Voice search is one way of looking or finding information by talking to your computer or smartphone. It is using speech to enter search queries in a search engine like Google to get the information you are looking for. Your computer uses Artificial intelligence (AI) to recognize the voice and write a text-based question on the search engine.
Google introduced voice search in 2011, but it was not a top priority for most professional marketers by then. However, today, there has been advancement in technology, for instance, the invention of smart speakers, which has increased the number of people using voice search. People are getting more comfortable with tools like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Siri.
In this era, marketers have to pay attention to voice search if they want their business to rank at the top of most search engines. Here are some statistics showing the value of voice search in marketing today.
Google has reported that in 2020, at least 27% of people online were using voice search. Some of the most used search queries amongst people searching for products include the best places to buy a product.
At least 60% of people searching for a business or product on voice search use the ‘click to call’ option to contact the business.
At least 62% of smart speaker users plan to buy something online within the next month using the voice-activated speaker.
Voice shopping is projected to reach $40 billion in 2022. This will transform the future of e-commerce.
Strategies For Voice Search SEO
As a marketer or a small online business owner, you have to be smart when adopting voice search. Making your website optimized for voice search is one way of driving the right traffic your way and increasing engagement and conversion rates in the end.
Today, most consumers are treating voice search differently compared to traditional text-based search queries. This poses a major challenge to digital marketers. Those using voice searches speak like they are speaking to fellow a human, which differs from text-based searches. Ideally, voice search queries are a bit long compared to text-based search.
These are some of the best strategies you can adopt if you look forward to optimizing your website for voice search.
Strategy #1: Make Your Content Conversational
The secret to optimizing for voice search is to create content that is conversational in a way. When you create blogs, web pages, and press releases to publish on your website, you should ensure they are dialogue-friendly.
If you want your website to rank at the top of search results, it should have relevant and quality content. To appear on the first SERPs, you have to optimize your website for voice search.
In most cases, voice search queries will lean on the conversational keyword; you should ensure such keywords are included in your content.
Optimize your website for voice search by ensuring the content on your website is dialogue-friendly. Here is what to do:
Add a FAQ page on your website. Answer some of the common questions your website may have.
Research some of the most commonly asked questions about your company and product, then include that in the kind of content you create and publish on your website.
Strategy #2: Use Long-Tail Keywords
Whenever you create content to publish on your website, you should focus on long-tail keywords. The reason for doing this is simple. You want to ensure your website is targeting those voice searches. In most cases, voice search queries are long-tail keywords, while text-based queries are short-tail.
When people are ready to purchase an item, they are more likely to use long-tail keywords to search. Users are more likely to use full phrases and questions when they speak on their phones or computer, which means they will use longer search queries.
When you are doing your keyword research, you should focus on long-tail keywords. Find some of the long-tail keywords that most of your audience uses when looking for your business or products. Use that in the content you create.
Apply long-tail keywords to drive your content strategy, and don’t forget to write your content in a conversational tone.
Strategy #3: Optimize Your Website For Mobile
Even as you focus on optimizing your website for voice search, you should also make it mobile-friendly. At least 41% of adults are using mobile voice search at least once in a day. This proportion increased to 25% for individuals aged 16-24.
Ideally, most people are already using voice search to make calls, navigate apps on their phones and use voice assistants to make calls on their mobile phones. It means they are more likely to use voice search too in searching information online.
Now, what does it mean for your website?
Increase your website engagement by making it mobile-friendly. Note that making your website mobile-friendly increases UX, which is more significant to search engine optimization.
Don’t forget to create a more positive mobile experience by adopting a responsive website design. You should ensure your website doesn’t take minutes to load. Most users are going to bounce if your website takes more than 30 seconds to load.
Strategy #4: Optimize Your Website For Local Search
A significant number of people search online for immediate solutions to their issues. For instance, if someone needs breakfast, they are likely to search for ‘Which is the best hotel near me.’
That means customers are simply looking for instant solutions, and once you’ve optimized your website for local search, you can easily tap into those ‘near me’ searches and make your website rank at the top.
Voice search is 3X more likely to be local compared to text-based search. With this in mind, every business should always update their physical address and phone number and register with Google My Business. Google uses your business information to show results for all near me queries.
