Internet voice search is increasing and it’s starting to disrupt search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices. Let’s start with taking a look at some of the stats:
- By 2020, 30 percent of web browsing will be screenless
- 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020
- Everyday household items are the most common voice search-based purchases
- 20 percent of mobile queries are voice search, says Google
- Most smart-speaker owners conduct local voice searches
So how does a website optimised for internet voice search fare and how does this impact ranking?
This is what Backlinko uncovered:
- Page speed plays a major role in voice search SEO. The average voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds (52% faster than the average page).
- Google prefers short, concise answers to voice search queries. The typical voice search result is only 29 words in length.
- Schema may not play a key role in voice search rankings. 36.4% of voice search results come from pages that use Schema (which is only slightly higher than the worldwide average of 31.3%).
- Authoritative domains tend to produce voice search results significantly more than non-authoritative domains.The mean Ahrefs Domain Rating of a Google Home result is 76.8.
- Content with high levels of social engagement tends to perform well in voice search. The average voice search result has 1,199 Facebook shares and 44 Tweets.
- Simple, easy-to-read content may help with voice search SEO.
- Content that ranks highly in desktop search is also very likely to appear as a voice search answer. In fact, approximately 75% of voice search results rank in the top 3 for that query.
- Appearing in a Featured Snippet may help you rank in voice search. 40.7% of all voice search answers came from a Featured Snippet.
Given the rise of voice search and its implications on SEO, how can you adapt your website accordingly?
Based on research by Search Engine Watch, these are some of the actions to take:
- Google Voice prioritizes quick-loading websites, so optimise images and compress files to reduce response times. Ensure that the site is fully responsive.
- Enhance content with long-tail keywords that reflect popular queries used in voice search. Focus on natural language.
- Featured snippets are summary answers from web pages that may be used in position zero. Optimise content for this by including identifiable extracts to be featured. Also make content easier for Google to read by using H-tags and bullet points.
- Structured data and schema markup provide more information about a brand and drive traffic. They help pages appear in rich snippets, which will increase the chances of being the first result delivered in voice searches.
- Increase domain authority to help with search rankings – this can be improved by including high-quality links.
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