11 Voice Search Ranking Factors That Will Rule 2021
It is safe to say that we have always chosen convenience as our priority. For example, books and newspapers were primary mediums of how we used to find and process information.
In 1998, Google came into existence, and information became readily available at our fingertips. Fast forward to 2011, when they introduced voice search—one of the first machine learning technologies that could understand speech. According to Bruce Clay, searching with a voice made accessing information 3.7x faster than typing
Studies by Google state that 41% of adults (and 55% of teens) use voice search daily. This clearly states that in 2021, voice search would not remain a “new normal.” It will become a regular thing. So, it is time you keep your website optimized for voice search for better visibility. Considering that, we are here with the 11 most crucial voice search ranking factors that will rule 2021.
Focus on user and search intent
People are different with voice search vs. when they type in search engines. They use a lot of question-based queries. For example, a user might type “the current time in Texas,” but using voice search, they would say, “Ok Google, what in the current time in Texas?”
Hence, it is essential to observe how people talk carefully. Based on that data, you can create content for them. If you find queries that are based on what, how, who, why questions, it is recommended you make long-form blog posts for each of them. The best way to find long-tail keywords is using Google Suggest. Based on your search query, Google would suggest different long-tail queries you can use.
By answering people’s queries, you get the search intent right and increase your chances of ranking higher in voice search.
Leverage Featured Snippets
Another important thing is to optimize your content for the featured snippets that often appear in the “rank zero”.
Featured snippets help to rank for mobile and voice search rankings, as stated by Google before.
As these snippets help users find quick answers, a voice search engine would respond to the query.
One of the key points is to consider length precisely when optimizing for these featured snippets. If your paragraphs comprise 3-4 sentences, it is recommended that you optimize your content as per the voice search guidelines. As per the speech guidelines shared by Google, less than 30 words are the best for any content you want to optimize for a snippet.
A short, crisp, and to-the-point answer would be a better answer for search engine algorithms.
Optimizing Brand Properties in the SERP
Brand SERPs are a set of results that a search engine displays to a user when they search online using a brand’s name as their keyword. So, in voice search, when users ask brand-related queries, you must optimize these results to maximize your chances.
Here’s how you can optimize your brand properties:
Take care of basic SEO
Brand Property results are custom-made based on the information it receives from your website or listings. So make sure your home page’s meta title and description tags are precise about what you provide. After that, optimize your pricing, login, about, FAQ, contact, and Jobs pages. Because these regular listings will turn into site links to create snippets like above.
Keep Google Listing Updated
Apart from basic SEO, your Google listing plays an important part too. Make sure you fill in all the details, including hours, address, contact information, links to social media profiles, description of your business, etc.
People mainly use mobile devices for voice search. So it is essential that your website needs to be mobile-friendly.
To test if your website is mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.
It will share steps to make your website mobile-friendly. If all look good, you will get a message that your page is mobile-friendly.
Apart from this, your website must load fast. You can plug your site in Page Speed Insights to gather details on page speed.
Besides the loading speed, you also need a lot of white space, short sentences with simple words, small paragraphs, and engaging subheadings. It will also make it easier to have your site mobile-ready.
Target Local Content
As per the studies, 22% of voice queries are for local content. And it makes sense because people use mobile on the go.
When you say local content, it means optimizing for “near me” searches. People extensively use search queries for “10 things near me.”
You can easily make your website optimized for local searches by using:
- Make a list of the phrases people use to describe the neighborhood around your location.
- Include “Near me” in your title tags, Meta description, internal links, and anchor text. It will maximize visibility.
- Describe landmarks near your business location.
Target Long-Tail Keyword
We use short words while typing in Google to save effort and time. However, people talk with voice assistants. Hence, voice searches are longer because of their conversational style. Also, we all know that Google loves long-form content.
Therefore, you need to create articles comprehensively targeting long-tail keywords. It will maximize the probability of your listing getting featured in the voice search.
Focus long-tail keywords, along with filler words, primarily to perform best in voice search rankings.
Aim for Higher Rankings
As per the studies by Backlinko, 74.9% of Google home results came from the top 3 results. So, make sure your page ranks higher, as Google is more likely to choose that page as the voice search result.
So, it is time to make your SEO game stronger and aim for higher results because Google home results are sourced from pages that rank in the top 3 for the same keyword in the desktop SERPs.
HTTPS-Secured Websites Win
HTTPS plays the most important role in voice search than it does for desktop or mobile. As per the studies by Backlino, 70.4% of voice search results URLs are secured with HTTPS.
So, it is essential that you make investments to set up HTTPS. Because voice search results use HTTPS significantly more than the other results on Google’s first page, please note that it also optimizes the other pages for SEO. Therefore, implementing HTTPS can improve your chances of appearing as a voice search result.
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Strong Link Authority
In voice search, an average Domain Rating of a voice search result is 76.8%. It clearly states that it is considerably high DR.
When voice assistants fetch results, they need to be confident that they give you accurate and quality information. So, to maintain accuracy, the voice search algorithm may rely on domain authority. Once the assistant finds the right voice search answer from a trusted high domain authority website, they will not care how many links point to the page itself.
So, having a high domain rating may work best for your website for the voice search results. You can practice getting high-quality backlinks to your website using techniques like Guest posting on high authority websites.
Content with Great Social Shares
Backlino study found that average results for voice search have great social shares. However, what’s important is to publish valuable, highly-shareable content because it may improve your chances of ranking as a voice search result.
Google several times said that social signals aren’t a key part of their algorithm.
So, it is less likely that voice search algorithms would use social signals. Hence, sharing valuable and engaging content remains a priority. The social signals such as likes or shares you receive could be an added benefit.
Voice search results rank listing with an average word count of >2000 words. So, more words mean more chances of getting matched as a voice search result.
Apart from that, your content’s organized structure also plays a vital role in voice search SEO. Other than your regular content, FAQ pages tend to perform particularly well in voice search.
The reason? If that page includes answers to people’s queries, that will rank higher in results. So, if you can, have FAQ pages on your website.
A Trend That’s Here to Stay
Soon voice search will be everywhere. As consumer behavior is constantly changing, it is essential to be prepared to meet their expectations.
Tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft have already set the bar high for voice search. So, having your website optimized for voice search is critical because the competition is already high. So, now it is time to get into the details of how to maximize your brand’s SERP by considering the factors shared above.
Start analyzing your brand in Google and see what type of SERP features appear on the page. What else do you need to push up?