The Significance of Voice Search Optimisation in 2024

Apr 12, 2024 by
The Significance of Voice Search Optimisation in 2024

Until quite recently voice search was seen as little more than a novelty – something we associated with silly sci-fi movies or our quirky digital assistants.

Fast forward to 2024, however, and voice search has become science fact. Whether we are asking Siri for the weather forecast or instructing Alexa to play our favourite tunes, voice commands have revolutionised how we interact with technology and broadened the horizons for millions of people who might otherwise not even have tried to interact with the latest digital devices.

But what does this mean for businesses and their digital marketing and SEO strategies? Today, we will be exploring the significance of voice search optimisation and equipping you with some top actionable tips to stay ahead in this increasingly audible landscape.

Voice vs. Text Search: The Key Differences

Over 25% of individuals in Western countries now use digital voice assistants several times a day. This adoption rate is skyrocketing, and it is influencing search behaviour in some profound ways, which are reflected by the subtle but important differences between text and voice search.

Natural Language Queries: When we type a search query, we often use shorthand or keywords. But when we speak, we tend to use complete sentences and natural language. Voice search optimisation ensures your content aligns with these conversational queries.

Local Intent: Voice searches are often location-specific. Users ask questions like, “Where’s the nearest coffee shop?” or “What’s the best Italian restaurant nearby?” Optimising for local intent is crucial for businesses targeting nearby customers.

Mobile Dominance: Voice search is predominantly mobile-driven. As more people rely on their smartphones for quick answers, businesses must adapt their content to cater to voice-based queries.

Query Length and Complexity: With text search, concise keywords (e.g., “best pizza NYC”) are very much the norm, whereas with voice search, longer, more conversational phrases (e.g., “Where can I find the best pizza in New York City?”) are more common.

Featured Snippets and Position Zero: Voice search often pulls answers from featured snippets in search results. This means that structured content which directly answers questions with no fuss is essential. Direct and to-the-point responses are what people expect from their voice searches.

Local Context: Voice search automatically considers the user’s location, so always optimise for local keywords first and ensure your business information is accurate and up to date across all platforms.

Tips for Effective Voice Search Optimisation

Conversational Content: There are subtle nuances to human conversation which you will need to identify and reflect if you want to get the most out of voice search. Create content which mirrors natural conversations and not only anticipates user questions but provides clear, concise answers.

Long-Tail Keywords: People tend to voice search in longer sentences, as it is faster to say something than type it. Focus on long-tail keywords which reflect how people speak, using tools like Answer the Public or Google’s “People Also Ask” section for inspiration.

Structured Data Markup: Implement schema markup to enhance your chances of appearing in featured snippets. This means marking up FAQs, reviews and local business details.

Mobile Optimisation: Most voice searches will be done via smartphone so ensure your website is mobile-friendly, if it is not already. Optimise page load speed, improve mobile navigation and prioritise responsive design over glitz and glamour, because people using voice search will not be looking at their phone much anyway.

Local SEO: Claim your Google My Business listing and optimise it with accurate business information. Encourage customer reviews and ratings to expand upon your local success and help your business stand out as a true local destination.

Voice Search Analytics: Monitor voice search queries in tools such as Google Search Console. Understanding user intent will allow you to adjust your content accordingly and gain more ground in this relatively new frontier.