December 27, 2020

Voice Recognition & SEO – Google’s BERT

What Was the BERT Update?

Google constantly keeps updating its algorithm to make it easier for searchers to find answers to their queries. From asking websites to E.A.T. in 2020 all the way to the BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) recent update and its focus on voice searches; the face of SEO is changing altogether now. 

The main idea behind BERT AI update was to express on the importance of language and make scientific advancements in the field. This was done by implementing machine learning into voice recognition services; something that Google claims to be the biggest update to the search since 2015.

Here, we shall discuss how BERT is  going to fare 2021, its SEO prowess and its implementation in today’s internet environment. 

What Was the BERT Update?

With the BERT update out, a new way of introducing a search query came along with it. The new algorithm processes words in a query in relation to the other words, rather than individually. 

Google claims that the main idea is to recognize what the conversational language means and understand the context of each search term. This is also applicable to the “Okay Google” voice command and other queries that follow after that command. 

The BERT model also included a language processing function that catered to different accents in languages. Where at first only the American English accent was recognized, now even remote accents such as the Scottish, Indian and Chinese accents are also understood and processed. 

Furthermore, the update gives significance to “to” and “from” as well to get a better understanding of each search query. While Google doesn’t have a search assistant like Siri or Cortana, the Google Assistant was integrated more firmly into the Chrome app in phones (and its widgets) and browsers for websites. 

People use voice assistants rather incessantly, considering they give much faster results and are way easier; especially for commands such as set an alarm, call someone, and more. This has all been made possible thanks to the AI technology Google implemented behind voice search in the BERT update. 

Furthermore, Google claims that voice recognition accuracy has grown to 95% since 2013.

Voice Searches & SEO Optimization

With voice search being such an important part of the total searches on Google or smartphone operation these days, it is important for large and local small businesses to optimize their websites and apps for it. 

The main idea behind this optimization should always be focusing on why people search via voice. Voice searches are often made when people are driving, asking about locations, store timings etc. 

A survey published by a Google Think Tank suggests that via voice search, people are often looking for information about how-to’s, deals, sales, upcoming events, customer support, phone numbers and more. 

When optimizing for voice search, it is important to understand that you don’t need to incorporate changes into your existing content and make it more suited for voice searches. That will bring you up in the voice search menu but risks bringing your traditional SERP engine ranking in the long run. 

If you are looking to stand out in search engines against voice searches without it impacting your SEO optimization, here are three big changes you’ll need to make to optimize for voice search.

Keyword Research for Voice Search

Typing and speaking are two very different things. Think about it; do you search for things just like you would ask a friend? Or even Google Assistant? When optimizing for voice searches, you need to keep that in mind. 

Try to use keywords that people will actually say out. For example, people would rather say “voice recognition SEO” when voice searching for an article like this instead of “Guide to voice recognition optimization” or “how to optimize website for voice searches.”

Site Structure & Content Development

Just because you’re optimizing for voice doesn’t mean content can be thrown out the window. Instead, the opposite of that is true. Voice depends on content. 

When formulating a strategy for voice search optimization, map out the most commonly asked questions and then read them out loud. Next, say them out loud as you would when talking to friend or perhaps how you would search for the question yourself. 

Depending on the question, incorporate how you would say it in the different stages of the buyer’s journey. Just as a reminder, these steps include:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Evaluation
  • Purchase
  • Customer support
  • Loyalty

Just once or twice should be enough. Remember not to overstuff. 

Optimizing the Hits & Misses

Optimizing for voice search is an iterative process based mostly on trial and error. You optimize, learn, reoptimize, relearn and repeat. 

Remember, voice searches don’t show results in the form of search engine results page (SERP), but show only one result (usually). So, you should focus on making sure your voice search optimization is done right throughout your content by implementing only relevant keywords. Use specific queries and try to keep them short. 

In 2020, people speak less than they type.

Remember and use that. 

As more and more people adopt newer technologies, it is only a matter of time before voice searches become equal to, if not more than, the number of written queries over search engines. And right now, there isn't much competition in the field. 

If you’re looking to get your website optimized quickly and properly, we at KISS PR can help you out. Just give us a call and see the results for yourself! Or drop us an email and we’ll get back to you!

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Source: kisspr
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