5 Strategies to Optimize Your Site for Voice Results
In recent years, tech giants have released personal assistants like Google Home, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. As a result, more and more people are using their voices to search Google. With voice searches expected to grow over the next few years, SEOs should look towards voice search optimization.
By targeting voice search, brands can reach on-the-go searchers and prepare for new innovations ahead. Even if you don’t see results immediately, this is a good opportunity to get ahead of the competition and improve your overall Google rankings.
Why is Voice Search Increasing?
More and more people are doing voice searches because they are
- Quicker and easier (when the assistant can hear you clearly)
- An alternative to manually typing out long or difficult-to-spell questions
With these attributes, users are finding that voice queries provide reliable information in a fraction of the time it would take to manually input a search. This means that users can now search in new places and situations they never could before. Thus, SEOs now have additional opportunities to reach users with their content.
However, SEOs should also remember voice searchers may not scroll through the search results. As such, attaining the top position is the ultimate goal.
Finding Ways to Rank Better for Voice Search
Conduct Keyword Research
Research, research, research. It may seem obvious, but research is the key to SEO, and voice search is no different.
To start, compile a list of common queries and pay attention to any long-tail keywords. Then, try to expand each of those keywords into questions using words like “who,” “what,” “where,” “why,” and “how.”
These voice keywords should generally be longer and have a conversational tone. This means that instead of searching for “personal injury lawsuit,” someone may instead voice search “what do I need to do to file a personal injury lawsuit?” It is important to consider user intent and how people may rephrase their searches when speaking.
Create Voice-Optimized Content
With those critical questions handy, consider what content would help answer user queries. Voice results typically come from featured snippet information or other SERP features. This means that directly answering those keyword queries in a concise manner can help you earn a better position.
To do so, consider using subheadings with immediate answers to structure your blogs, FAQs or other content pages. Keep these answers clear and concise, when possible. This will make it easier for a search engine to choose your content as the answer.
Match User Search Tone
When crafting content, consider how people ask or search for your services. How might this change between a typed search or voice search?
To help attract voice results, include natural language in your content. Avoid unnecessary technical words in pages like blogs and FAQs, when possible. Those conducting preliminary searches may not know what specific terms mean, and search engines may be looking for the most straightforward answer. Make it easy for Google to scan your website and pull out rich answers for the user.
Prioritize Local SEO
Some users may be using voice search for local listings and adding “near me” to their searches. To take advantage of this, ensure your Google My Business (GMB) profile is up-to-date with your business name, address and phone number. If a voice search presents inaccurate information, a user may not have the time or willingness to explore the web to find your correct information. Correcting any GMB mistakes can help attract customers in your area and instantly provide the information they need.
Furthermore, upload additional information to your GMB to make your presence stand out. Providing the appropriate business category, publishing weekly posts, and answering questions are just a few things you can do to help voice assistants better understand the areas you serve and what you do.
Improve Your Site as a Whole
Although not specific to voice searches, ensuring that your site is working properly is another key component to placing as a voice result.
To see where your site stands, consider
- Conducting a speed test
- Updating existing site maps
- Ensuring there aren’t any errors in schema
- Optimizing your site for mobile
By taking the steps above, Google can better scan and pinpoint relevant search result answers. If your site has serious issues, it doesn’t matter how good your answers are. Google may choose a competitor’s webpage instead.
Likewise, many voice searches occur on mobile, meaning Google may want to optimize results by device. Building a quality mobile site may be crucial to high voice search rankings.
Work Now Pays off Later
You may not feel your website or sector receives enough voice search queries to justify this work. This may be true now, but voice searches are becoming more popular and provide great potential.
The reason to optimize your rankings for voice searches is to stay ahead of trends and the competition. As more devices and users become voice search enabled, this optimization will become more important.
It is crucial to begin the work now and build your site up as the trend continues. Doing so will help establish a solid framework for your site’s voice search capabilities.
Even if you don’t see immediate results, successfully implementing each of these strategies will still help your SEO presence as a whole.