The way people search for information online has changed dramatically over the past few years. Increasingly, users make voice calls from their tablets, smartphones, or voice assistants to find what they’re looking for. If voice search optimization isn’t yet part of your SEO strategy, it’s time to fix it. We have prepared a guide to help those who want to build their SEO strategy based on digital assistants and voice searches.

Search Engines and the Future of Voice Search

  • Optimizing your local pages
  • Avoiding weight on single keywords
    • Detecting how people speak and think
    • Opportunities that you may encounter from analysis tools
    • Preparation of question-answer style contents
  • Availability of technical details and microdata
  • Considering the mobile design and site loading speed effects.
  • Monitoring performance and preparing action plans

Voice Assistants – Google Assistant

Google Assistant, which has been activated for Turkish users with Turkish language support as of December 17, 2018, is waiting to help users with its voice command system. As the most talented assistant expected after Apple Siri on our mobile devices, the long-awaited Google Assistant offers significant user innovations.

It is possible to do many things with the Google Assistant when connected to the Internet. Like a personal assistant, as the name suggests, it’s ready to use to plan your day, answer your questions, and more. Open the Google Assistant on your phone and “what can you do?” ask.

Notice that some of the above activities involve the user’s local interaction. This means an excellent chance for you to seize the opportunities in the area where the user is located. For the user group that has started using Google Assistant with local optimizations, you have a great chance to stand out. With voice search, you can write the same scenarios for Google Assistant users.

SEO Guide for Voice Searches

We have compiled the essential SEO practices you should apply in the age of digital assistants and voice calls:

Optimize Your Local Pages

We are referring to this article first because users wonder what is in their immediate environment. Similar to a text search, a user can call a nearby store out loud. For example, in a search using Google Assistant or Google Voice Search, many local business pages will appear to the user. When the user searches for concrete terms, they should see the page directly related to their search:

The example above can match a particular search, resulting in a successful result. When the user uses expressions based on their location or that may contain a specific query, it is necessary to ensure that your local businesses are listed so that they can match this query:

Google Voice Search and Google Assistant, which have highly advanced features, can enable users to transmit whatever is in their minds while searching and meeting targeted results. At the same time, we recommend avoiding optimizing at a level that will allow more than one business to appear in the same query. If you do not have more than one company or branch in a specific location, your components that are not listed due to the query, Google may look at you with suspicion.

Avoid Putting Weight on Singular Keywords

Considering the examples above, we recommend focusing on plural keywords rather than particular keywords such as “shoes” and “pizza.” Supported by meaningful sentences that can include additional words such as “closest,” “cheapest,” “alcoholic/non-alcoholic,” “suitable for kids,” your content will increase the likelihood of matching users’ voice searches.

Try to Detect How People Speak and What They Think

The examples we have given above can also provide examples of how people think or speak.

You can use the Answer The Public tool to learn how people can ask questions in many languages. Enter a search query and view “questions” answers. For instance, we searched for “Chinese restaurant” and we came across 96 different combinations of questions. You can click on each item and observe Google searches:

Be sure; people can generate queries with as many combinations as you can see in the image above. Each query has a different meaning than the other, and the results of each may be different. Having every query on your site is not helpful but can be harmful. However, choosing the most suitable for you and targeting them will allow you to meet your search queries.

Evaluate the Opportunities You Can Seize in Analysis Tools

Analysis tools such as Google Analytics or Google Search Console can provide detailed information about your site’s search queries. In particular, Google Search Console includes detailed information about which queries users have come to your site in the last three months and can help you understand how you have achieved these queries.

For example, if you encounter search queries with a low clickthrough rate versus keywords with a high search tendency, you can make your content planning to include the words and queries for this.

Prepare Question – Answer Style Content

It would be a beneficial method to sprinkle some questions and answers into your written content. Users ask a question, especially when searching by voice. If you include sentences that can answer these questions in your content, you can gradually rise to the top. You may think about what questions and answers you should work on based on yourself and your friends. Again, as we mentioned above, we recommend that you prepare a question-answer list that will include various question attachments and create your content by sticking to this list.

Important Note: We would like to point out that it would not be right to limit such content to just a page such as “Frequently Asked Questions.” Such a single page may not contain the exact answer to the user’s original question. Why should your user go to your frequently asked questions page and try to find the answer he is looking for after visiting another page? One of the most critical points for a performance increase is that you aim to give your users, readers, and customers the answer to what they are curious about on the page where they enter.

