Optimising Snippets for Voice Search Results

How Optimised are Your Snippets? SEO snippets for voice search

A recent Voice Search Ranking Report revealed that 80% of the results provided by Google Home come from snippets. The report was carried out by ROAST, with the aim to understand the processes of Google Home and how it responds to the questions it is asked. Another reason for the study was to try and establish when the virtual assistant uses snippets and when it goes to other sources.

Keyword analytics were used to come up with a list of key phrases used in the UK snippet answer boxes. There were 616 phrases in total. Before beginning the test, the key phrases were but into order starting with the top phrases, based on query volume over different verticals, such as travel, retail and so on. A comparison was made between the Google Home results and Google search.

Here are some of the findings.

  1. Google Home was not able to answer all of the questions, which were asked during November 2017.
  2. Most of the Google Home results did provide the information in the snippet answer box, but not all. Sometimes there was a snippet but Google Home provided a different answer or simply replied with the “I can’t help with that yet” reply.
  3. 80% of the questions that were answered used the information in the answer box.
  4. 20% of the questions answered came from other sources of data.
  5. Interestingly, the ROAST study did highlight the importance of Google My Business listings for local voice search. You must be using this feature if you want to be included in local searches. If you’ve ignored your listing, it’s now time to get to know it and use it in your digital marketing.
  6. Establish your own list of key phrases and begin using them. These key phrases should also be used to track your voice search reports as well as in your content.
  7. There are occasions where Google will not use the snippet box, these include flights, actions, and locations.

The results are interesting as it shows that occupying the featured snippet answer box in Google search does not guarantee that your answer will be given by Google Home.  There are times when the reply will come from a completely different source. Sometimes Google Home will choose not to share the information in the snippet box and provide no answer at all.