Google, the largest search engine projects that 50% of all searches will be done through Voice by the year 2020. These changes will affect how voice search optimization in Kenya is done.
WHAT IS VOICE SEARCH (SEO)?
Voice search involves people using voice commands to ask questions on a Search Engine either via a mobile device or a digital assistant.
As you well know, technological changes come to make our lives much easier and voice search is no different. Voice Search allows a user to do other tasks at the same time searching for answers on the Search Engines.
To put it in perspective, imagine driving on the highway desperately looking for somewhere to eat. You will either need to stop the car and do a search or try to search by typing on your phone while driving – a very risky activity.
With Voice Search, you can do both activities at the same time thereby being safe and saving time. You will only have to use voice commands and the best possible answer will be read to you.
HOW VOICE SEARCH WORKS?
Voice Search uses speech recognition technology to understand the question the user is asking and finding the best possible answer available on the internet.
Answers for a search done through a mobile phone will be read from a web page while those done from a smart speaker will be read from a featured snippet content ( this will be explained below).
WHY VOICE SEARCH OPTIMIZATION IN KENYA IS IMPORTANT?
Voice Search has exploded over the last few years with the introduction of smart speaker devices such as Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s Homepod.
As these devices become popular, the need for Voice Search Optimization will continue to grow.
As of this writing – April of 2019, most of the smart speaker devices are not available in Kenya. However, it’s just a matter of time before they flood the market. Once available, they will necessitate a shift in how businesses optimize their products and services for search.
However, Google Assistant integrated on Android phones is available on a mass scale for Kenyan users.
In a competitive market, businesses should do everything possible to stay relevant and ahead of the competition.
It is therefore important for people to familiarize themselves on the trends in SEO marketing and get ready for the coming changes.
WHAT ARE SMART SPEAKERS AND DIGITAL ASSISTANTS
I am sure you have heard of Siri – Apple’s digital assistant. Another name for the digital assistant is a virtual assistant.
According to Wikipedia, a virtual assistant is a software agent that can perform tasks for a person based on verbal commands. Users can ask their assistants’ questions, control home automation devices and manage other basic tasks such as email, to-do-lists, and calendars with verbal commands.
On the other hand, Smart Speakers are hands-free devices with an integrated virtual assistant and a capability to receive voice commands.
The most popular smart speakers and digital assistants are all owned by the largest tech giants in the world. They include;
- Amazon Echo – this device is owned and sold by Amazon the biggest online retailer in the world. It is integrated with Alexa – its digital assistant.
- Homepod – Apple’s smart speaker is Homepod integrated with the famous Siri.
Google Home – Google named its smart speaker Google Home. However, they failed to give their assistant a name opting to just call it Google Assistant.
- Cortana – This is Microsoft’s voice assistant.
To date, the most popular voice assistant is Alexa of Amazon. The rest are playing catch-up but will soon get there. We at Lepoa predict that Google will retake its rightful position as the king of search including voice search.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TEXT BASED SEARCH AND VOICE SEARCH
We are used to typing keywords/phrases on while searching on Google and other search engines. These phrases will not help when it comes to Voice Search.
Let me explain.
If I was searching for a plumber in Mombasa using traditional search, I would likely type phrases such as ‘plumber in Mombasa’ or ‘best plumber in Mombasa’. These phrases are usually short and to a large extent unclear.
However, if you are using voice search, the phrases will be much longer and straight to the point.
For instance, using the same keywords as above, a voice search would look like this; ‘who is the best plumber in Mombasa’ or ‘Connect me to a plumber near me’.
From the above examples, you can see that voice search will most likely be in the form of a question, will be much longer and straight to the point as the intention is clear.
In Voice Search, location specific searches will be popular. Searches with phrases such as ‘near me’ will be used. Businesses will, therefore, be required to optimize their content locally to take advantage of Voice Search.
Also, voice search requires more questions than the short statements we have been using on text-based searches.
Digital assistants will require longer natural questions. In fact, you are supposed to ask these assistants as you would ask a fellow human being.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE FOR VOICE SEARCH?
To optimize for voice search, ensure the following factors have been implemented on your website.
Website Load Time
Make sure your website loads quickly by optimizing your images, reducing server response time and ensuring your website is responsive to mobile devices.
Optimize Using Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are phrases that are much longer and sound more natural as opposed to the shorter keywords we explained above.
Include Featured Snippet in your Content
A featured snippet is also known as ‘Position Zero’ is a summary answer from a web page. This is the answer that smart speaker devices will pick from your web page and give to the user.
Optimize your Content for Local Search
Optimizing your content based on your location will help the search engines identify you when phrases such as ‘near me’ are used during the search.
WILL VOICE SEO DRIVE TRAFFIC TO MY WEBSITE?
Optimizing your website for voice search will definitely drive traffic to your website. When Google answers your question, it will quote your website as part of the answer with phrases such as ‘According www.lepoa.co.ke…..”
These shout outs will only increase brand awareness.
Voice SEO will directly drive sales for e-commerce websites as the smart speakers will only provide one best answer.
People are already using Voice to conduct searches. The popularity of this technology can only go up in the coming years.
They say the early bird catches the worm. Starting now to optimize your website for Voice Search will allow you to stay ahead of your competition and realize strong voice rankings.
At Lepoa, we have incorporated Voice Search optimization in our SEO Packages. By signing up to any of our packages, you are assured of voice search as well as text-based search.
To request for a quote, please click below link and we shall get back to you in no time.