Optimizing for position zero: the future of voice search

The era of voice search is still just beginning, however, this new type of search engine use, according to comScore data, will reach 50% of the global market next year. This is a major change in search behavior over the past few years.

Digital assistants are becoming more visible in our homes and mobile devices, and their prevalence will only grow.

But how exactly should a brand work with voice search? How mature is this opportunity, and what strategy should brands follow to capitalize on this trend? Let’s take a look at the current situation and, more importantly, where this topic will go in the coming years.

Focus on zero position

When you hear marketers talk about voice search today, you probably hear a lot about the so-called “position zero,” also known as rich snippet. This is the content that Google offers in the top search results with the expectation of a direct response to the search query. In desktop and mobile, the top content is followed by other search results. In voice search, the zero position is the only information that is transmitted to the user. In this regard, especially for business, getting a zero position has become a new necessity. But how exactly to do this is still an open question.
As with all topics in the world of search engine promotion, the best techniques for achieving a zero position will evolve over time. But a business looking for a way to stay one step ahead of the rest when voice search becomes commonplace needs to focus on a few core areas.

  • Relevance of data. Being most relevant to voice search is about giving the search engines what they need to answer the user. A user whom the voice assistant knows very closely. The more nuances are revealed, the more likely it is that the digital assistant will “connect” your business with a potential buyer. For example, if you are a restaurant, this means that the search engine should find information not only about the location and opening hours, but also the user rating, reviews, information about whether pets are allowed, whether there are lunch options, gluten-free menus, and etc.
  • Extended snippet styling. If you want you to receive a rich snippet for search queries, make sure that your site and profiles provide complete and concise information on the questions that people usually ask your type of business. This could be the first paragraph of a blog post, an FAQ section on your site, or other content options.
  • Use micro-markup. This is even more important than voice search optimization. Make sure your site uses the Schema.org content markup rules.

While these ground rules are helping businesses to improve the relevance of voice search, we are only seeing the beginning of a shift in how marketers apply. What changes will take place over the next few years?

Despite the rise in voice search frequency, the business model that is evolving alongside this opportunity is just beginning to emerge. Right now, the biggest players in the tech world – Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook – are investing in voice search for 3 reasons:

  • Voice search is a core technology that will expand to all lines of business
  • It represents the kind of technology that will gradually take people away from screens.
  • Voice search opens a new path to emerging markets such as India or Southeast Asia, where mobile devices are very prevalent

Big tech companies are investing in voice search for the aforementioned reasons, but they are not yet monetizing this space. This will change in the next couple of years, and when it does, a monetization model will emerge very quickly within the industry, much like it did with SEO and search engine marketing.

Once the voice search and voice advertising space is established, brands that are experimenting with it now will be poised to win. Now is the time to explore and test whether or not these efforts can lead to positive ROI. Every minute invested in a better understanding of voice search and its capabilities, especially understanding how the brand’s target audience is using it, will be profitable in the future as voice search dominates.

There is no doubt that in the future we will control devices using our voice. The only question is whether your business will become the leader in this in the next 24 months – or will you be forever playing catch-up.

Ashwin Ramesh is the founder and CEO of Synup, a company that helps users find the right information about them on the web, mobile and voice search.

A source: https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2019/11/21/optimizing-for-future-of-voice-search/

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