With each passing year, voice search becomes more and more popular as smartphone technology improves and Google’s search algorithms grow more sophisticated. Between voice search on mobile devices, smart speakers such as Alexa, voice-activated televisions, and features such as Siri and Cortana on computers, voice search and voice activation truly is everywhere By 2020, it’s projected that more than half of all online searches will be voice searches. Even now, 65% of 25-49 year olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day. So, how does this rise of voice search affect your website? How can you optimize for this new type of search to ensure you stay ahead of the curve? We have the tips that can help.
Create a Strategy Around Long-Tail Keywords
Although Google is getting smarter, you shouldn’t completely discount keywords. Instead, focus on long-tail keywords. When people use voice search, they speak a question or command into their device. People don’t pick up their phone and say “pizza,” they’ll say, “OK Google, find a pizza place still open near me.” For this reason, it’s important to include long tail keywords that have a good chance of matching what searches speak into their voice searches.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices
Almost all voice searches are executed via mobile devices. Therefore, it’s important to optimize your site for mobile devices. Click here for free tips to make your site mobile-friendly! Your site should be easy to read and formatted to be scannable. A common tip is to “think in thumbs,” meaning that content should be properly spaced so that it does not seem crowded or confusing when a user scrolls with their thumbs. The site should also load quickly, as users are less likely to wait for a mobile site to load. Consider using AMP (accelerated mobile pages), which are specially designed mobile pages that load quickly. AMP’s will improve your mobile Google search rankings.
Focus on Local Search
When people use voice search, especially on their mobile devices, they’re often looking for a service or product near them. They might ask Alexa to find a shoe store near them or Siri “Which Chinese food restaurant delivers to my location?” For these reasons, it’s important to optimize your website for local search. Mentioning your location frequently, claiming your Google My Business page, and building local reference links can help make sure your site ranks for local search terms. For a more detailed guide on optimizing your website for local search, click here.
Use Conversational Language
Keywords in voice search are slightly different than keywords for traditional search. Your keywords should be long tail keywords that mimic the way people actually speak. You should incorporate “how” and “why” questions that customers are likely to ask. Voice search often makes use of rich answers, which are pieces of content from websites used by Google to answer searchers’ questions. These rich answers amplify the need to incorporate questions and clear answers into your content for voice search optimization.
Answer Frequently Asked Questions
Because clear answers to questions are so important to voice search, it’s important to include frequently asked questions on your website. A blog is a great way to accomplish this goal, writing a post for every FAQ you can think of. These efforts will help your traditional organic SEO as well, as quality content creation is essential for SEO success. You might also consider creating Frequently Asked Questions page that addresses possible questions searchers might ask. Incorporating SEO keyword phrases into your FAQ page will further improve your search rankings and properly optimize your site for voice search.
Microdata is especially important to voice search. It’s important to include as much microdata as possible such as your address, phone number, business hours, prices, directions, and anything else that is relevant to specific questions a searcher might ask. It is equally important to ensure that all of this information is accurate, so that searchers can contact and visit your business. This microdata is more important to voice search than other types of search because searchers are more likely to ask questions requiring specific answers of this nature.
ImageWorks, LLC | CT Voice Search Optimization
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