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be sure to get found by those searching by voice

searching by voice in 2023: “hey siri!”, er, “alexa!”, i mean, “okay google!”…ummm “hey cortana!”

First, I’d like to get this out of the way before we talk about searching by voice. Don’t fall for those “services” that say that they will “register” you on all of the voice search devices. There’s no such thing needed. The devices use the same info used by the GPS apps – Google Business (formerly Google My Business) and Apple Business Connect. All they are doing is promising to keep things updated. You can do that yourself by making sure that your Google Business listing is up to date.

It’s really all about making sure that your website is optimized to be found by those using searching by voice. Don’t waste your money by falling for a supposed shortcut or some “exclusive” access.

The Echo is a search by voice device by Amazon
When you are searching by voice with this Amazon device, do you hear an Echo?

as of 2023, smartphones are still the most popular choice for searching by voice

Voice assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana are still growing in popularity. Increasingly, consumers are using these devices to control their smart home devices and for keeping their shopping list handy among other things.

Optimizing your website for voice search can help you reach a new audience and drive more traffic to your site – and your store. In order to optimize your site for voice search, you need to use some natural language and conversational phrases that people are likely to use when speaking to their voice assistant. Remember to use it sparingly and as naturally as you can.

Voice searching on mobile devices has been all the rage for many years. It’s being discussed again because it is still relevant. So, if you are new to making sure your website and company are being found by getting into SEO, this will be a good thing to know about.

Some interesting data on searching by voice in 2023:
• Voice controlled assistants can answer nearly 93.7% of search queries.
• Voice search is the second most popular type of mobile searching.
• In the U.S., 41% of adults and 55% of teenagers use searching by voice on a daily basis.
• 90% of those surveyed say that voice search is easier than searching online.

technical differences between traditional searching and searching by voice

When it comes to voice search optimization, it is important to understand the differences between traditional and voice search. Text searches are mostly done using keywords and short phrases. Voice searches are typically longer and more conversational in nature. As an example, a traditional search may be “Italian restaurant near me,” while a voice search would be “What’s the best Italian restaurant near me that serves spaghetti and meatballs?”

Knowing these differences is crucial because it will help you to optimize your website for both types of searches. Including conversational phrases and questions into your content, you can increase your chances of appearing in voice search results.

searching by voice tidbit: over 60% say they use voice search mostly when they are home alone

for searching by voice, you should be creating more conversational content

Voice searches are longer and more conversational than traditional searches. To optimize your website for voice search, you need to create content that is conversational and easy to understand. This means using natural language and avoiding jargon and technical terms.

When creating content, think about the questions your audience may ask and create content that answers those questions. Use subheadings to break up your content and make it easier to read. By creating conversational content, you can increase your chances of appearing in voice search results.

Here is a search by voice classic SNL skit. Enjoy.

no, i didn’t forget to go over the cortana

Microsoft never stays away from a good idea for long without launching their own version. In case you are unfamiliar, their virtual assistant first became part of the Windows Phone 8.1 in 2014. Cortana has since been integrated into Windows 10 OS and many other Microsoft products.

Searching by voice device Cortana can perform a wide range of tasks, including setting reminders, answering questions, playing music, and controlling smart home devices. It uses natural language processing and machine learning to understand user input and provide personalized responses.

A bit of geek trivia: Microsoft’s Cortana is named after the artificial intelligence character in Microsoft’s Halo video game series. But many of you already knew that, right? Thought so.

optimizing your website for local searching by voice

Another important aspect of voice search optimization is local search. According to research, 46% of searching by voice users look for a local business daily. To optimize your website for local search, you need to make sure your website is optimized for Local SEO. This includes adding your business’s name, address, and phone number to your website, as well as creating content that is specific to your location. The concept is similar to how you get your business listed in a google map pack.

Increasing the number of great reviews of your company on Google is still a factor. Better safe than sorry.

Bell Labs' Audrey. Searching by voice 1952 edition?
Voice recognition is hardly a new concept. Bell Labs designed “Audrey” way back in 1952. She was very accurate (90%!) when recognizing digits…but only when spoken by her inventor. Not shown in this photo is the six foot tall rack of electronics that it required.

like always, make sure your website is mobile-friendly for search by voice users

Voice search is typically done on mobile devices, so it is crucial to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. This means using a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and ensuring that your website loads quickly.

To check if your website is mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you may need to work with a web developer to make the necessary changes.

be sure to use structured data markup

Structured data markup is a type of code that helps search engines understand the content on your website. By using structured data markup, you can make it easier for search engines to find and understand your content. It can increase your chances of appearing in voice search results.

In order to use structured data markup, you can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. This free tool makes it easy to add structured data markup to your website, even if you don’t have any coding experience.

searching by voice conclusion…for now

I’m sure that by this point, you know very well that optimizing your website is critical. You’ll need to do this as it is an essential part if you want to be found by those searching by voice. Understand the differences between traditional and voice search, and optimizing your website for local search. Make sure that your website contains conversational content, and keep your Google Business profile and your Apple Business Connect account up to date.

It doesn’t hurt to surf the web for more information if you’d like. Just be careful not to get trapped falling down that never-ending rabbit hole.

please note: I will be constantly updating this article as I find new information, change my mind, or if I hear feedback that I haven’t thought of – by people like YOU. I’ll also update this article if I think of ways to improve it. Keep checking back. Share this article with those who you think could use the help and please write your comments and questions below. It could help me…and others.

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