Smartphones have inevitably revolutionized the way online searches are conducted. These days, everyone and their grandmother has a smartphone and our lives are getting increasingly busier by the day. Hardly anyone has time to physically type out their searches anymore. This begs the question: why would anyone want to continue typing in search queries when it’s so much easier to verbally communicate what they’re looking for?
There’s no denying that voice search has gained a lot of traction in recent years. In fact, about 20% of smartphone users are using voice search on a regular basis. While voice searches are on the rise, we’d be remiss not to mention two other increasingly popular forms of search that also happen to start with V: visual and vertical search.
What Is Voice Search?
Voice search—which is also referred to as voice-enabled search—is a state-of-the-art technology that allows users to use dynamic voice commands to perform search queries on their smartphone devices or smart speakers.
Once a search query is initiated, the device then presents the user with several top-ranking articles, featured snippets, or business listings that directly pertain to their query. Google is currently at the forefront of this technology with its incredibly accurate voice search recognition feature. Available on all Google devices including Google Home, this feature has the capability to not only immediately recognize individual voices, but also accents and certain languages.
Amazon’s reach in this department is also quite impressive with more than 28,000 smart home devices that are compatible with Alexa, 150 unique products featuring Alexa, over 4,500 different manufacturing partnerships for those products, and the fact that Alexa has 70,000 capabilities and counting.
How to Optimize Your Content for Voice Search
Given the fact that voice search has already been around, you should already have a solid voice search optimization strategy—or several—in place. In case you don’t, though, here are a few useful tips:
- Focus on creating high-quality content that’s well-informed and speaks directly to your target audience
- Perform in-depth keyword research
- Use more long-tail keywords to ensure that all relevant terms are dispersed throughout your content organically
- Avoid keyword stuffing—it’s obvious, it’s tacky, and it doesn’t flow well in your content
- Write short, concise, and easy to understand sentences and paragraphs
- Write your subheadings in question form to accommodate people’s natural speaking patterns. This will increase the chances of portions of your content being used as featured snippets on search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Focus on local search, meaning include your city and region name where possible so that customers nearby can easily locate your business
- Keep your Google My Business Account updated
What Is Visual Search?
Visual search is a comparatively new component of The V Search Trifecta, but it’s also gaining a lot of traction, especially with Google images and popular apps like Pinterest in the SEO arena. Google Lens, which is a rapidly growing visual search tool, has an assortment of capabilities that simplify search for a lot of different users, including:
- Real world object searches where users can take a picture of 3D inanimate objects and search for them online through the app
- Dynamic text translations
- Scanning barcodes
- Reading through restaurant menus
- Style ideas, which is a feature that allows users to use real life images of clothing items in stores and find similar styles or items online
Of course, other companies like Microsoft have also been busy adopting different versions of similar technologies and making plenty of improvements to their software for about a decade, so the idea of visual search is nothing new, but it’s just recently entering mainstream consciousness.
Pinterest, which is a largely visual-based app, also enables users to use dynamic visual search options. Most notably, the app allows users to “pin” specific items and use those pins to find similar items within the same categories. This is called Pinterest Lens. This Product Pins feature connects to Pinterest Lens for an even more dynamic online shopping experience that allows users to view important item descriptions and e-commerce retailer information including where and how to purchase certain items.
How to Optimize Your Content for Visual Search
Millennials are most likely to use visual search more than any other generation. Visual search is essentially another form of local search, except that it is image-based rather than text-based. That said, the best way to prepare for this phenomenon is to simply include more relevant images in your content. Focus on visual search optimization by creating image tags for your visual content so that when users perform visual searches that are brand related, you’re more likely to rank on SERPs.
What Is Vertical Search?
Traditional search queries are so broad that it can sometimes be difficult to find the exact solution, answer, product, or service that you’re looking for. Search engines like Google or Bing offer users thousands upon thousands of search results that are related to the keyword they used. While having this vast array of information readily available at our fingertips is convenient, it can also be frustrating when you’re looking for a specific piece of information. That’s where vertical search comes in.
Vertical search engines are designed to help users find industry- or topic-specific information that pertains to a certain aspect of the search query rather than simply rendering a general array of results.
How to Optimize Your Content for Vertical Search
Here are a few tips for effective vertical search optimization:
- Analyze industry-related search data across multiple platforms
- Identify your target audience and what they’re searching for
- Use that information to create relevant content that’ll help you rank better
- Create unique content for multiple platforms to avoid being penalized by Google
- Maintain brand messaging consistency across all platforms
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