The ways of searching are changing, and voice search optimization is becoming more popular every day. But what does this mean for your website?
We all know Siri and Alexa. They are the “friends” we call when we have questions, and they have all the answers. But what if your site is not optimized for voice searching? How much traffic could you potentially lose?
After all, voice searches are different from text searches and people phrase their thoughts in different ways when they write and speak. So, is your website optimized for voice search? And if not, how should you optimize it?
Worry not; we’ve summarized every tip and trick behind voice search trends. In this article, let’s dig deep into the hacks and secrets of SEO for voice search.
What Is Voice Search Optimization?
Voice search optimization is a collection of strategies to improve your search result ranking for voice queries. It aims to help voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Voice, and Cortana answer their users’ questions.
Optimizing your content for voice search can help your website appear at the top of the list of answers when people turn to smart speakers for help. If you’re lucky, your content can be among the answers the device reads.
Text Search vs. Voice Search
Optimizing your content for text searches is very different from optimizing for voice searches. Indeed, keywords are crucial in both. But the way you should use them differs.
Text search tends to have shorter, simpler, and more direct-to-the-point keywords. Often, users take shortcuts and awkwardly constructed phrases when typing a query.
On the other hand, voice search is much easier and more user-friendly. People tend to talk to their smart devices in complete sentences. Some even give more specific keywords, which you should be able to catch.
For instance, in text searches, people would type “cafe near me.” But when talking to a device, they’re more likely to say, “Siri, where can I grab some coffee?”
Needless to say, you have to adapt. Voice search optimization employs a unique set of rules and principles. And fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for advice.
Why Should You Optimize For Voice Search?
The number of smart device users is increasing. In the US alone, 62% of adults use voice assistants. Voice search is an accessible, user-friendly tool that makes life even easier.
With that, voice search optimization is a key strategy in digital marketing. Here are five great reasons why:
- Growing Popularity. Voice search has become increasingly popular as technology improves and people adopt smart speakers and voice-activated devices.
- Increased Convenience. Voice search is more convenient than typing on a keyboard or a touch screen, making it a preferred choice for many users.
- Better User Experience. Voice search optimization can help improve the user experience by providing more natural and conversational results.
- Improved Local Search Results. Voice search often includes location-based queries, so optimizing for voice search can help improve your visibility in local search results.
- Personalization Opportunities. Optimizing for voice search can help you take advantage of the advancements and deliver more personalized results to your users.
Optimizing your website for voice search helps with search traffic. In turn, it improves your business’s discoverability and success.
With a higher SEO ranking, you gain more popularity and credibility. More people will check out your page, which has a domino effect. Users and search engines (like Google) will gradually remember and open your page for future queries.
How To Optimize Your Website for Voice Search Marketing?
Once you know how voice searches differ from text searches, voice search optimization marketing becomes more manageable.
There are many ways to boost your website’s voice search ranking. Still, it can be challenging to start from scratch. Take a look at these voice search marketing examples to get some ideas.
Use Complete Sentences and Question-phrased Words.
As mentioned earlier, voice search trends are different from text searches. If you use Siri or Alexa often, you will notice that we ask in complete sentences when we do voice searches.
It is because speaking takes less effort than typing. It’s unlikely that people will say “nearest restaurant” on their devices. Instead, they phrase queries like “What’s the nearest restaurant to me?”
Voice searches often start with wh-questions like “what,” “why,” “who,” and “why.” Be sure to put them in your content for voice search optimization.
Another hack: You can use Reddit. It’s an online community where people often ask each other questions. Check out how they phrase questions on subreddits related to your niche. You can apply this to how you put keywords on your website.
Target long-tail keywords too. These are more specific and conversational, matching the way people naturally speak. They also have less competition, which can result in higher rankings and increased visibility in voice search results.
Be More Casual.
Siri, Alexa, and Google are like friends to their users. They use conversational words. Keep this in mind when doing voice search optimization in digital marketing.
