Voice Search: The Next Big Thing and its Effect on SEO

580 328 Leigh Laird

One of the primary tasks that we strive to do consistently here at lodestar marketing group, is to stay up-to-date on changes in our industry. Anyone who has been doing SEO for any length of time, knows how quickly things can change and how those changes can impact how we do our day-to-day work. One of the those changes we are watching is the advent of Voice Search.

Voice Search is not a new technology, in fact it’s been around for a long time, but it has advanced considerably and is becoming more and more a part of our daily lives; think Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Each one of these uses a voice recognition software to respond to human requests and commands. For those who use these, they have gradually become more dependent on them. In fact, many prefer to use their “assistants” to do web-based searches rather than pick up their phone or tablet and search themselves.

For those of us who spend our days writing SEO in order to bring our clients more traffic, this trend toward Voice Search has certainly gotten our attention; especially as it relates to SEO. The big question for digital marketers is “how does this effect SEO?” In his recent article,  Don’t Buy the Hype: Voice Search won’t Change SEO, Bruno Rodriguez believes strongly that SEO done correctly, will not be adversely affected by voice search.  We tend to agree. Basically, the rules that apply to best practices in SEO, also apply to Voice Search.  However, his article did site some findings by Backlinko regarding best SEO practices for Voice Search. We’d like to share those with you.

A Summary of Our Most Interesting Findings Are As Follows:

  1. PageSpeed appears to play a major role in voice search SEO. The average voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds (52% faster than the average page).
  2. HTTPS websites dominate Google’s voice search results. In fact, 70.4% of Google Home result pages are secured with HTTPS.
  3. Google prefers short, concise answers to voice search queries. The typical voice search result is only 29 words in length.
  4. Schema may not play a key role in voice search rankings. 36.4% of voice search results come from pages that use Schema (which is only slightly higher than the worldwide average of 31.3%).
  5. Authoritative domains tend to produce voice search results significantly more than non-authoritative domains. In fact, the mean Ahrefs Domain Rating of a Google Home result is 76.8.
  6. Content with high levels of social engagement tends to perform well in voice search. In fact, the average voice search result has 1,199 Facebook shares and 44 Tweets.
  7. Simple, easy-to-read content may help with voice search SEO. The average Google voice search result is written at a 9th grade level.
  8. We found that very few voice search results had the exact query in their title tag. Therefore, creating individual pages for each voice search query doesn’t appear to be an effective voice search SEO strategy.
  9. The average word count of a voice search result page is 2,312 words. Therefore, Google tends to source voice search answers from long form content.
  10. Content that ranks highly in desktop search is also very likely to appear as a voice search answer. In fact, approximately 75% of voice search results rank in the top 3 for that query.
  11. Appearing in a Featured Snippet may help you rank in voice search. 40.7% of all voice search answers came from a Featured Snippet.

 

OUR TAKEAWAY

As we read through this list, we found the biggest take-away to be: Well written SEO is going to be just as successful in a Voice Search as it is via a desktop, tablet or mobile search. For the time being, we see no reason to adjust the way we write SEO to accommodate Voice Search. Here at lodestar marketing group, when we write SEO, we make sure all the elements, from URLs to H1 tags are written to ensure the search engines can understand the content and rank the page appropriately.  This practice works for any type of search, including voice search.

If you’re looking for a team that consistently brings best practices to the ever-changing aspects of SEO, let’s talk. We’ll help you navigate the changes ahead and grow your business in the process.