According to research by ComScore, voice search will make up 50% of all web searches by the end of 2020. With the sheer number of personal voice assistants and smart home devices (like Google Home and Amazon Echo) flooding the market, it’s apparent that consumers are finding voice search to be far more efficient and convenient than typing. In fact, voice search has been found to be over 3x faster than typing, even though people tend to use more words when they ask Google or Alexa a question out loud. 

Although voice search isn’t a recent phenomenon by any means, its rise in popularity has many content marketers wondering how this trend could affect their strategies. Several questions have started to come to light, such as:

  • What kind of content is best suited for voice search? 
  • Is there anything content creators and marketers should be doing differently in 2020 to optimize their content? 
  • What should businesses know about SEO for voice search? 

Whether you’re a small business owner, eCommerce merchant, or aspiring entrepreneur, it’s essential to stay up-to-date on the latest search trends. If you want to make sure your content ranks high and stays relevant this year, here’s what you need to know about voice search.

Changes to Expect

Right now, about 20% of all mobile searches are conducted through voice search, many of which are asked while users are on-the-go. Researchers have found that 22% of voice searches are to find answers to localized questions, such as, “Where is the nearest coffee shop?” or “What will the weather be like today?” For these two reasons, creating location-specific content is a valuable move if you want to ensure that your business will show up in voice search results.

Other changing trends with voice search will include an increase in natural language and long-tail keywords. When people use a voice assistant, they tend to speak in full sentences rather than the fragmented keywords they use when typing a search request. For example, if you wanted to know what the weather was like in Seattle right now, you’d probably just type “Seattle weather” into the search bar. However, if you were to use voice search to find this information, you’d be more likely to ask a full question: “What is the weather like in Seattle?” 

On a similar note, questions involving the “5 W’s and 1 H” (Who, What, Where, Why, When, and How) will also become more common in the next several months of 2020. With enough patience and research, you can optimize your content to answer the most common questions your target audience is searching for. 

Tips for Creating Optimized Content

During a voice search, the search engine will select and read the most relevant answer out loud to the user. Instead of scrolling through the options listed or clicking on a few recommended links, people using voice search usually just listen to the first answer or snippet that Google provides. This means that, in order to boost your website’s SEO, your content must succinctly answer users’ specific questions. To begin improving your current site and content for voice search, start with these steps:

  • Think local. As mentioned in the previous section, location-specific voice searches will continue to increase, so business owners should ensure that their online information is up-to-date and accurate. Double-check to see if the hours and address are correct, and if you haven’t done so already, claim your Google My Business listing. This will allow you to provide the search engine with other helpful details about your company, such as your phone number and industry, and boost the chances of your company showing up in relevant voice searches. 
  • Implement long-tail keywords. Instead of focusing on single keywords, think about longer phrases or questions people may use when they search with their voice assistants. Making your content easily scannable with bullet points and clearly-labeled headers will also make it easier for search engines to crawl your site and find the right information.
  • Update your FAQ page. A well-formatted FAQ page can be a fantastic strategy for improving your SEO ranking and for establishing your company’s industry expertise. Focus on those long-tail keywords, phrases, and sentences to create a helpful guide designed with people’s natural language in mind. You could even create a few different FAQ pages for different areas of your business to minimize excess information on a single webpage.
  • Write relevant blogs. Although the way people search may be changing, the information they’re looking for will remain the same. An increase in voice searches doesn’t mean that you should stop updating your company’s blog or quit posting regularly on your social media pages. The way you write and incorporate keywords may need to change a bit, but the best thing you can do for SEO is to consistently post relevant articles and blogs about the latest topics in your industry. 

Keeping up with the quickly-evolving online trends can be exhausting and time-consuming, and creating content on top of your other responsibilities might sound like an impossible feat. This is where Content Cucumber can help! A flat monthly rate will give you access to your very own professional writer who can create high-quality content for your blog, website, social media page, or email newsletters. They’ll help you brainstorm new ideas, conduct research, and maintain a consistent brand voice across all of your online platforms to make sure that your business gets the online attention it deserves.

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