The way people look for information online has changed significantly over the last few years. People are increasingly using voice search via their tablet, smartphones, or voice assistant (such as Google Home or Amazon Echo) to find what they’re searching for online. iPhone users rely on personal assistant Siri to receive them what they need, Google voice search is a favorite on Android devices, and Microsoft’s helper Cortana helps users navigate their PCs, tablets, Xboxes, smartphones, and other devices.
According to Hitwise, nearly 60 percent of searches are now performed on a mobile device, and many of these are performed through the voice search feature–to discover local restaurants, get instructions, order products, find out about the weather, and much more. As marketing SEO consultant Canada, we will need to consider the impact that voice search is currently getting (and will have) on SEO. Below are some tips you can such to optimize for search.
Understanding Voice Search
Before we jump to how you can optimize for voice search, there are some basics we will need to cover. First, it’s important to understand that voice search is more natural and conversational in tone–and that its most often performed on a mobile device for local search purposes. Because they are more natural, voice searches also tend to be longer than text-based questions.
Voice search, in general, is about delivering on-the-go results in the location where the user is currently located. Now that you understand how voice search is used, let us get started with these tips.
- Make Your Content Scannable
People that are searching the internet on their mobile devices are looking for content that has been optimized for this platform. Make sure your content is easily readable, scannable, and does not have any annoying pop-ups or advertisements that could hinder them from getting the info that they need. Use simple sentences, short paragraphs, and bold headers to break up your content as much as you can.
- Claim your Google ‘My Company’ Listing.
In case you haven’t maintained your Google My Business list yet, now is the time to do so! Assessing and optimizing your Google My Business listing is a terrific way to provide Google with additional facts about your business, such as business, phone number, address, business hours, and much more. Maintaining this property up-to-date raises your probabilities of showing up in the results when a pertinent voice search is done.
- Read the Official User Guides
Even if you’re one of the people who doesn’t “do” directions, it is well worth reading the official guides to voice search for every significant platform. Approach it as though you’ve just bought your first Windows, Android, or iPhone smartphone, and read the guides to learn ways to best optimize your expertise. While the information may seem basic, bear in mind many users will be experiencing voice searches for the very first time.
Apple has a superb guide on ways users may use Siri to find information on their phones or online. Google and Cortana have comparable guides. You can even find great data in third party guides like CNET’s complete list of Siri commands, Cortana commands, and Ok Google commands. Bookmark these resources, and mention them afterward once you need to remember questions and phrases people typically use for voice search. Another key source to bookmark is Google’s newly-published Voice Search Quality Guidelines.
- Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
We’ve already covered the fact that people use more “natural” speak when utilizing voice search, so targeting long-tail keywords is essential. To do it, you must “think how folks speak.” How can you ask special questions? Or what type of spoken questions might attract others to your site? This may be a different kind of long-tail than you’re used to. It’s more about actual speech and not as much about keyword variations. You need to know and target as many variants as possible. Response the public supplies a fantastic tool for this. It appends search terms with words such as “for” or “with” to dig deeper into searcher purpose:
You can also use Google Search Console to determine the actual queries that are bringing visitors to your site. At this moment, there’s no way to tell that questions came from a voice or text-based search, but Google has hinted that may change later on.
Another strategy you can use is documenting and recording the types of questions clients and prospects ask you/ your customer service representatives. Once you have this list of questions, begin creating content pages that concentrate on these more, more conversational terms.
- Create Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Pages
Another great method you can use the client and SEO data you have gathered is to create FAQ pages that concentrate on those long-tail key phrases. Attempt to set common questions on precisely the same page, and write as naturally as you can. If you have to create numerous pages to sound more natural, then go with this strategy. You want the search engines to have the best chance of pulling answers/information out of your site, so expect direct, long-tail questions. At the start of each piece of content, you should also add in some fast answers to satisfy Google’s rich snippet requirements. It can seem like a daunting task, but creating these individual pages and articles snippets centered around particular semantic questions can help your site not just appear in voice search results but at the top of any text-based search as featured snippets.
- Pump up Your Microdata
Make it as easy as possible for Google to crawl your website and know what it’s about. This will increase the chances that the search engine will use your content to answer voice search queries. To do this, in addition to incorporating your Google My Business information, you will need to submit a sitemap to Google such as information such as prices, directions to your physical location, store hours, and your address and phone number. Next, use microdata to help Google understand what this text means. Create markups for various use cases. By way of example, here’s a rich snippet Google returned for “How many people live in the Bahamas.”
Google knew what answer to display for my queries because of a microdata markup around the World Bank site. To make certain your microdata is structured correctly, visit Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, and learn the different kinds of content you can markup. It will also walk you through the procedure and help you create the ideal HTML.
- Understand the Unique Ways People Play with Voice Search
If you have ever used Siri, Cortana, or even OK Google yourself, you’re probably guilty of joking around with these personal assistants. The point is, it’s important to understand how users are playing voice hunt because it gives us insight on how users interact with these technologies. While most of the answers you read will most likely be irrelevant to your business, others may provide your ideas about how it is possible to optimize for voice search on your website. You might even find a way to inject some humor into your copy and engage with customers in a new way.
The Future of Voice Search
As the world of search continues to evolve, marketers must learn new approaches to keep up with these modifications. Follow the tips in this post to ensure you’re a step ahead of your competitors when it comes to voices search or you can hire a professional from XtremeUX Digital.
Full-service digital marketing agency specialized in SEO, Pay per Click marketing and website optimization areas.