Semalt Content Optimization For Voice Assistants
The popularity and effectiveness of voice assistants are growing every day. Therefore, more and more webmasters and website owners pay attention to optimizing their content for this type of tool.
It is a particularly difficult process that requires significant changes to the website as well as the way of writing or presenting content. On the other hand, it is also a very effective method of attracting new customers. So what is worth doing to increase the audience with voice assistants?
The most popular solutions
The number of methods that use voice recognition is quite huge. This translates into the growing popularity of such a solution, even among many well-known brands. Currently, there are five most popular voice assistants:
- Apple with Siri - a veteran in this market. It first appeared on October 4, 2011. It is an integrated part of the iOS, macOS and watchOS operating systems. Apple's voice assistant recognizes speech, answers questions and performs specific tasks. Siri's voice belongs to Susan Bennett, 64.
- Google Assistant - appeared in Android 4.1, which was in 2012. Work on artificial intelligence took over 8 years. Like Siri, the assistant from Google analyzes speech, recognizes questions, and provides answers.
- Amazon Echo - is a speaker with built-in artificial intelligence from the Amazon brand. Work on this voice assistant has been underway since 2010. Initially, Amazon Echo was made available to Amazon Prime program participants, and since 2015 it has been available for sale.
- Cortana - artificial intelligence from Microsoft. It was presented at the Build conference in 2014. This assistant is named after the game Halo. Cortana uses Bing's search results and is integrated into Windows 10.
The speed at which voice assistants develop is really surprising. If in 2012 the Google Assistant could only do the simplest things and its everyday use was difficult, then in 2018 the CEO of Google Sundar Pichai introduced an AI version that was able to call a pizzeria on its own and reserve a table for several people. The person on the other side of the handset could no longer differentiate the robot from the human.
Google Assistant and Siri still do not always distinguish between the variations of words or the context of the conversation, but the quality of the responses and the overall conversation allows you to delegate complex tasks to your assistant.
Google does not provide a principle of how search algorithms work, so most ranking factors are discovered through experimentation. It is similar in the case of voice assistants - the methods of operation are a mystery like Area 51. However, in the case of classic SEO, it was possible to draw some conclusions that will allow answering the question - how to optimize the content on the website so that it is readable for voice assistants?
The difference between classic inquiries and voice inquiries
The main advantage of voice search is its higher speed compared to traditional methods. Using the classic text search, the user is able to save around 40 words. With voice search, the number of these words increases to 130-160, which allows you to use the entire sentence instead of key phrases. In other words, voice search is more natural for humans. This is best seen with an example:
When checking the weather in London, users will enter the following phrase in the search engine in 95% of cases: weather London or London weather. In the case of voice assistants, they will formulate their request differently: What will the weather be like in London tomorrow?
As you can see in the second example, the user does not shorten his or her query to two words of value but asks the Assistant as if it were a real human being. Queries to voice assistants are much longer than to a text search engine.
The voice assistant is also not able to suggest a keyword phrase, depending on what the user is typing - as is the case with a text search. Such a difference significantly affects the construction of the query - the user builds it by hand, not adapting to Google's suggestions.
Thematic voice search queries can be broken down as follows:
- 40% - inquiries about the direction;
- 39% - queries related to reading the content;
- 31% - phone inquiries;
- 11% - time inquiries;
- 11% - requests to include songs;
- 9% - inquiries about the distribution of films in the cinema.
- 43% - phone inquiries;
- 38% - inquiries about the direction;
- 31% - inquiries for help with homework;
- 30% - inquiries about music;
- 20% - inquiries about the distribution of films in the cinema;
- 11% - time inquiries.
As you can see, the local search takes up a lot of traffic here, which means that the website and the company's listing are to make it easier for Google to read information related to the address and contact details of the company.
The data sent by the smartphone allows for error-free determination of the user's location. Using voice assistants, there is no need to specify a city or street - the assistant will suggest the nearest cafes, restaurants or cinemas based on data collected by Google My Business.
When optimizing a page for voice assistants, special attention should be paid to your business card - it should be completely filled, all data must be up-to-date and agree with the data on the company's website, and the pin should indicate the current location of the company/restaurant/cafe.
Being in the TOP10 and being in the TOP1
For classic SEO, a good result is promoting the website to the top ten search results. This allows you to attract a large amount of traffic related to a specific keyword phrase. In the case of voice assistants, the situation is different - the assistant always reads only the first search result. In most cases, this result is sufficiently satisfactory for the user, who ends his or her interaction with the search engine.
This means that when we want to optimize a website for voice assistants, we have to look for such key queries and phrases that are not fully developed and do not give the user the answer they are looking for. The best solution is to get what is known as a Direct Answer or "position zero". A similar search result answers the user's question directly and is read by the assistant first. One of the best SEO tools used by experts to identify these keywords is the Dedicated SEO Dashboard. An SEO analysis tool that allows you to check the keywords generating traffic for your website
Content optimization for voice assistants
In the event that we aim at Direct Answer, it is worth starting a blog entry with a direct response to users' inquiries. The assistant only reads a small piece of text, which doesn't mean it can't respond to your query. Knowing that Google likes extensive and substantive content, it is worth expanding the topic by giving the user more information beyond the answer to their question. The FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions section will also be useful. It is not always worth doing a separate page for this. It is also a good idea to paste this section directly into the post. Thus, we give Google more opportunities to include part of our listing in Direct Answer.
Most Direct Answers have pictures, so you should also test their various combinations or inclusion in posts. We should also remember that, in addition to Google robots, entries are primarily read by people, and plain text without the content of graphics or other media looks unattractive. Content structuring also has an important role. If the content of your post is structured with headers, Google will show a "Read more" button, which is a great way to attract additional traffic to your website. Structured data can help Google better read the content of your listing and will definitely increase the chances of a high search result.
What to do if the competition is ahead of me?
If the basic technical optimization of the post has been performed, the content is unique and substantive and fully responds to the user's query, but the competition's Direct Answer appears in the search results. This proves that it is better than us at something. This is where the methods used in classic SEO can help. It is worth doing a complete analysis of the competition with the Dedicated SEO Dashboard and checking what makes it better. It's good to check:
- Site structure and internal linking. Are all entries linked internally? Are there any links to other entries or subpages in the entries? Is the user able to move slowly and quickly around the site?
- External links to the home page and to individual entries. Are these links of good quality? Are there many of them? Are the links evenly distributed between the various subpages or is only the home page linked?
- The quality of the content on the website. Is the content on the website substantive? Is the content on the website unique? Are they published regularly? Do the texts contain a reasonable amount of key phrases?
- Are there any signals from social media (e.g. Facebook or Twitter)?
- Is an SSL certificate installed?
- Is the website fast enough and does it load efficiently on mobile devices?
Website optimization for voice assistants is a relatively new strategy that allows you to build your brand image on the Internet. However, the speed with which these technologies take effect and become popular means that when they want to stay on the same wave with trends. Many people are starting to include voice assistants when building a website and writing content.