Besides, we can say that sentences containing questions about search engines have become a widespread problem. For example, if you produce nutritional content, you should not make sentences that directly include users’ search queries.

“If you say what should I pay attention to eat healthily, you should definitely read this article.”

“If you’re wondering what a balanced diet is, you’re in the right place.”

“If you want to find the answer to the question of how to fight obesity, read on.”

The articles written using the above patterns are not intended for the user but search engines and do not contribute anything. These are easily detected by search engines and can be marked as low-quality content.

Pay Attention to Technical Details and Micro Data

In addition to the users being able to access your content, some technical details and microdata can enable search engines to understand your content altogether. Technically;

These two files contain redirects that search engines can understand the content of the site. If the search engine cannot fully understand your site, it may not show the pages you target to your user.

Examine your Sitemap.xml and Robots.txt file again using Google Search Console and make sure they work correctly.

As for micro data, try to provide the following for both local search and your site to provide reliable information:

  • Business / Store / Branch address
  • Phone number
  • Working hours
  • Establishing a product and pricing relationship
  • Making arrangements to give directions to your address
  • Also, photos, user comments and other similar details about your business

You can also create a small schema for specific queries using Schema data.

Consider Mobile Design and Site Loading Speed Impact

We want to mention again the effects of mobile compatibility and site loading speed, which we said many times before. We will not talk about it in detail right now, but to summarize, users provide mobile internet access to a large extent, and they do the voice search function on their mobile devices. Even if you have successfully followed all of the above points, it is impossible to say that a slow loading and non-mobile compatible site is successful.

Monitor Performance and Prepare Action Plans

Everything you have implemented so far is likely to cause a change. However, applying some and not touching some may not increase your performance. Taking them all as a whole will be the best decision to ensure a stable performance increase. If you have already completed some items, you can also choose to correct your missing parts. Either way, add a date mark to your analysis tools to observe how your actions produce results and keep what has changed since then. Prepare action plans to make the same adjustments at points where site traffic and conversion performance are malicious, and examine if you can improve positive attributes.

You Can See Your Performance With SEMrush!

We can say that the majority of voice calls are clear and need-oriented. Users may turn to voice calls, especially when access is difficult (rain, light conditions, instant obstacles such as screen disturbances, or permanent situations such as visual impairment). In such a case, “featured snippet” stands out, especially in mobile searches. As soon as the user encounters any access barrier, they choose to associate with the first information that comes before him. Therefore, in line with the user’s needs, it will be useful to make the most precise possible explanation about the subject and climb the rankings. With SEMrush, you can see which searches you have featured snippets or in which searches you are ranked and draw a path for your business.

You can see the results by entering the URL you want from the “Organic Research” section in SEMrush.

By continuing as we show it in the results, you can see how search results you came out as a Featured Snippet or in which searches you approached this.

You can see how you came out of the search results by clicking on the “SERP” section of the results.

In mobile results, the assistant will give the user your site name and read the result as information from ……

If you wish, you can start your 14-day SEMRUSH trial and create your voice search strategy.

Conclusion – Voice Search is Part of the Future

We entered a new era with Google Assistant starting to provide Turkish language support. Now users can start using voice search more and find you more quickly if you’re there.

Every action we have mentioned in our article contains regulations to increase user interaction. Simultaneously, there are small and extensive opportunities to utilize the high potential of voice search. While it is possible to say that mobile internet use, which will increase even more in the future, and voice search will provide a significant increase, why should we be caught off guard?

By starting your preparations now, you can achieve higher performance in both classic and voice calls. As we know that a website that gets more traffic day by day will make you happier, we have prepared this guide. If you think there is a point we missed, please comment.

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Mert Erkal
Mert Erkal has provided consultancy and training services on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SEO Compatible Content Optimization, App Store Optimization (ASO), Google Analytics, Digital Ad Optimization, Conversion Optimization, Online PR Management and Lead Generation in 2009. He is a founder. Stradiji produces digital marketing strategies for companies of all sizes, ensures the implementation of these strategies and increases the awareness and influence of the companies it serves in the online and offline worlds. Stradiji is also a member of HubSpot Solutions Partner program.