#SEO Voice Control

Language and its influence on search engine marketing

Mobile Internet use is constantly on the rise, and it’s no wonder that new ways of making web searches easier, faster and more convenient for this group of users are constantly being developed. Especially the generation of digital natives – the younger people who grew up with digital technologies and devices – are now looking for more voice-controlled searches on the Internet. This is closely related to the high usage frequency of touch-screen devices, as input via on-screen keyboards is cumbersome and too inaccurate.

In response to this trend, Google has developed the verbal search function Voice Search. With Voice Search, web searches can be carried out by spoken word and no longer have to be carried out by laboriously typing the search terms into the search engine, a website or an app. However, it does not only differ in the way the search term is entered, it is also technically different because language assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Siri from Apple or Cortana from Microsoft are installed on the mobile devices. Answers to search queries are then no longer displayed by the end device, but read out loud and clearly, so that the searcher remains completely device-independent.

A large-scale study carried out in Great Britain found that in 2020 about 50 percent of all search queries will be voice-controlled – and the trend will continue to rise. Similar studies confirm these estimates. In the medium term, it is even to be expected that voice search will overtake conventional web searches, i.e. that more searches will be conducted voice-controlled. However, both technical and marketing experts do not assume that it will completely replace conventional web search – at least not until the quality of the search results is not the same.

“Voice Search” searches differently

The web search via voice search is used more frequently – especially by the ever improving language assistants – and has already exceeded the mark of 10 million users. Several studies have consistently found that users who formulate their search using language search in a completely different way than they would when searching using Google or Bing. The terms are clearer, more often longer sentences are formulated, in which in most cases a question word is contained. So they basically follow natural language patterns.

But not only is the search carried out differently, the output of the search result cannot be compared with that of the traditional website either. Those who formulate their search via voice search receive ONLY ONE search result that is read to them. In a stationary search, on the other hand, there would be a list of several matching search results that they would have to read themselves.

Main areas of use of “Voice Search” searches

Internet searches via voice search from mobile devices are always used when it comes to being able to surf the Internet quickly and easily. Studies have shown the following three core areas for the use of Voice Search:

    Mobile devices are mainly used to search for information on routes, addresses and opening hours, details of events or places of interest.
    Many use Voice Search to search for suitable shopping opportunities – this applies to online businesses as well as to stationary trade with an Internet presence.
    Searches for practical advice and information on a wide variety of topics – often in the DIY or hobby environment – are often carried out by voice search.

The first two points show how important local Voice Search SEO is for companies, as it is primarily local search – a typical example of a spoken search with a local reference would be “Where can I find a fish restaurant at Hamburg harbour?“.

Integrating „Voice Search“- SEO into the business process

Companies that want to establish a successful Voice Search SEO in their company, but already operate an effective, up-to-date search engine marketing, can take over many of the strategic analyses and customer data on which it is based for the implementation of the operative measures of Voice Search SEO. Because voice search does not change how the customer thinks and feels, but only the way he searches the Internet. However, newcomers need to think carefully in order to understand how their customers think, what they want and what they can offer them as a company. This is the most important basis, because otherwise even the best of the following measures will miss their target.

The following operational SEO measures when searching via Voice Search should be implemented in order to be findable and relevant

Google’s mathematical algorithms scan every web page thoroughly to find possible matches with the search terms spoken. A clearly structured, structured page not only helps Google find the site, but also makes the site much more user-friendly for visitors. The featured snippets contain the answers that the searcher receives to his voice search. They are awarded directly by Google as a kind of trophy and guarantee companies a place on “Position 0” – in terms of voice search, this means that the content is read out and linked to the source.
The proportion of voice searches in local searches is disproportionately high. Companies should therefore provide location and contact information, as well as information about their opening hours and the best way to reach them. By listing in a Google or Bing business directory, prospects can access their data. It’s also a good idea to publish content on local topics. Visitors still expect added value. That has not changed even by searching via voice search and the quality of the content will certainly still be the tip of the balance. For the company this means picking up relevant topics, preparing them for the target group and making them available to the user. Short sentences as well as a simple and understandable language style should be used.
The web search via voice search is formulated in more detail. Not only individual words or terms are entered into the search field, but questions are asked or groups of words are used instead. Optimization for individual keywords should therefore be avoided as far as possible in order to react more flexibly to both forms of search. Mobile searches via voice search are generally simply formulated in question form – so it’s more like a conversation. The questions should not contain complex sentence structures or foreign words. It is important to include questions on your own website, for example a FAQ page that provides both possible questions and suitable answers.

In addition to optimizing the texts and the design of the website, technology also plays a major role. It helps, the technical SEO should not be underestimated with this promising form of the Web search. They make voice search practicable and support the optimized selection of search results. The following three measures should be carried out:

    The big names in the industry, especially Google and Microsoft, use the markup language schema.org to link the data on the search engine with the data on the individual websites. For Voice Search SEO, the function of displaying rich snippets is of particular interest.
    Internet pages – especially on mobile devices – can sometimes take quite a long time to set up. To speed up the loading time, the site should be optimized for mobile use using the AMP framework. At the same time, it is advisable to take Google Page Speed measures aimed at improving the user experience.

Especially for local companies, such as restaurants or shops in a certain city, voice search optimization offers a great opportunity to reach new customers and thus bring their company forward.