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What to Consider When Optimizing Your Multilingual SEO Strategy for Voice Search

Although voice searches have increased in popularity over the past several years, largely due to the rise of voice assistants like Siri, Google Home, and Alexa, they’ve actually been possible since 2008. While customers can search for a variety of topics using their voice — similarly to how they conduct a search via desktop — there are some key differences between the two search types that are prompting businesses to focus on an SEO strategy that also encompasses voices searches. Just as you optimize your SEO strategy for desktop searches, you’ll want to pay attention to the nuances of your customers’ voice search habits when looking to grow your web presence, especially among multilingual audiences.

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Here are a few ways to ensure you are optimizing your SEO strategy to ensure you are accounting for your multilingual audience’s voice search habits.

Consider the characteristics of a typical voice search

First and foremost, it is important to understand how a voice search is different than a desktop search. Knowing the types of searches your audience is performing through this medium will help you develop the right SEO strategy to respond to the queries they make.

Voice searches are typically more conversational and longer than desktop searches, since users do not have to go through the physical effort of typing the query. They are also often phrased as a question, since voice assistants seemingly respond to the person asking the question. What’s more, 22% of voice searches are performed so that users can find local information. Many mobile users are also on the go and need a quick response. They may never actually click on your website, as long as the search yields the information they need on the results page.

So, while a desktop user might search for “best dog groomer New York,” a voice search user may instead ask, “Which dog groomers are open now near me?”

Determine how to utilize the information to optimize your SEO strategy

Now that you know a little about the characteristics of a voice search, think about how your target audience speaks. What types of questions do they have about your products or services? Which languages do they speak? Which dialects? How might they phrase those questions in their primary language?

Once you get to know how your target audience speaks, make sure your website provides answers to these questions so that users can get the information they need on the go. If your website is translated into another language, search results should be displayed in the language detected in a voice search.  

In addition, keep your business listing up-to-date with your current hours, address, and phone number, and try to encourage positive reviews from customers. Whereas a desktop user may have more time to browse other websites of potential options, the customer who searched for “Which dog groomers are open now near me?” will likely never click on your website, but will, instead, look at the list of potential dog groomers and either call or visit the groomer based on proximity and ratings.

Bonus tip…

Check to see if voice search is already available for the language your target audience speaks. As of 2019, Google Assistant was the voice assistant with the largest number of languages it understands, conversing in over 30 languages to date. However, if the language your target audience speaks isn’t one of these 30, voice search traffic will not be as relevant…(yet!). Of course, it is still important to gather the data you need for when a target language is added, as the list of available languages is constantly growing.