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“Alexa, how do I rank for voice search?”

“Alexa, how do I rank for voice search?”

Do you own an Amazon Echo or Google Home? Do you rely on your voice search assistant? For some people their Amazon Echo orders toilet paper the same time each month or let’s them know about their upcoming week and meetings. No matter how much or little you use it, businesses are going to be affected by voice search.

 It is estimated that 50 percent of search queries will be with a voice search assistant. 50 percent! This is going to drastically change the landscape of Google, website traffic and Omaha SEO strategies that are currently set into place. 

The Hummingbird Update 

Before one can speak about the current revolution, there was a point on Google’s updates that allowed for this to start to occur. There are several SEO professionals in our industry who state that the Hummingbird Update allowed for this revolution. In 2013, one of the largest Core Updates occurred called the Hummingbird Update. 

Before the Hummingbird update happened, what you put into each search quite literally gave you back a number of results, but this can come with some issues. If you were to type in, “What is Digital Marketing.” You would get companies, blogs and research and everything in-between. 

The Hummingbird Update changed the following information: 

  • Conversational Search 

  • Human Search

  • Voice Search

  • Improving Local Search

Voice search abilities were introduced by Google in 2011. It is no coincidence that Hummingbird Update transformed the search engine the way it did. 

This is because Google started to find queries that were more human like with conversational phrases that humans would use, not just the computer. Before Hummingbird, the searches were very specific to computers and not humans. While this update has been  a major shift in our industry, it allowed for the future that will happen! 

Revolutionary voice search 

There were skeptics once, voice search assistance were introduced into homes all over the globe, but it is showing that these assistances are the future and there is  no chance of slowing down. 

As stated above, 50 percent of search queries will be conducted by voice search assistance in 2020. This means in two short months, voice search will dominate the search engines. A research study estimates that by 2022 this market will reach $40 billion in annual sales. A smart speaker is a commonly piece of technology in a household and it is silly to think about how “Google” or “Alexa” will respond but it is something businesses need to think about. 

Here is how a business can optimize for voice search results: 

Conversational Content

If you have an Alexa or Google Home, how do you ask it questions? The way someone types into Google search engines versus how they ask Google Home a question is very different. This is because it is more conversational. The first step is not to completely redo all of your website’s content. Save yourself the time with changing your content a bit to be more conversation while adding FAQs into the mix. 

FAQs are great for voice search because Google can easily scan that content and find the answer. A great example is a website ranking as a local plumbing company. If someone were to ask, “Okay Google, why is my toilet clogged? What do I do?”

Google can easily find the content that was optimized with Omaha SEO strategies and easily find the FAQ page itself. While one is optimizing content and FAQs, make sure featured snippets are relevant. 

Featured Snippets 

Featured Snippets are nothing new in the Omaha SEO industry. When a person searches for information on Google, a featured snippet will appear underneath the search results. This content is being crawled by voice search to find the best website to answer the search query. If we Google “voice search optimization 2020.” There are millions of results that appear, but check out the first result. 

Underneath the website URL there is about 60 characters that explain voice search with statistics. Those 60 characters are being searched by voice assistance to decide on whether the content is relevant or not. 

Google uses featured snippets with or without voice search for about 30 percent of 1.4 million results tested in Google featured snippets. That 30 percent of queries with snippets were ranking. 

Be mobile-friendly

Our Omaha SEO experts have been speaking about mobile-friendly and responsive websites since at least 2015. A company needs to update their website as of yesterday. Google now indexes websites that are mobile friendly before those who are not mobile friendly. Yes, if you are ranking on the first page Google will still crawl you, but it will crawl those mobile-friendly ones first. 

Local, local and more local

There has been a 900 percent increase in search phrases using the keyword “near me” in the past two years. It is important to make sure your local business is showing up in search results and with voice search. A study conducted by BrightLocal shows that 50 percent of users have searched for a local business using their smartphones. 

What are people searching for with their voice search assistant? Grocery stores, restaurants and food delivery services. While you might not be a grocery store, restaurant or food delivery service, this shows how important local SEO is. 

The voice search assistances find this content based on local listings with Google My Business profiles. A Google My Business profile is imperative for voice search and SEO in general. This is because it shows Google you are a real business. Two, it gives you the relevance that Google is looking for when finding a result based on that search query. Third, it helps with those “near me” searches that have grown in importance. 

The next time you personally use your Google Home or Alexa, listen to the way you ask the device questions. This could help your business drastically. Don’t get stuck in the Google search engine shadows because your company’s website is not mobile-friendly, responsive or is lacking with SEO strategies. 

Call our professionals for more information! 

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