Unfortunately the SEO industry is always dependable on trends. If you start working as an SEO manager you will find that word many times in front of you. Most of the times because it will be for good reason but others not so.
Since the introduction of Siri and then Amazon Alexa and Googles assistant one word existed in every SEO’s mouth, Voice Search. Everyone imagined a world where we wont have to type any more to find what we are looking for but speak up and let our “Assistant” do the rest.
That’s when everyone in the SEO industry started to get crazy. Many talks, and thousands of articles on how you can optimize for voice search. If you just google it, you will find thousands of articles with data supporting their view that Voice search is growing.
According to Adobe nearly 50% of consumers are using voice for “general web searches” but the vast majority of those reported using voice to control their smartphones, not searching that is..
On the other hand according to google 20% of searches nowadays are coming through search back in 2016. Nevertheless, since then they haven’t released any stats about that but that haven’t stopped some say that still voice search is growing. In my opinion if that was the case Google would have said something about it.
People that use Amazon Echo, they do it because primarily they are looking to buy something from the online store but with Google is kind of different. They are looking for more data and usually they want to see rather than hear. Up until now Playing music (82%) is the most popular use of smart speakers currently.
Now don’t get me wrong Voice search might pick up in the future and we might all search like that even if I kind of doubt it.
What I don’t like though is many seo professionals writing posts and selling themselves to business as voice search experts.
When they ask them what you need to do to optimize for voice search they can back to you by saying “you need to write good content” …Well, you need to write good content first of all to get some customers.
Let me say that, there is NOTHING special you need to do for voice search.
Just build a damn good website. But you already had that in plan didn’t you?
But this is a post about Voice Search and I will tell you how we nailed voice search in EF English Live – my current employer- without targeting at all voice search. So this is what we did.
Write naturally in your language
I don’t believe in translating articles. Well maybe it works up to some extent but not fully. If you can, you need to have a team of writers that can express ideas nicely and in length. We decided to write long form content and combine articles when it made sense to improve organic traffic. You don’t need to post articles every day, we just did 2 a month but still it worked. Just make sure that they are long enough to answer the question.
Build a website focused on mobile
That is a trend that cannot be ignored. When we redesigned the blog in English Live we decided to use AMP pages to make sure we have great mobile speed and get extra “love” from google. Everything we did was focused on presenting content that worked well in mobile and we didn’t got disappointed. The site went live on the same time that Google launched the “mobile first” index and we are on a roll since then.
Get links or have great internal linking or both
We never had to do link building for the blog extensively but we did change a lot our internal linking structure. The new design was targeting exactly that and we hoped that made more pages get indexed. You can use widgets or do it naturally, It doesn’t matter. Just make sure that always link internally to your best content.
Structured Data is your friend now
You cannot go anywhere in SEO now without structured data. It is a standardized format to mark up the information about the web page. It serves to search engines like Google, Bing and others to better understand what the web page is about. When search engine understands the content of the web page, then it may serve it for appropriate search queries.
Recently Google launched the speak able schema property which basically will become your main schema if you want to control what Google Assistant will say ..
And that was it..
Yeah, really, there is no magic in it. Building a great blog for EF English Live, helped us rank for number 1 position for various terms and then it was up to google to do their thing.
There is no easy way to number 1 for google and there is no magic, additionally there are no voice search experts. If you want to hire to help your SEO don’t do it because you want to “optimize for voice search” but do it because you want them to help you build a great website.
The rest will follow.