Most of us have had our share of experience of using our voices for searching through Siri, Cortana, Alexa, or Google Assistant. It has been predicted that almost 20 to 50% of all searches will be more voice initiated by the end of 2020. Due to this, it has become crucial for social media agencies, businesses, and SEOs to start preparing for it and thinking about some useful techniques and practices for optimizing content for voice search and virtual assistants.
Google is actively absorbing content from all online sources in order to provide its users with the best possible responses to their voice searches. Still, there is a huge chance of gaining a competitive advantage in this atmosphere, where SEOs might not have discovered several opportunities for voice optimization.
Google’s Approach to Automatic Speech Recognition – Sound, Search, and Semantics
Ziff Davis’ Upsana Gautam has provided an in-depth technical description of the approach that Google uses for Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). According to her, it is only possible by developing an understanding of Google’s voice processing technology. Only then will we be able to learn how it works, its function, and develop effective strategies.
Upsana said that Google’s Automatic Speech Recognition works as a three-part process. It involves sound signal processing that is responsible for converting voices into mathematical data, speech modelling that is responsible for determining the meaning of what has been said (speech/ voice uttered), and delivery of search results that are relevant to the voice search.
At each of these stages, to enhance and gauge accuracy, Google uses quality metrics. Here are some useful examples of how it is done:
- Word Rate Error – it is used to measure the level of accuracy at the word level.
- Semantic Quality – it matches the level of relevancy of voice results with the text typed in by users.
- Perplexity – it is responsible for measuring the quality of a language model based on its ability to predict the next words in a sentence or sequence.
- Out-of-vocabulary Rate – it is used for measuring the number of words spoken by users that are not accounted for in the model of language.
- Latency – used for calculating the time spent on completing a voice search.
Along with neural networks and machine learning, these matrics and some others are used by Google’s voice processing technology for improving the accuracy of the results that it delivers to the users.
Optimizing Content for Voice Search and Virtual Assistants
Earn Featured Snippets
Featured snippets play an important role in voice search optimization as Google utilizes these text blurbs for delivering relevant responses to user’s queries. Here us how to make your featured snippet the go-to response for voice searches:
- Provide responses to some of the commonly asked questions that are related to your industry/niche
- Develop some related questions that you think users might also ask and try to address them clearly in your content.
- It is very important to use clear phrasing while addressing these questions and concerns in your content.
Using Question-Based Keywords
if you have no idea what questions to answer in your content and how to address some most common user concerns, you can turn to Answer the Public. It will provide you with a whole list of questions that people usually ask related to your industry and specific to some certain set of phrases or keywords. These results will help you have an idea of what sort of questions are mostly asked and what are some common concerns that need to be addressed.
Localizing Your Content
According to some reports, almost 20% of users use voice search for finding local information. Localizing your content and increasing your visibility online is easier if you simply follow these steps:
- Include phrases that indicate locations such as ‘near me’ or ‘in California’ in your meta description and title tags.
- Use phrases and terms in your content that your audience would normally use to describe local districts or neighbourhoods.
- Add references to local landmarks that are around your business’s or company’s location.
Building Skills and Actions That Relates to Your Business
Google Assistant and Alexa increase the users’ ability to do more with limited skills and actions. While thousands of add-ons are available to maximize your ability to, you are doing a huge favor to your business by creating some actions and skills specific to your company or business and what you are offering. You do not even have to be an expert coder for doing so. There are plenty of sites and services that can help you with your requirements.
Another tactic for optimization is creating voice apps that have personalities that reflect your brand. You can have a voice app that matches the speaker’s gender and performs all queries. Researches suggest that people are more comfortable when interacting with voices that match their gender. You can take a step forward and give your app a playful, professional, or outgoing personality. It is all up to you how you want it to reflect your brand or industry.
Now that you have a basic idea of how to optimize your content for voice search SEO. You need to understand that voice optimization is not separate from regular SEO in any way. Voice SEO has become the new standard for best optimization practices. It has not only become a trend but also helps to optimize your SEO as good SEO requires the same things for content optimization.
Set of pointers to remember on ‘How To Optimize Content For Voice Search?’
- Focus on long-tail keywords and phrases.
- Think of all possible questions that can be asked using a conversational manner.
- Make sure that your website is optimized for local SEO.
- Prepare your website so as to ensure that it is ready for voice search.
The typical nature of search and evolution of search algorithms based on the continuously changing technology and habits of consumers, require businesses to follow the newer trends. This is the only way to thrive, stay competitive, and relevant.
Author’s Bio Data:
Rout Lita is a professional digital content creator, SEO, and editor having years of experience working for many different industries and recently working in the Digital Marketing department at Digital Express Agency. In her free time, she loves to watch movies, read books, and play console games.