Be ahead with voice search – the paradigm shift in how online users search and find information and discover local businesses in 2024. Technology has leaped forward in how we interact in the digital domain. Adapt local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to stay ahead with this fast-paced technology change.

We know it is hard to keep up with the evolving digital landscape, where technology continues to redefine how online users interact with the digital domain. This article updates you on voice search: 

  • A definition of voice search (what it is) 
  • The methodology of voice search (how it works)
  • How best to align and adapt (or optimize) your business for voice search
  • SEO strategies for voice search to provide your company a competitive edge in the ever-changing digital landscape. Actions to ensure you stay abreast of the competition in the digital race. 

Voice recognition technology allows smart device users to search using their voice rather than typing it. Voice search technology will then “translate” the spoken words into text. The search engine then uses the text for a standard query to provide search results. 

Using the technology for users to speak their queries rather than type them is easier, faster, and more convenient for online users. It is more accessible to people with mobility impairments and fast-paced people “on the go.”   

The voice-to-text interface is through a voice assistant (or virtual assistant), intelligent software responding to voice commands. Examples include Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana.

The software runs on most devices, e.g., smartphones, desktops/laptops, tablets, TV consoles, VR headsets, and the Internet of Things.

(The Internet of Things is a network of connected devices and technology that enables communication between devices and the cloud or between the devices themselves.)

Understand how voice search works.

We break voice search down into three steps to understand how it works.:

  1. Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR): The “heart” of the speech algorithms is ASR (automatic speech recognition). ASR converts spoken words into text. ASR is continuously evolving and improving – adapting to eliminate background noise and adjust for accents.
  2. Natural Language Processing (NLP):  Once the text has been generated from the spoken words, NLP (natural language processing) algorithms determine the search intent. The text is analyzed, determining the context, purpose, entities, and relationships. Through AI and machine learning, NLP algorithms constantly improve their understanding of human language.  
  3. Search execution:  The voice search algorithms consider factors like searcher location, search preferences, and history to deliver a localized and personalized search result relevant to the query.

Adapt your Local SEO Services strategies for voice search as follows:

1. Optimize For Conversational Queries 

The nature of voice searches is conversational. It is more natural sounding than text searches. For example, for a text query: “Best Italian restaurant in London,” the voice query may be

 “Where can I find the best Italian restaurant close to me?”

Adjusting content to be aligned with the search type is critical to succeed in voice search. 

A less formal, easier-to-read writing style is required. However, it is essential not to compromise on quality and to keep the quality of your content up. 

2. Consider Local Content 

Voice search has significant local content. In voice searches, one finds searches related to the immediate vicinity of the searcher, for example: “I need a doctor near me” or “Where is the closest coffee shop?”    

To prepare for voice search, one needs to improve local SEO strategies, improving search engine visibility for local businesses.

Google featured snippets are short summaries of the content displayed on the top of the results page. These featured snippets are important as the voice assistant relies on these to provide quick answers to voice queries. 

Improving the chances of being part of the featured snippets is essential. For example, arrange the content to provide answers to commonly asked questions in your industry or niche.   

4. Optimize For Mobile 

Two important points to consider are: 

  • The majority of voice searches are on mobile 
  • There is a growing trend of Internet searches on mobiles 

Furthermore, Google considers mobile UX (user experience) an integral part of a website’s ranking.

It means a mobile-friendly website is critical to staying competitive in voice search.

We have defined voice search and discussed how to prepare your website and business for voice search. The question is:  How should you adapt your local SEO Strategies for voice search? 

Keyword research is the first step in voice search optimization. Contrary to phrases used in text searches, voice searches are based on questions or conversational phrases aligned with how people speak. 

it is thus essential for voice search to find keywords, phrases, and long tail keywords in line with how people talk. 

A robust online presence with a Google Business Profile (GBP) and Google Maps listing is critical for local SEO. These listings must be accurate, up-to-date, and complete. 

GBP replaced the earlier known GMB (Google My Business)

Maintain a consistent NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) to ensure consistency in voice search results.  

3. Have a Voice-Search-Friendly Website Design

It is vital to embrace the mobile mindset and aim to have a frictionless user experience that is responsive, relevant, and actionable. 

Consideration of mobile optimization in your web design is a necessity for local SEO rankings.  

4. Ensure Content is Voice Search-Friendly 

Consider voice search in your content. Voice searches are conversational and likely to start with words like, e.g., where, when, what, or how.   

A FAQ (frequently asked questions) section on your web page will be instrumental in addressing specific voice search needs.  

5. Use Schema Markup 

Schema markup on your web page provides Google and other search engines with structured data about your business.

Review your current schema, which may be structured towards traditional text searches. You need to optimize it for voice search.  This will improve your website’s chances of appearing in voice search results, as it will help search engines understand your website content better.

Summing up…

The digital landscape is very dynamic, with growing trends in voice and mobile searches. No-click searches are set to rise this year with the advent of various AI tools. You need a partner who can help you navigate these SEO challenges.

Justwords is a local SEO agency with 13 years of experience working with reputed brands. They have helped their clients maneuver through new trends in SEO and optimize their presence accordingly.



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