The Role of Keyword Research for Voice Search Optimization

Many people are now doing voice searches

In the current technological landscape, with voice-enabled devices, most people use mobile phones to do searches. This is why sites cannot afford to ignore mobile SEO. When optimizing for mobile searches, keyword research is one of the most essential steps. It helps you to know your audience’s queries and adjust your SEO strategy to their needs.

But what is voice search optimization? How do you do keyword research for voice search? Let’s find out in this article:

What is Voice Search Optimization?

This is the process of optimizing your site to provide answers to voice queries. The keywords used in voice search differ from those used in text queries. This is because how people write their queries differs from how they do it in voice.

The queries used in voice search are usually longer than those used in text queries. Voice search queries are usually phrased in the same way people speak. For instance, if you search using text on a desktop, you might type something like “chemist near me”. 

But when searching for a chemist using voice search, you may enter something like, “Where can I find a chemist in Salt Lake City?”. Therefore, if your site will be ranked highly in the voice search results, you need to find these voice search keywords and optimize them for them.

Voice search keywords are different

There are a few measures you can use to find voice search keywords. These are also the best tips for mobile seo, as most voice searches happen on mobile devices:

Find Keywords You Already Rank For

When you find a keyword that is doing well, you should create more content around it. But if a keyword is not doing well, it’s probably time to move away from it. So go to your Google search console, click on performance, and then search results. Scroll downwards to the queries tab. Under the position, you will see the average position that you rank for that query.

Expand Your Keyword List

Now that you know the keywords you rank for, you must expand your keyword list. Like the text search, you can find these keywords by looking at your competitors’ rankings.  To ensure the best results, use keyword modifiers that show voice, such as how, when, what, why, where, could, which, is, the, do, does, will, are, and can.

These modifiers can help you narrow down the queries from voice searches. For instance, you can search for the keyword SEO and add how at the beginning. The Google autosuggest will show you  keywords on SEO with a question such as “How does seo work. If you search for SEO with the word which, it will provide you results such as “which seo metrics are important to track?” Other tools can provide search queries, such as “Answer the Public”.

Optimize your site for voice search keywords

Find Negative Keywords

There are specific keywords you would not want your business or site to be associated with. Therefore, you will want to clean up your current keywords to ensure you do not rank for these keywords. Go through your list to see if there are keywords on things that you do not offer.

Optimize for Location-based Keywords

Many of the mobile search keywords have a location element in them. This is because most voice searches are done by people on the go. Besides naming the location, people doing voice searches often use two keywords: nearby and near me.

 In fact, if you type a phrase like a restaurant on Google, you will see the search engine completing the phrase with near me or nearby. That shows how significant these terms are. However, one thing to note is that you cannot rank for a keyword with these terms. This is because nearby and near me aren’t traditional keywords. So, you will need to optimize for such keywords by:

  • Signing up for Google My Business. Once you do so, google will show your business when people search for a business in your niche.
  • Have a name, address and phone number on every page of your site
  • Set up your location on Google Maps. 
  • Do local keyword research and optimize for the same.

Here are a few tips to remember:

Understand Your Buyer’s Persona

What do your buyers need, and how can you address it? You can get answers to these questions by conducting interviews with your customers to understand their goals, pinpoints, and issues.

Use Longtail Keywords

In voice search optimization, you must use longtail keywords but in a conversational tone. Consider how people ask questions in real life.

Use Conversational Tone

When generating content, ensure that you use conversational content that is easy to read and suitable for people in the 8th grade. Since this is how people talk, you should match their language in the voice search.

Use FAQ sections

Studies show that 2.68% of the voice search results are obtained from the FAQ section. Again, these questions often mirror the kind of questions users ask. If you offer concise answers, Google will use those as answers to voice search. Some areas where you can find topics for the FAQ section are Quora and Answer the Public.

Optimize For Non-Browser Searches

Non-text searches are becoming very popular. Programs such as Cortana and Siri make it easy for people to do voice searches without using their browsers. Siri is a Google product for iPhone users that enables them to create custom voice commands. 

The command can be used to trigger other apps to execute a function. This means many people do searches without necessarily using a browser. So, think of a good way of ranking for non-browser searches.

Find keywords used in voice search.

Final Thoughts

Recently, voice search has risen as an alternative to traditional text searches. Any content creator can, therefore, not afford to ignore this type of search. The first step towards optimizing your site for voice search is keyword research. By following the above steps, it will be possible to know the phrases people use to search for products and services in your niche. You can then optimize for those phrases.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.