The way people search for information online is changing. We’re always looking for the simplest, most convenient way of doing things. And this is changing the way people do their searches. With the introduction of voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant, people have begun to “speak” to their devices.
Before this, the only way was to type. This means unlocking your smartphone, opening your search engine app and typing out your search query. Now, you just say, ‘Hey Siri’, and ask your question. And Siri reads you the answer. See the difference? Handsfree! Voice assistants make browsing the web much more convenient. By 2020, an estimated 50% of all web searches will be done via voice.
What does this mean for SEO? The game has changed, and you need to adapt your strategy. This is where VEO (Voice Engine Optimization) comes in. Consider this: we type differently and speak differently. When we type, the search looks like this: digital marketing agencies near me. When we speak, the search looks like this: Show me a list of digital marketing agencies near me. VEO bridges this gap.
Here are a few tips for you to adapt your SEO strategy to accommodate voice searches:
Work on your ‘Google My Business Listings’
Voice searches are largely location-based. “What’s the nearest coffee shop that’s open now?” Searchers are looking for specific information, so make it easily available to them. Fill out your address, email and phone, website URL, working days and timings.
Be fast and mobile-friendly
Two things searchers hate: waiting and bad experiences. In other words, if your website is slow to load, or if it isn’t mobile user-friendly, you’ve lost. So make sure the respective web page loads in under three seconds.
How you write your website content matters
As we mentioned above, a major benefit of voice assistants is you can go hands free and have the information read back to you. For voice searches, Google gives preference to content sections that are most appropriate for text-to-speech playback. Shift from a formal content tone to a slightly more informal, conversational tone. In other words, write how you speak.
This Applies to Keywords too
For the same reason as above, we recommend using sentence-like long-tail keywords that are similar to the way people speak. Think “Indian restaurant near me” vs “Show me Indian restaurants near me that are open now?” Be conversational.
The bottom line is, for your VEO strategy to work, you have to anticipate your customers’ needs. What exact information are they looking for, how will they ask it, and what is the most ideal way of providing that information.