tool in your arsenal but not the only option.

Distinguish between voice search and voice actions

When you’re planning SEO for voice search make sure you understand the difference between voice search and voice actions because they process content very differently. A voice search simply puts what would otherwise be keyboard input into the search bar and returns a listings result. Here you'll need to consider how a user might opt for more conversational words when speaking rather than typing. Voice actions are specific voice commands or questions that trigger a specific response, such as placing an order or checking the weather. These won’t return a results page but a single spoken option with a request for next steps. If your goal is to achieve ‘position zero’ - where the search engine returns your content as an answer to the voice action without sending the user to a page - then you’ll need to think about the devices your customers use (because they all draw from different data sources), as well as factors such as visibility in local results and listings.

Voice search has yet to dominate the world of SEO but now is the time to start integrating it into your strategy. To find out how Iconic Digital can help your business rank higher on search engines, get in touch today and call us on 020 7100 0726. Find out more about our Search Engine Optimisation Agency in London.

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