Voice search SEO is a growing topic in the community. However, the response to it is mixed. Is this something we need to actively care about for our clients?
Upasna Gautam, Product at CNN and former SEO at Ziff Davis, who runs well-known publishing sites such as Mashable, PC Mag and IGN, has some recommendations that will help clearly answer that question.
That is, optimizing for voice search, in a way, is also better optimizing for everything. Enjoy the video and learn more about how to do voice search SEO below.
Ross: So you are an expert in voice search. I just saw your presentation here at UnGagged yesterday, and it was really smart and technical on the subject, some great stuff there.
On a macro level, I think voice search can be overwhelming for some people. It’s a little bit of a black box. From all the research you’ve done, how would you suggest people optimize for voice search?
If I had to distill it down to three key points, I would say from a content perspective two things: being super super concise, and very very specific. And then from a technical standpoint, number three would be speed optimization.
The time is of the essence when it comes to mobile and voice search. And, as mentioned in that session yesterday, that Google voice search case study, Google engineers who work on that voice search framework specifically called out that they actually might sacrifice other quality factors for speed when it comes to ranking voice search and mobile search results.
Ross: So that’s also not just the length of the answer, but also the site speed experience, right? Is that what you’re saying, or no?
Upasna: So that’s like one factor in it. There are a few contributing factors to this latency-quality metric that they’ve defined for voice search. And it starts from the time the person is done submitting their voice search query, so after you speak and submit your query, the time that ends, all the way up until your result appears on your mobile phone.
That entire experience of speed is what they are qualifying as latency. So that is certainly one big part of it is just, how fast is this delivered to the user?
Ross: Okay. When you said specific, earlier, could you unpack that a little bit for people, for me?
Upasna: Totally. I think it depends, really, on the type of products and services you’re offering. And it really comes down to understanding what you’re actually offering at a very, very, very, hyper-specific level.
So, if you’re able to answer anywhere from broad, general questions that the user might be asking, to even the most specific thing about a feature of a product, or different sorts of technical specs about a product, or service that you’re offering. Having that there and structured well will help deliver that, again, faster, and to the right people.
And we know with voice search too, people tend to search long tail. So, those long tail queries tend to be more specific, and if you have all those details readily available and served in a very, again, concise way. So concise and very targeted. Kind of like a really good balance of those two, you’ll get to the user, the right user, in a much more efficient way.
Ross: That makes sense. So one of the things we were talking about before we starting filming was, the idea of should you, should voice search, be its own optimization or is it, do I need to go to my execs and say, we gotta start optimizing for voice search, or should it be in context of everything else? Like how should people think about that?
Upasna: Totally the latter and in context of search optimization at a macro level. I tend to think of all of these terms like, e-commerce optimization, voice search optimization, content optimization, as pretty much synonymous at this point. Or people say semantic search, it’s again, all synonymous at this point. So the way that you optimize for search is pretty much agnostic to the type of device if you’re doing it right. So, speed.
Again, the specific and very targeted and concise content structure. Having a great information architecture. All of those things lend to, not only a great mobile and voice experience, they’re gonna by default lend to a overall positive experience with the user.
Ross: Awesome. Yeah, this was great. If anyone has any other thoughts on voice search, we would love to hear them in the comments. Thanks for watching.