How to Optimize Your Website for Voice Search by John Jants Read more in Duct Tape Marketing
As we all know at this point, voice recognition technology keeps getting better and better, in fact, it is now known to be 95% accurate. As users, we are quickly adapting to this new voice revolution (about 1/4 of mobile search queries are voice search), yet marketers and SEO experts are a little behind in terms of optimizing this new approach. Search.
If you are into the marketing world, it is time to start focusing on voice search optimization to help you appear in search results through this method.
Optimizing for voice search requires a slightly different strategy than the search engine optimization techniques we use, they can benefit your website as a whole, regardless of how someone is searching for you , so implementing these best practices is really a win-win.
target featured snippet
Position zero, or Google’s featured snippet, is now the most coveted spot in search engine results pages for a number of reasons, but becoming the top result for voice search is now one of them.
A featured snippet is a quick answer to a question (as shown in the screenshot below) that people are usually looking for when using voice search.
If you’re able to move this space into the results pages, you’ll be more likely to get results in voice search results. According to a survey by Backlinko, 40.7% of all voice search answers came from a featured snippet.
With featured snippets, simple answers (like asking a celebrity’s age) are answered simply because they are facts. For more expert/opinion-based posts, search engines will pull content from websites they think are best suited to answer the question.
Useful tips for getting to that desired location include:
- Knowing and addressing the intent of your audience
- do your keyword research
- Creating high quality content that answers questions
- Implementing SEO Best Practices
- Focusing on easy-to-follow formatting
At the end of the day, aiming for a featured snippet should be a top priority regardless of how people search, but it can really give you an extra boost with voice search.
Optimize for certain keyword types
As most people in the marketing world know, when it comes to SEO, keywords are important. They are at the core of your content strategy and help you identify and respond to audience intent.
When it comes to voice search, you need to think about keywords and SEO a little differently as these search queries tend to be a bit longer than type-based searches. Because of this, you really need to focus on long-tail keywords.
Additionally, when people use voice search, they are generally more interactive than when they type words into the search box. Be sure to build content around conversational phrases. Having a FAQ page on a site or Q&A-related blog post can be easier for search engines because questions usually come across as being more interactive. I like to answer the masses by finding questions related to the search terms I’m trying to rank for. I definitely encourage you to check it out!
When it comes to SEO, I don’t really disregard shortcuts because SEO should be viewed as a marathon, not a sprint, however, research is showing that there are some common trigger words that help voice search. You can add to your target keyword phrases to help you find them through voice search. These conditions include, but are not limited to:
- top rated
- the nearest
Granted, don’t include these in all your ingredients, but you might consider sprinkling them around.
Understand schema markup
If you’re asking yourself what schema markup is, I highly recommend that you start your research (and don’t get distracted by the code, it’s important stuff!) It’s not only good for search optimization in general Well, it can be one of the most important factors for ranking for voice search.
In short, schema markup helps search engines understand the content of the page. By including it on your website, you make it clear what that page is about, which makes it easier for search engines to scan.
invest in mobile optimization
Right now for SEO in general, it is essential that your website is mobile friendly. Google primarily cares about the user experience and is now pulling the experience on mobile devices to the desktop for SEO. I suggest you move to a responsive design and ensure that the mobile site speeds up quickly to avoid penalties.
Since a lot of voice searches are done via mobile devices, it’s essential that you’re optimized to get help with mobile results.
focus on content
While this may seem like a no-brainer at this point in the SEO game, there are some specific tips you should pay particular attention to when it comes to voice search:
- Make sure your content is simple and easy to read
- Aim to write long-form content (around 2,000 words), as that’s what Google usually does for voice search
- Answer your audience’s questions and solve their problems with your content
- Write/speak naturally in your content (this goes back to people using conversational phrases when using voice search)
- Share your content on social media regularly, as they perform better with voice search
Keep up with SEO Basics
Lastly, don’t forget the basics of SEO. The more you follow those best practices, the more Google will reward you. Just because there are new aspects to consider doesn’t mean you should forget about existing ones.
- Be sure to optimize on-page elements with relevant keywords within the URL, page title, header tags, alt text, meta description, and copy itself.
- Build a backlink and review strategy.
- Make sure your site is secure.
- Pay attention to page speed (according to Backlinko, the average voice search results page loads in 4.6 seconds (52% faster than the average page).
I say this all the time but it never seems to be enough: Build your total online presence. Build the best user experience you can and you will see the benefits roll in.
Need more tips on Search Engine Optimization? Check out our complete guide to SEO.