Voice Search SEO: How To (Step-by-Step Guide) - Business 2 Community

Voice Search SEO: How To (Step-by-Step Guide) - Business 2 Community

Voice Search SEO: How To (Step-by-Step Guide) - Business 2 Community

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 05:05 AM PST

Voice Search SEO

The voice search revolution is well and truly upon us, with predictions suggesting that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.

That's just two years away, which means that if you don't want to lose traffic and customers, you need to start optimizing your website for voice search now.

Making the transition isn't hard.

All it takes on your part is an understanding of how people who use voice search behave – as well as what they're looking for.

In this article, we run you through all you need to do.

1. Add Conversational Text

The main thing to note is that the language used in voice search is different from the language used in a regular desktop search.

Two people might be searching for essentially the same thing, but the way they search is different.

On a computer, we use computer language.

On voice, we use human language.

For example, let's imagine that I'm at home and want to find a good local restaurant.

I open my computer and do a search on Google. This is what I type:

Best restaurants in Manhattan

On the other hand, if I was on my mobile device outdoors and decided to use voice search to find an answer, my search query might look more like this:

Which is the best restaurant near me?

According to research, voice searches have longer tails, which suggests that you need to target long tail keywords that best mimic conversational human speech.

2. Target Question Phrases

It's not simply a case of grabbing long tail keywords for the sake of them being long tail keywords.

Instead, you need to target question phrases that contain long tails.

There's been a lot said about the death of SEO and keyword research.

Both SEO and keywords are very much alive and kicking, but if anything is going to minimize the role of the short-tail keyword, it's voice search.

This is because humans don't talk using short-tail keywords.

We don't mumble "leather jacket" into our mobile devices; we instead say things like "where can I find a black leather jacket today?"

Notice something crucial there – we asked a question.

And because most voice searches will contain question phrases, what you need to do is target conversational question phrases that contain long tail keyword question phrases.

How to find the right question phrases that are conversational and long-tail?

Answer the Public for Voice Search SEO

  • Put yourself in the mind of your customer. How would you ask this question?
  • Check Google's Related Searches. Each time you perform a search, Google offers 8 related searches at the bottom of the page. Often, these are long tail keywords, so it's a good idea to take a look at them for ideas.

3. Aim for Featured Snippets

Now that you understand the need for conversational text and long tail keywords a bit more, you can start to aim for featured snippets.

Featured Snippets for Voice Search

A featured snippet is otherwise known as Position 0.

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It's the answer Google has decided offers the best response to a particular query.

This means that you need to target a long tail question phrase in your niche, and then you need to answer it with an in-depth piece of content that covers all the bases.

For example, a question could be "How do I invest in shares?"

Why do you need to publish in-depth content?

Google likes long form content best, and it wants to see that you're providing as much value as possible.

Make sure to answer the question as soon as you can in your content – ideally within the first paragraph.

This will show Google's crawlers what to expect from your page.

Featured snippets are especially important for voice search because our mobile device reads out the first result.

Therefore, they will become more and more prominent and you need to capitalize on them.

4. Work on Titles and Descriptions

To help you rank better and drive more high-quality traffic to your website, you can take your long tail keywords and add them to your main content, as well as your title tags and page descriptions.

Google used to restrict us with title lengths, and we only had 60 characters to fill.

Page descriptions, meanwhile, had their lines truncated at 80.

However, Google has now extended title tags to 70 characters, while you can now fit 100 characters into a line for your page description.

This means you need to be optimizing both with those long tail question phrases you've researched.

5. Focus on Local SEO

If you aren't already focusing on local SEO, now is the time to do it.

58% of us are already using voice search to find local businesses.

Why? When people use their mobile devices, a lot of the time they're on the go.

They want to find actionable information that will help them there and then.

This means that you'll need to tweak your SEO strategy so that you start targeting local users who want to do business with you.

Focus on adding keywords based on your business, service, and location.

