Throughout history, Internet users have been able to use many technologies to conduct their research on the Internet. Among the latest trends: voice search allows the Internet user to dictate his request aloud rather than type it in writing in the search engine bar. Voice recognition technology “understands” the voice command, the results are provided orally by the voice assistant and supplemented by the traditional search results page, displayed on the screen of the smartphone, tablet or laptop. ‘computer.
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As technology improves, convenient and time-saving voice search is gaining momentum. As a result, this method impacts the natural referencing of web pages. Taking into account the rise of voice search becomes essential when improving your SEO strategy.
What is voice search?
Voice search is an Internet search method that appeared with the development of voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa. Accessible from a smartphone, tablet or computer, voice search allows you to state the request aloud into the device’s microphone.
The numbers on voice search
Voice search has been gaining momentum since 2018: in one year, the rate of use of voice assistants on smartphones, computers and tablets in France increased from 26% to 29%. The same CNIL study reveals that while users of connected speakers use them mainly to ask for the weather, 73% use them to search for information from the web and 34% make online purchases by voice search. While voice recognition technologies were initially dedicated to mobile use, in particular to obtain directions by car, users are gradually adopting voice commands for their Internet searches.
At the end of 2020, more than 45% of Internet users aged 16 to 64 use voice search each month. Among them, 16-24 year olds are the most represented. This proportion follows a growth similar to the evolution of the connected speaker market: in 2020, sales increased by 69%.
While Chinese companies, Baidu and Xiaomi for example, are successfully developing voice assistants, the top 3 of the market in 2022 continues to be occupied by Google, Apple and Amazon with their respective technologies Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa.
What is the impact of voice search on SEO?
Traditionally, the Internet user who searches the Internet enters keywords. The voice command method modifies the search methods: the Internet user pronounces an intelligible sentence. Illustration: for the query by keywords “best sushi restaurant in paris”, the Internet user pronounces the voice request “What is the best sushi restaurant in Paris? “. When providing voice search results, the search engine is thus based on a different query. To strengthen the natural referencing of the website in a context where voice search is gaining ground, it therefore becomes necessary to work on the SEO optimization of the site for voice search. We are now talking about voice SEO.
Voice search aims for location-based results
Getting information about a nearby product or service provider is one of the main reasons users turn to voice search. Under these conditions, optimizing local SEO helps improve voice SEO.
Illustration: For local searches, the Amazon Echo smart speaker uses data from Yelp. A business that is not listed on the Yelp platform will not be offered in voice search results on Amazon Echo. To improve its SEO, it is therefore important for the company to be referenced on the appropriate sites.
Voice search uses conversational language
For the request “sauce stain”, “remove sauce stain” or “clean sauce stain”, the Internet user pronounces the voice request “How to remove a sauce stain from white pants?” “. Technology modifies the structure of queries: the Internet user uses a conversational language for his voice search.
- Voice search involves betting on the long tail to optimize SEO. The queries indeed lengthen, benefiting the long tail.
- Providing answers to voice search questions improves SEO. This involves writing content that responds to the Internet user’s potential questions, with the majority of voice commands taking the form of questions.
Voice search results are read by the assistant
When the Internet user does a voice search, the results are given orally by the voice assistant. For SEO purposes, it is important to write content that is easily readable by the assistant: a text extract or a summary of the response, in the form of a featured snippet.
Voice search is used on smartphone
To a large extent, the Internet user uses voice search from his smartphone. In this context, the results are displayed on a mobile screen: the responsive website is better referenced for voice search.
How to structure your content for voice search?
Content optimization techniques for voice search are similar to traditional SEO techniques. Some specific practices nevertheless make it possible to precisely address voice searches.
Determine search intent
Assuming that voice searches are formulated in the form of questions, through long sentences in conversational language, it is first necessary to identify the precise question that the content of the web page must answer. The content of the page is then optimized based on this question.
Illustration: the site offers a pancake batter recipe. Traditionally, the Internet user fills in the request “crepes recipe”; with the voice command, the Internet user refines his request. In particular, he can ask “What is the recipe for pancakes?” », « What are the ingredients of pancake batter? or even “How to make pancakes without milk?” “. The site can then use the semantic cocoon technique on this basis to improve its vocal SEO. A first page offers a video of the recipe, a second page displays the list of ingredients as well as links to shop online, a third page references the content on the keywords “pancakes without milk”.
Use structured data
To make it easier for the voice assistant, it is important to structure the web page with the appropriate HTML tags. In this way, the assistant scans the content more quickly, and identifies the relevant parts with regard to voice search.
Example: to structure the content of the page for the voice search “Who was the President of the Republic in France in 1997?” », it is important to fill in this question in a Hn of the page.
Aim for position 0 with a concise answer
To answer the user’s question, the voice assistant reads an extract from the content of the web page that appears in position 0 of the search engine: the featured snippet. To be referenced in position 0, the page must contain a concise answer to the question addressed.
Example: the query “What is sodium percarbonate used for?” displays the featured snippet: “Percarbonate is a bleaching agent for all your linens, whether they are very dirty household linens like tea towels, or on your stubborn clothing stains (mud, urine, perspiration, wine, etc.). ). Apply sodium percarbonate to the linen in a localized way before machine washing. “. The excerpt, in about fifty words, answers the question perfectly. The redirect web page contains further information.
Optimize local SEO
Based on the principle that a large part of voice searches relate to geolocated queries, optimizing local referencing is an SEO practice that serves the performance of the web page on a voice search. Subject to relevance, the content of the page includes for this purpose paragraphs that provide information on the location.
Create an FAQ
Since the user asks questions to the voice assistant, providing an FAQ is a good practice for referencing on voice searches. The wizard clearly identifies the question, and easily reads the answer. On the FAQ, the answers are brief and are written in conversational language.
Design a fast and responsive website
The loading time of the web page is decisive in SEO, and even more so in voice SEO. The user of the technology converses with his assistant, and in these conditions expects an immediate response. Ensuring the speed of the site is therefore an essential element to optimize referencing on voice searches.
SEO optimization on voice searches also involves taking into account the uses of users: voice commands are widely used on smartphones, the website must therefore be designed in such a way as to be displayed perfectly on the mobile screen.
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