If you’re going to stay competitive in 2021 and beyond, you need to take a hard look at how to optimize your website for voice search.
While it was once the stuff of Science Fiction, using voice commands, and speaking into devices like an Alexa, mobile devices, watches and TV’s have become common-place.
Want to know the latest price of Tesla stocks? Or the GDP of a foreign country?
Just ask your iPhone.
Voice Search Is Growing
Here are some fascinating statistics:
- Voice activated searches make up 50% of all searches.
- Smart speakers will be in 55% of US homes by 2022.
- 20% of Queries on mobile devices are for voice searches.
- Currently, smart speakers are used by almost 40 million people in the US.
- 72% of people say they use voice search on a daily basis.
- 43% of people use their smart speaker to do their shopping.
It’s apparent that technology has made a huge impact on the way we interact with our mobile devices. No need to type every message, search or question.
After all, it’s much easier to speak than to type.
How to Optimize Your Website For Voice Search
Know Your Audience
The first thing to understand is how your target audience is using voice search.
There’s different phrasing people use when using their voice to ask questions.
You should use Google Analytics to understand as much about your audience as possible. This information is critical in how you would customize your content.
Things you should know:
- Interests or Hobbies
- Education Level
- Marital status
- Political Affiliation
This information will be extremely valuable in how you approach marketing in general, and specifically how to optimize your site for voice search.
Win The Featured Snippets
The Google Snippet is when Google scans through different websites and pulls out small, but highly relevant, information based on the user’s search.
This is the snippet Google feels best answers the user’s query.
What is most powerful about this is that, normally, ads appear first and then search results. But with snippets, they appear at the very top, before ads and other search results in what is referred to as position “0”.
That’s not all. It gets even better.
Google will curate the best answer/snippet irrespective of webpage authority or rankings.
In other words, you can appear higher than pages or websites that you, normally, never outrank!
So how do you win the snippet?
Well, there’s no definitive answer, but there are things you can do to better your chance.
Create a FAQ page. Google loves these. Just make sure you phrase your questions based on solid keyword analysis.
Additionally, “how-to” guides are also a very effective strategy.
Another thing you can try is to think about a succinct, one-paragraph answer. You’ll want to make it the best answer to their query, then bold the text and add highlight to the paragraph.
Shooting for the snippet may be challenging but well worth it. It will bring in a ton of traffic and exposure for your brand.
Target Long-tail Keywords
“Normal” text search terms or keywords are often short 1 – 3 words phrases.
Because they tend to generate way more traffic, or extremely competitive and, as such, are usually more profitable.
However, voice search is different. People tend to speak in longer phrases and even complete sentences when doing voice search.
Given that, you’ll want to change your keyword analysis to introduce both short and long-tail keywords of phrases – 3-5 words or even more.
Access your Google Search Console to determine the keywords and phrases that people use to find your site and then build on that.
Make Sure You Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Roughly 75% of all voice searches are local searches. Given that, it seems only logical to optimize for local to get better voice search results.
Have you claimed your Google “My Business” listing? If not, you should do so.
Google will use information such as photos, contact details and images so make sure it is accurate and up to date.
Some of the information you want to include:
- use a location page on your site
- try to get customer reviews
- get social (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn etc.)
- give accurate name, address and phone number
Use Structured Data
Structured data is a tool that helps Google and other search engines best understand your content.
It’s a way of presenting your website content Google can make better sense of.
Big search engines, such as Google, use a special vocabulary called Schema (Schema.org). This vocabulary actually translates your content into code that they can more readily utilize.
Considered richer and more descriptive, it can help with Google rankings.
There is HTML code you can add to your website, or you can accomplish the same thing, much easier, using a plugin like Rank math. Rank math also has other features that help you optimize your posts for better ranking potential.
Make Your Website Mobile-friendly
Mobile usage on the web has risen dramatically over the last ten years and is now nearly 49%.
That’s a lot of traffic. Given this fact, it only stands to reason that a website must be mobile-friendly. Thus it is critical that your website be mobile compatible.
Moreover, voice searches are performed far more on tablets and smartphones.
There are a few things you want to address for mobile usage.
- Keep your paragraphs short
- Use a lot of white space
- Make content scannable – use headings, lists etc.
- Use descriptive headings
- Make text easy to read
- Use a good, clean theme
Also, webpage speed is vitally important and is a factor Google uses in ranking your site. The theme you’re looking at now is from MyThemeshop (note: I’m an affiliate for them).
I really like it because it is clean and fast.
Speaking of fast, I’ve written a post on how to increase your page speed: How To Increase Website Speed Without A Plugin
Create A Frequently Asked Questions Page
There are a myriad of questions users ask using voice search.
The more answers you have relevant to your niche, the greater the chance to drive traffic to your website?
You remember in school you learned the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “how”
“What’s the meaning of life?”
“What’s the best dining near me?”
“Who’s the oldest man who ever lived?”
“When I die will I go to heaven?”
“How do I make money online?”
Providing answers through a FAQ can drive traffic and the format is one that Google likes and could help you win a coveted snippet.
Is Your Website Ready for Voice Search?
There are things you can do to optimize your website for Voice Search.
Make your content scannable and clean with headings and a lot of whitespace, increase your site speed, add a FAQ and making it mobile-friendly are just a few practical SEO strategies you should employ.
Although voice search hasn’t completely taken over yet, it’s only a matter of time before it is a predominate way people do their search.
Why not start that optimization now?
Voice Search Is Coming
Like it or not, technology is always changing, evolving and becoming a bigger part of our lives and the way we do things.
Voice search is a part of that, and it’s no doubt that, in the future, it will have a huge impact on SEO and our way of life.
Why resist the change? You might as well be in front of the curve, or you’re sure to get run over.
I hope you enjoyed “How To Optimize Your Website For Voice Search”, but, more importantly, I hope you implement the strategies I’ve outlined here.
Finally, if you enjoyed this post or any of my content…
PLEASE “bookmark”, “like” and “share”, it helps a lot. Thank you!