For example, I might use "Where can I find an affordable dentist in Brooklyn" if I was running a dentistry practice in Brooklyn.

Local SEO Voice Search

It's also a good idea to add "Near me" in your keywords, but for this to be effective you need to add your business to Google My Business first.

If you need a further breakdown between traditional and voice search check out the infographic below:

What Are the Differences between Traditional Search and Voice Search

All in all, the voice search revolution is anything but scary.

It's here and it's super easy to adapt to.

Get inside the heads of your customers, understand the language they use and target question phrases with in-depth answers.

Google and Amazon smart speakers confuse lasers for sound: analysis - Business Insider

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 06:00 AM PST

 A team of researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Electro-Communications in Japan found that many of the most popular smart speakers mistake laser signals for audio, according to Wired. By changing the laser frequency to match that of a human voice, the researchers were able to send silent signals to control a Google Home and an Amazon Echo.

Smart Speaker Ownership Among US Respondents
Business Insider Intelligence

This vulnerability could be exploited by hackers so long as the device is within line of sight, including through windows. Google and Amazon are reviewing the research to address the vulnerability, and an Amazon spokeswoman told Business Insider the company would "continue to engage with the authors to understand more about their work."

This finding represents yet another growing pain as smart speaker companies push to accelerate adoption of the devices. Commercial smart speakers are still relatively new — the Amazon Echo has only been around since 2014 and the Google Home since 2016. As such, the companies are still grappling with some design flaws. In 2017, for example,  Google had to send out a software patch because the touch-enabled fabric top of the Google Home Mini inadvertently triggered audio recordings.

This iterative process is to be expected with new forms of technology: For instance, automakers scrambled to address several security loopholes that emerged in the transition from keys to keyless entry; similarly, many Bluetooth devices were found to use a weak form of encryption that made them attractive hacking targets. While security flaws are inherent to the introduction of any new technology, the stakes are particularly high for smart speakers, as they often have access to sensitive user accounts or smart home systems.

Consumer concern over security flaws could slow the adoption of smart speakers and related voice assistant hardware. The US has the highest rate of smart speaker adoption according to Canalys, and smart speakers are in about half of US respondents' households, according to primary research from Business Insider Intelligence using the Attest Consumer Growth Platform, which is representative of the US population on the criteria of age (18-73), gender, and living area.

While laser-wielding hackers are unlikely to show up at the average consumers' window, the resurfacing of such flaws can still damage consumer confidence. To counteract any negative perceptions, smart speaker makers can emphasize authentication by voice recognition tools for potentially sensitive matters, or incorporate shielding mechanisms to ensure that microphones aren't exposed, for example. Above all else, their efforts must signal responsiveness to the issue in order to allay any fears that smart speaker manufacturers can't keep their devices secure.

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Google Hangouts Chat Vs. Meet: A Single Social App Becomes Two Business Apps - VC Daily

Posted: 22 Oct 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Comparing Google Hangouts Chat Vs. Meet is comparing apples to oranges

Google has been a long-time competitor in the world of instant messaging and communication apps. Yet, as anyone knows who has tried to keep up with Google's constant launches of new video calling and chat apps and shuttering of old ones, the tech giant has had difficulty choosing a stable of products and sticking with it. Communications platforms like Google+, Google Talk (also called Gchat) and the recently retired Google Allo have all fallen victim to Google's penchant for replacing, rather than improving, old platforms.

The video calling and chat product Google Hangouts is the latest to get this treatment, although in this case Google is keeping the name and splitting Hangouts into a messaging platform called Chat and a video conferencing platform called Meet. We won't exactly be comparing Google Hangouts Chat vs. Meet in this post (it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges since one is now a text-based messaging platform and the other is a video calling platform). But we will be asking how these products differ from the current Hangouts and what the change means for users.

Classic Google Hangouts: The Basics

Hangouts was first introduced as part of the Google+ social media offering and became a standalone product in 2013. The classic version of Hangouts is a simple, easy-to-use social-focused communication product that offers video calling, phone calls, and chat.