For instance, if you want Google to show your website on search results for ‘Where do I find the best breakfast in Texas”, you should include accurate and up-to-date information on when your coffee shop is open and its exact location. You should also optimize the content on your website so that your website will be listed amongst businesses offering the best breakfast in Texas.
You can start by researching some of the most common questions your target audience will ask about your business on the digital voice assistant. Focus on creating content that provides accurate and exact answers to some of these people’s questions about your company.
Strategy #5: Leverage Your Business’ Google My Business Page
Yes, we can all assume that most people using voice search will end their queries in ‘near me’. That means if you want your business to rank at the top of voice search queries with those words, you have to leverage your Google My Business Page.
Google My Business makes it easy for customers to find your business whenever they search online. However, when using this feature, you have to ensure the information you use to register on Google My Business is accurate, relevant, and up to date.
Provide information like:
Exact location of your business
What products and services do you offer
How customers can reach you
Business phone number
You can also focus more on local keywords, which contain near me queries and location-based phrases.
This will ensure your website appears on search results for all local queries.
Strategy #6: Optimize Your Website For Detailed Answers
In a recent voice search study, it has been established that smart devices with voice search capability are more likely to give a principal answer to a specific question. That answer is more likely to be derived from rich online content. If you want to understand how search engines list your business on search results, you should get conversant with the following phrases:
Knowledge panel: This is the basic information that appears on the right side of a search page after searching for a business on Google.
Knowledge Graph: This is a knowledge base that store and absorb all the information about businesses, people, things, and places.
Knowledge box: This is the kind of information that appears as facts and normally comes from the Knowledge Graph.
Featured snippet: This is the information about your website or business which comes from third-party sources. Google will normally display this information on top of organic results just above the ads. The information contains an attribution to the main source. Google does this to provide accurate and immediate answers to questions that most users are asking for. Therefore, if your business appears on featured snippets, it is more likely to drive more traffic.
If you want Google to display your website at the top, you should focus more on providing content with the best, accurate, and detailed answers to questions that most people are asking about your brand.
Strategy #7: Improve Your Website Loading Time
Those shopping online are not that patient as those visiting the physical brick-and-mortar store. Ideally, if your website takes longer than 30 seconds to load, it is more likely to record the highest bounce rate.
With many people bouncing off your website, it means Google and other search engines will rank your website below your competitors.
In most cases, a website that takes the longest time to load records the highest bounce rate compared to those that load faster. Therefore, you should optimize your website for speed at all costs to reduce bounce rate and target voice search.
Voice search requires immediate and straightforward answers. It means if your website is taking ages to load, Google and other search engines will not use your website to answer the verbal questions. Make your website load in less than 15 seconds if you want it to be used in voice search.
Here are more tips to help you optimize your website for speed:
You should use only compressed videos and images on your site
Use the Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Use HTML5 and CSS3 frameworks only because they load your web pages faster
Limit the number of plugins and redirects on your website
Reduce the number of HTML requests on your website
A slow website can result in a low conversion rate and high bounce rate. Use website speed-test tools like Google Page Snippet Insights to test your website for speed. Always audit your website frequently to remove any features and plugins that make it slow.
Strategy #8: Focus On Readability And Clarity of Content
Yes, if you want your website to rank on top for voice search queries, you should ensure the content you publish is accurate, clear, and readable. Most people will still overlook the idea of writing simple and readable sentences. If you want your website content to rank high, you should focus on writing standard reading levels.
Focus on creating 8th-grade reading level on Flesch Kincaid Grade. You can use Hemingway Editor and Grammarly to edit your content before you can publish it. These tools help you remove all the grammar, typos, and wordiness in your writing.
Always aim at achieving the highest readability and clarity score for your web pages and blog posts before you can publish them.
Voice search is the future of search, and every business should focus on optimizing their websites for it. Notably, most people using voice search prefer it because it is easy to use, faster, and straightforward.
Voice search is on the rise every year because of the improving technology. It is now affecting online consumer behavior in immeasurable ways, and digital marketers should do all they can to meet user expectations.
Today, the majority of tech companies have already optimized for voice search. As an entrepreneur, it is your turn to follow your competitors’ footsteps and improve your online visibility. Apply the strategies listed in this article and optimize your website and business for voice search now.
Built To Last London SEO Services is a reputed organic marketing company in the UK. Call us today to discuss your project requirements and we would be glad to assist you. We do not compromise on work quality and always follow the Google Webmasters guidelines for SEO.