“Hey, Google! How can I make more money selling online? I’ve already asked Siri, but I want to double-check.” Said someone to Google assistant
Although we’re not Google, we ensure you’ll find the answer in this article. Nowadays, businesses worldwide compete digitally to attract internet leads. Everyone wants to rank higher on search engines for the same reason. SEO drives organic traffic to websites, improves search engine rankings, and targets quality prospects. However, there is a hidden treasure not everyone is aware of. Forbes described it as “one notable change in the evolution of SEO,” and that’s voice search optimization.
According to research conducted by Statista, there are over 110 million users of virtual voice assistants in the United States alone. Despite being available for the last decade, voice command technology has taken the world by storm for the last couple of years. Many people use voice commands with their smartphones to search online.
Google usually pulls voice query answers from top-ranking pages. Improving voice search optimization opens the doors wide for new opportunities and a higher conversion rate. This article will introduce voice search SEO tips, practical tricks, and all the information you need to know about voice search.
Table of Contents
What is voice search?
Searching the Internet using voice commands is called voice search. Instead of typing what you’re looking for, you can easily say it aloud. The technology depends on speech recognition and connects voice commands to a sophisticated natural language processing system. Next time you ask Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa, remember they understand your prompts, not just copy them.
Why should you optimize your website for voice search?
Optimizing for voice search is essential, simply because voice search is becoming so popular that:
- 27% of the international online population uses voice search features on mobile.
- 40.2% of the US population uses voice search features.
- 71% of consumers prefer voice queries when shopping online instead of typing.
Sooner or later, the day will come when people stop typing and switch only to voice commands.
How do you optimize your website for voice search?
Voice search optimization is only a few steps away. You should consider applying the following nine tested strategies on your website to optimize for voice search.
1. Focus on long-tail keywords and question phrases
Voice searches mirror the conversation style humans have when expressing their thoughts or asking for directions. When people use voice queries to search for something, they use long conversational questions and phrases.
Identifying these long-tail keywords and targeting them is key to voice search optimization. Let’s take the keyword “press release” as an example:
- Long-tail keyword: press release for a tech project
- Conversational voice search keyword: how to write a press release for my tech project
The first step is to recognize target keywords, then optimize for voice search their long-tail versions. Another example is the keyword “meditation.” Following are long-tail conversational versions of it:
- How does meditation change the brain?
- Why is meditation good for you?
- How to start meditation in my area?
Although voice search long-tail keywords are not restricted to being questions, it’s a highly recommended approach.
2. Optimize for local search
According to the Search Engine Journal, “58% of consumers use voice search to find local business information.” People usually use voice commands when they’re looking for local results. For example, when you’re on the street and looking for something, you quickly grab your phone and use the voice search feature. The same thing applies to people driving somewhere and looking for directions.
Local voice searches are often from potential buyers who are highly interested in a product, a place, or a service. Therefore, optimizing for voice search locally is fruitful for business owners.
3. Claim your Google Business Profile
Search engines use popular listing directories to find results for search queries. For example, listing a local business on Google My Business is essential to increase local business citation. Not having a profile means it’ll be difficult for search engines like Google to spot your website.
Google My Business is a free tool worth investing in, as it improves online presence and ranking. Keep your profile up to date with recent information and high-quality photos. Furthermore, ask your clients to leave reviews if possible. The more you update your profile, the better.
4. Use structured data
Using structured data enables Google to identify what the website is about. For example, the services and products it sells or the information it provides. Having structured data means that Google understands your content and grasps everything about your business in a moment.
That comes in handy when someone uses a voice search with one of your target keywords; Google will relate your website content with the query. Therefore, you’re doing yourself a favor when allowing Google to analyze your website using structured data easily.
5. Create conversational content
One of the best approaches for voice search optimization is writing conversational content. There are some basic guidelines you need to follow in this regard:
- Look for target keywords, and generate their relevant questions and answers.
- Anticipate the questions your target audience usually asks.
- Provide informative answers to these questions on your website.
- Use a conversational and natural tone of speech in your content.
- Add short FAQ sections to the bottom of your blog articles.
- Think conversationally when writing the content for your website landing page.
- Clearly list topics on website pages and use proper subheadlines.
6. Optimize your content for featured snippets
Featured snippets are highlighted text segments displayed at the top of a Google search results page, also known as “position 0”. These snippets provide the primary source of information for voice assistants. Google started the featured snippets to provide quick on-the-go search results and fasten the voice search process. If you’re wondering how to optimize for voice search, consider optimizing your content to be featured on snippets.
- Ask different questions and follow them with one paragraph reply for each.
- Use concise and precise answers to your questions. For example, if your subheadline is “How can Andava help me sell more,” start your reply paragraph with “Andava helps you sell more by applying …, etc.”
- Utilize the power of long-tail keywords to get featured on snippets. Google tends to feature websites targeting long-tail keywords.
- Content should be informative, and one article should answer different questions because it might get featured for several questions.
- Organize your website content and use images appropriately.
7. Create FAQ pages to answer your audience’s questions
Unlike using phrase fragments or words in a regular typed search, people use whole sentences and probably questions in voice searches. Having an FAQ page on your website is very important to improve your ranking. Especially if you follow these FAQ voice search SEO tips:
- Use questions with who, what, when, where, why, or how.
- Keep your questions and answers clear, and avoid throwing jokes on this page.
- Use long-tail keywords and answer the questions appropriately.
- Your FAQ content should be location-specific for targeting purposes.
- Consider using Schema to allow search engines to understand your context.
- Structure your FAQ page properly.
8. Optimize your website for mobile search
27% of the online population use voice searches on their mobile phones. A well-implemented voice search optimization will drive traffic to websites, but what would happen when these websites are not mobile-friendly? That would be a waste of marketing budget, interested leads, and potential revenue.
Customizing websites to be mobile-friendly is vital in the process of optimizing for voice search. Doing everything correctly and ignoring this step will worsen the problem as the bounce rate increases, sending wrong signals to search engines about your website, eventually leading to a lower ranking.
9. Reduce page load time
When online prospects land on your website, the work is not done yet, and the user experience has to be optimal not to lose their interest. If the page loading time is too long, visitors will start leaving before your content appears. According to Google research, “53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load..”
Page speed optimization is critical, and the following are some practical tips:
- Check your web hosting vendor and minimize server response time.
- Check image sizes on your website and confirm their format.
- Avoid using too many apps, widgets, and media files like videos.
- Professionally organize HTML files, and consider hiring an expert for this purpose.
Optimize your website for voice search with Andava
Reading so far, you must be questioning how to optimize for voice search on your own? The straightforward answer is that you should not. We recommend engaging experts that provide voice search optimization services to handle the task for you. Voice search optimization is a complex strategy tied to multiple fields of professions like website development, marketing, and SEO.
Andava is your reliable digital marketing agency and strategic partner. Our long years of experience and an extensive portfolio of international clients in SEO, VSO, and other digital marketing solutions enriched our knowledge in this field.