The classic Hangouts platform is directed at casual social users.

Classic Google Hangouts can operate on multiple browsers and hardware/software platforms, including Linux and macOS. Users of Hangouts can use it to make voice and video calls, calls to cell phones and landlines, send text messages, participate in a group chat, or send photo messages. The classic Hangouts platform is directed at casual social users, as evidenced by the platform's homepage, which declares, "Get started by calling or messaging a friend below." The WebRTC-based video calling functionality allows video calls between up to 25 people at a time. 

Hangouts Chat Vs. Meet

Google declared way back in 2017 that it was splitting Hangouts into two different platforms and that Hangouts would be designed for business users, rather than casual chats between friends. Google developers have integrated certain features of Google Voice into both products to give them a competitive edge while attempting to maintain the familiarity of classic Hangouts. The Hangouts Meet and Chat products, despite the "Hangouts" prefix, are quite different from each other in functionality.

Hangouts Chat

Hangouts Chat is Google's business-focused instant messaging service, and has backward compatibility with the classic version of Hangouts, letting those moving from Hangouts to Hangouts Chat retain their contacts and chat history. Hangouts Chat provides users with the ability to create virtual rooms for collaboration, and, like classic Hangouts, is included as part of G Suite. Hangout Chat brings bots to the collaboration table and provides bot support for popular collaboration and CRM applications such as Trello. It also presents organizations with the ability to use its embedded API to build their own custom bots. 

Google Chat has some features reminiscent of platforms like Slack that make it especially useful for teams.

As might be expected of a service designed with businesses in mind, Chat dovetails with Google's other platforms, such as Drive and Docs, allowing users to easily share and view documents and photos in Chat. Google has also promised a powerful search function that lets users comb through their Chat history for specific keywords. As might be expected of a company looking to build something more like a full-service collaboration platform than a collection of apps, Google Chat has some features reminiscent of platforms like Slack that make it especially useful for teams. For instance, its "Rooms" feature lets users group individuals into chat rooms by project. Rooms may contain multiple threaded conversations and notify users when they are @mentioned. 

Hangouts Meet

Like Chat, Hangouts Meet also comes as part of G Suite, and like Chat, it's also fine-tuned for the business world. The platform is designed around meetings you schedule on your Google Calendar simply by adding participants and clicking "add video call," which places a clickable link in your calendar meeting. In an attempt to streamline the video calling experience and to keep participants' attention on the video call, Meet doesn't have a chat function–you'll need to use Hangouts Chat for that. 

As a competitor to Microsoft's Skype Room Systems, Google offers the Hangouts Meet kit.

Meet does have other features now expected of any substantive video calling platform for business users: a call-in number for those on phones, screen sharing, and meeting recording. However, the service only allows users to view up to eight video feeds at one time, and won't show meeting chat (via Hangouts Chat) and participants' video feeds simultaneously. As a competitor to Microsoft's Skype Room Systems, Google offers the Hangouts Meet kit, a hardware offering that allows Meet users to initiate and manage meetings via a simple touchscreen controller. 

What Does This Mean for Users?

Google's decision to replace classic Hangouts with Hangouts Chat and Meet is consistent with the company's constant changes of direction when it comes to communications apps. This time, however, it all makes sense…sort of. Google has left Duo alone to act as its social video chat app (and, to help the app replace the classic Hangouts, expanded the possible number of video call participants from two to eight), and seized on Hangouts, which was already integrated into G Suite, as its business brand. This means that those currently using Hangouts to chat with friends will want to move over to Duo, and those using classic Hangouts for business meetings will want to switch to Hangouts Meet before Google phases out the old product. While no date is set yet, Google is already removing the option to use classic Hangouts for some users, and will likely do away with it altogether in early 2020. If you use G Suite for business and rely on Google for your video conferencing needs, it's not a matter of Google Hangouts Chat vs. Meet: you'll need them both. 

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