By 2020, half of all internet searches will be done by using voice. This has left a lot of website owners wondering how to best optimize their websites not only for desktop and mobile, but now voice search as well.
Okay Google, how do I optimize my website for voice search?
Voice search results are a lot different from traditional search results; there are less of them, and they vary greatly by device.
Each voice assistant uses different search engines and algorithms to come up with the best results. While Google owns 74.52% of desktop searches, and 93% of mobile searches, it falls far behind Apple’s Siri, which leads the market at 45.6%, by having only 28.7% of the voice assistant market share.
However, Apple does not have its own search engine, and gets paid billions by Google to use it as the default search engine for iOS users. This positions Google to continue its lead in the search engine market. But that could easily change, should Apple decide to create its own search engine. While this is a possibility, it’s not likely to happen in the near future. For now, SEO experts should continue to focus their attention on what Google’s up to.
So, what does this mean for SEO?
Because voice search shows users less results, it’s going to be harder to be found if you’re not already at the top. Voice search is also optimized for question-and-answer results, so website owners are going to want to optimize their sites to answer popular question queries, rather than simply ranking for topics.
“By 2020, half of all internet searches will be done by using voice.”
This trend doesn’t seem to be declining anytime soon, and Google is taking notice. Just as Google changed their algorithm to reflect the rising popularity of mobile searches over desktop searches, you can expect them to prioritize voice search in the next few years, too.
What can I do to stay ahead of the game?
To keep your website’s SEO in tip top shape, use 2019 to experiment with your SEO strategies in terms of optimizing for voice search. Google is going to be the key player to keep an eye on in this race, so stay up-to-date with their every move.
Recently, Backlinko conducted a 10,000 search result analysis of Google Home search results. Here are some of the key takeaways:
- Make sure your page speed is up to par. The average page load for voice search result was 4.6 seconds, which is 52% faster than average.
- Keep your website’s security up-to-date. HTTPS results account for 70.4% of voice search results.
- Don’t be shy with content, but keep it snackable. Voice search results are, on average, 29 words in length. However, the average word count is around 2,312 words, meaning Google likes to use snackable bits from long-form content for voice search answers.
- Work on your domain’s authority. The average Google Home result has an Ahrefs Domain Rating of 76.8.
- Share, share, share! Content that is highly engaged-with has an average 1,199 Facebook shares and 44 Twitter shares.
- Keep it simple, for the simpletons. The average Google Home results are written at a 9th grade reading level.
- Consider your desktop and mobile rankings, too. Around 75% of voice search results also rank in the top 3 for the same query on desktop.
- Try to appear in Featured Snippets, as 40.7% of voice search results were from Featured Snippets.
Another great tool SEO professionals should play around with is Google’s speakable structured data beta. This tool allows developers to properly identify sections within webpages and blog posts that are ideal for text-to-speak audio playback. Google Assistant uses this data to answer users’ search queries with logical, conversational answers.