Using simple words also makes your content easy to read. Rephrase those technical words in layman’s terms. It’s also a plus if you can use pronouns such as “we,” “us,” and “you.”
But don’t get too comfortable and easygoing. Consider your tone, still. Avoid compromising the quality of your content for voice search optimization.
For most blogs, the best tone to use is casual yet smart. After all, you want to assert authority and persuade your audience.
Put up a FAQ Section.
A FAQ section is essential for SEO, which applies to voice search optimization. It’s a great way to incorporate question sentences that people may say on queries.
You might have thought that forcing questions into your content can be awkward. It can compromise the quality of the article. Fortunately, an FAQ section solves this problem. If unsure what questions to include, you may consult and do a few experiments on Google’s “related searches.”
When it comes to answers, make them short. Your FAQ section will likely make it into Google’s quick results. Remember that Siri and Alexa only read the most relevant portion of an article.
You can imagine people in their cars asking Siri about a nearby cafe or hotel. With this, you should be particular about locations for voice search optimization.
It is why voice search tends to be local-friendly—so does your content. Say you own a restaurant in Boulder. People won’t specifically ask for a “restaurant in Boulder.” Still, Google will pick up their location and gather a list of restaurants in town.
It brings us to the next strategy for voice search optimization marketing.
Have Your Business Profile on Google.
Let’s go back to the example from earlier. When people look for the nearest restaurants in Boulder, you want your business to come out first.
It is only possible if you manage a business profile on Google. It’s especially true for on-site businesses. So ensure that your information on Google is accurate (especially the address).
But before that, you should first see if your business is on Google. If not, check out this guide on how to add your business profile to Google.
Aim To Be On Google’s Featured Result.
Do you see a brief snippet on top of the search result on Google? It’s a quick overview or answers to the user’s query. Being in this position is one of the goals of SEO.
Aiming to be on featured results is especially crucial for voice search optimization. As mentioned earlier, putting an FAQ question is a great way to rank higher on search engines. In fact, 60% of the answers on voice searches come from the snippet.
Make Your Website Mobile-friendly.
Google aims to give users the best experience. And one of the factors that the search engine considers is the device used.
A large portion of voice searches come from smart devices. But take note that mobile phones make up 27% of voice queries. Needless to say, you want to be among Google’s answers.
You can use mobile-friendly fonts, clear images, simple layouts, and mobile-friendly links on your website.
Consider Schema Markup.
Search engines use schema markup to read your website’s content. Your audience can’t see it, but Google does. And it uses schema markup to decide if your website should be on the list of answers.
It requires at least a basic knowledge of coding. But using it can help a lot with SEO for voice searches. You can tag your website in relevant categories to improve its ranking in search engines.
Ensure Your Website Loads Fast.
Your website’s response time is essential to getting a higher rank in search results. Ideally, your page should only take under 2 seconds to load.
Again, Google is all about the user’s experience. The faster your website loads, the higher your rank will be. Check out these platforms to test your page’s speed, or use Cloudflare Zaraz to substantially improve your site’s speed!
Many factors dictate your page’s speed. You can start by compressing images, removing plugins, and choosing the best hosting service.
Interact on Social Media.
Voice search results can also include content on social networking sites. Your business’s social media page may also show up, especially if it gets a lot of traffic and engagement. The more likes, comments, and shares you have, the better.
Keep an active page on social media sites and use them to interact with your audience. Top platforms to consider include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
In summary, these are the three key fundamentals that can help you rank higher on Google’s voice search results:
- Relevancy: Voice search answers with accurate and up-to-date information should be highly relevant to the user’s query.
- Use of Natural Language: Voice search queries are often longer and more conversational than traditional text-based searches.
- User Experience: Voice search optimization should prioritize the user experience, including fast loading speeds, mobile optimization, and easy-to-use navigation.
As you get further into it, you’ll eventually discover voice search optimization techniques that specifically work for you.
So with these tips in mind, explore your way through voice search optimization and get your website at the top of the results!