Voice Search: SEO Meets Speech Recognition

We’re getting more and more comfortable. Why tedious typing when you can just ask? And if there is no human being around who could answer us, then you simply start a neat conversation with a smart speaker, of which there are numerous models on the market. Google Home, Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo are the names of the voice-controlled speakers that ring in the beautiful new days without a keyboard and read our wishes from our lips. But our smartphones have also long been controllable by voice.

But what caused a lot of laughter years ago with the first Siri Phones from Apple at the strange answers of the personal assistant, is 2021 more sophisticated and intelligent than ever. The Siris, Cortanas and Alexas of 2020 have advanced in their development since the Siri voice control was introduced on the iPhone in 2011. More and more frequently, we are now asking smart technology about the opening times of our favorite Italian instead of using the often tiny keyboard and entering clunky keyword combinations as before.

SEO experts listen up!

There are no detailed studies on the use of voice search – apart from the “Global Al Survey Q4 2016” by HubSpot, according to which 74 percent of the respondents used voice search in the past month. But the SEO manager who has ears to hear should listen to the signs of the times. Voice search is a challenge for SEO marketing, but also a great opportunity – if you draw the right conclusions.

Who asks gets answers

Where previously tight keyword chains such as “Restaurant Italian New York” were enough in a Google search to be full and happy with pasta and candlelight on Friday evening, the voice search provides more demanding queries. After all, who speaks the way he writes? In times of the smart everyday life of the “Internet of Things”, one also communicates with virtual conversation partners such as with the neighbor or colleague. “Where can you find an Italian with homemade pasta around here?” Sounds very different. Especially in the ears of an SEO expert.

Long-tail keywords instead of chunks of keywords for voice search

With such a changed communication behavior it quickly becomes clear that in the future, search engine optimization will have to be worked a little more subtly in order not to lose touch. Long-tail keywords can be a first step, i.e. short sentences, grammatically correct with inflected verbs and close to everyday language. But no SEO manager should be satisfied with this small adjustment.

Always know what is being asked

Those who can read the questions from the lips of their target groups have a clear advantage when it comes to search queries. To do this, you have to know the potential visitors and know in advance how they are talking and what about. Who visits the site, experts or unsuspecting? Is there any specialist terminology that I should include in the questions? How would I ask a search myself? In the end, it will make a big difference in the list of results for winter sports articles whether the search query is “Where can I get cheap snowboard bindings?” Or “Where can I get alpine bindings for hard boots?”

Quality content that makes sense

Logically, this also means for the texts: quality over quantity. It does not refer to knots of text that are packed with search words as densely as Grandma’s cheesecake with raisins. Instead, they convince Google with high-quality texts, well researched and grammatically correct, which are preferred as hits for search engine queries because they provide precise answers. There is no expert knowledge on every single page, and Google thanks you for the good research and preparation with high click rates.

Google loves FAQs

The FAQ area is, on the one hand, a service offering to customers and website visitors and signals that you are happy to deal with concerns and inquiries from interested parties. At the same time, the frequently asked questions are also a means of search engine optimization that should not be underestimated – that of course also means a little effort. Because if you want to answer questions, you should know them. So it makes sense to enter into a dialogue with customers and, for example, collect questions through comments or feedback forms, pick them up in the FAQ area and answer them. These real-life questions in combination with really helpful answers are guaranteed to get more relevance in search engines than half-hearted phrases that can be read anywhere.

Voice Search – is that enough?

Certainly, with the growing importance of voice search and voice assistants, the end of keyword SEO is not yet ushered in, and the keyboard will not be abolished tomorrow either. But it is important for search engine optimization to recognize today’s trends as tomorrow’s everyday life. Those who react in good time are ahead of the game or are at the top of the ranking. And who knows what Alexa, Cortana, Siri and Google will learn in the future.

“Voice search prefers high-quality, answer-based content”

Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, but also the good old smartphone – voice assistants and online voice search on smartphones have become an integral part of everyday life in 2020.

Voice search is the new trend in the “Internet of Things”. What makes the online search with a voice assistant so attractive in everyday life? In many situations, voice search is simply more convenient than entering search terms using the keyboard. If you only have one hand free or if you are unsure about the spelling of a search term, searching by voice input is a real alternative. Especially since this makes it easier to make differentiated inquiries. Is voice search the next big thing in search engine optimization, or is it a fly in the pan to neglect? Voice search has come a long way since 2011 thanks to improved and intelligent speech recognition software, and it will continue to do so in the future. Voice Search tries to understand the questions formulated by the user and to answer them directly with direct answer snippets instead of just generating lists of results. Of course, you have to take this into account with adapted SEO measures, even if classic keyword SEO will probably never die out completely. What does voice search SEO have to look like to be successful? Voice search works best with whole sentences or questions that the user asks. For SEO, this means increasing the proportion of long-tail keywords and W-questions, as well-founded answers are available in a detailed FAQ area, for example. The best results in voice search are achieved when you deliver the right results, and that means high-quality, response-based rich content with expert knowledge. Are there any other aspects that should be considered when doing an SEO voice search? Users of smart speakers and smartphones use voice search especially when looking for local offers, be it the nearest dentist or a café nearby. Local SEO will therefore continue to gain in importance through voice search. This is an opportunity for local businesses to position themselves better with the help of SEO.

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The ABC of SEO is subject to constant change, because companies are in constant competition for a good ranking on search engines, in which old terms change and new terms are added. In addition, not all companies stick to the rules of the game to increase their ranking without financial support, or even resort to dirty tricks. That is why entrepreneurs are well advised not to learn this ABC like vocabulary, but to improve their knowledge regularly. This applies both to the entrepreneurs themselves and to the SEO representatives in the companies.

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