Marketers should create “conversational” content around product and service FAQs to improve SEO for voice search, according to a new study about voice assistants published by SEMrush.
Consumers are turning to Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant in greater numbers for local queries and are now receiving more accurate and relevant results.
The SEMrush Voice Search 2020 study found that only 2% of questions put to Siri and Google Assistant on Android went unanswered, which is a significant improvement from a year ago.
Alexa is arguably the most well-known assistant in general lexicon, but it struggles to match the performance of its two main rivals, with a comparatively large 23% of questions going unanswered.
Virtual assistants were once hailed as the ‘next big thing’ in search and SEO, but the hype has subsided amid the failure for smart speakers to truly revolutionise how consumers find content.
The vast majority of people continue to use voice assistants for basic tasks such as finding out the local weather forecast and playing digital media.
That said, voice search is slowly but steadily growing in usage on smartphones, and brands can benefit by optimising strategies for voice-related activities.
SEMrush recommends focusing on local search first and foremost.
“The key advice for SEOs looking to optimise for visibility and market share across Google Assistant is to optimize for rankings within the Local Pack,” the report noted.
The Local Pack is a SERP feature that lists local businesses, their contact details and locations on a map.
SEOs should also incorporate structured data where possible, update the Google My Business page, and craft content that is succinct and easy to understand.
SEMrush warned that optimising for voice can be challenging though, as even the Google Assistant returns different results depending on what device it is accessed from, even though the algorithms are very similar.