From Alexa to Siri, Google Assistant and Cortana, voice searches are here to stay. So, how can you make sure that your site is optimized for voice searches? By implementing some SEO strategies.
Smart phones and smart homes are on a continual upward trend. With new technology being released all the time, if you’re not optimizing your website and content as a whole for voice searches, you’re already behind the curve!
Check out some of these stats to understand just how important optimizing for voice search is to your company’s online presence.
Voice Search Statistics
· Over 50% of mobile queries are currently conducted via voice search in 2020. (ComScore)
· 58% of people have used voice search to find info on local businesses. (BrightLocal)
· Mobile users are 3x more likely to use voice search. (Adobe Analytics)
· 1 billion voice searches were conducted in 2018! (Statista)
· The most common voice searches include music (70%), weather (64%), fun questions (53%), online queries (47%), news (46%) and directions (34%). (Adobe Analytics)
10 SEO Strategies to Optimizing for Voice Search
Hopefully after ready those statistics you can see just how important optimizing your site and content for voice searches is. Here are 10 SEO strategies you can use to help optimize for voice search.
1. Conversational Keywords
2. Create Persona-Based Content
3. Answer Questions
4. Schema Markup & Structured Data
5. Improve Your Site’s Loading Time
6. Eliminate Duplicate Content
7. Optimize for Mobile
8. Claim or Create Your GMB
9. Optimize for Local
10. Continue Building on Site’s Overall SEO
When users query the search engines (like Google) they’re often using words like “Eiffel Tower Paris”. When people query the search engines using voice search, they more often pose a full question such as “How tall is the Eiffel Tower in Paris?”
What does this mean? This means that you need to focus on conversational long-tail keywords. When placing your keywords, they should also be naturally placed (no keyword stuffing), using natural language as well as answering the question or problem.
Create Persona-Based Content
A good strategy for optimizing for voice search includes creating rich, compelling content that addresses your users’ questions and solves their pain point. How do you do this?
Optimize the page/blog title that asks a common question and immediately following, provide a short, concise answer to that problem. You would then use the rest of the page/article to elaborate and fully explain the solution to their pain point. Website such as Search Engine Journal, SEMrush and more have mastered this and have found much success. This type of structure appeals to Google’s ranking algorithm and could even help you with gaining a featured snippet spot on Google.
A big part of optimizing for voice search is by directly answering questions that users are querying for. When conducting keyword research, you’ll come across a bunch of full-length questions. Use those questions to beef up your content. Typically, a user will phrase their query for a voice search with “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why” or “how”. Address those questions in your site pages, blogs and even a FAQ page on your website. Answer the question and solve the users pain point in your answer.
While you could just limit your Q&A’s to a FAQ page, it’s recommended that in addition to that, you also take the time to answer those questions in your blog section to build on those answers and key phrases.
Schema Markup & Structured Data
If you’re not already familiar with schema markup, this is the time to do it. While your site visitors wouldn’t see it, schema markup can help search engines better understand what your content is all about. By better understanding your content through the HTML add-on, you can ultimately rank higher in traditional searches and more relevant queries in voice search.
Additionally, you should ensure that your structured data pages are not in fact, blocked by robots.txt files. Your robots.txt file can impact the amount of traffic your website receives.
You can test your structured data here: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/
Improve Your Site’s Loading Time
BLUF (bottom line up front): Websites that take longer to load are often abandoned. A site’s loading speed has a direct impact on your site’s bounce rate. When querying devices using voice search, users want their answers immediately. And remember, the search engines are more concerned about the user experience and less so about your site. So, if your load time is higher, they’ll downrank your site and show another site with an optimal load time.
Check your loading time and page speed here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Eliminate Duplicate Content
Not only is duplicate harmful to your overall SEO it can also be harmful for voice search optimization. Do yourself a favor and run your content through a plagiarism checker - even if you’ve written your own content. There are a number of people out there who copy the work of others. So, even if you know that your work is original, there may be others out there who have copied your work creating duplicate content.
Have older, similar content on your website? Why not combine those two to create a super article with more meat, more words and more chances of gaining valuable backlinks?!
Optimize for Mobile
First of all, this is super important to your overall SEO. Your site needs to be optimized for mobile devices. The majority of site users are coming from mobile devices. It is imperative that your site is optimized for mobile devices. Failure to do this can result in Google downranking your site as it means that your site is not providing an optimal user experience (*cough* Google’s algorithm update in early 2021 called Page Experience *cough*). This is equally as important for voice searches.
Claim or Create Your GMB
Having a Google My Business is pretty essential to verifying your legitimacy in both the eyes of your user and in Google’s eyes. Here’s the thing, you don’t even need to have a physical location to have a Google My Business listing AND it’s totally free. Want to show up in local searches or on Google Maps? You need to have your company listed on Google My Business.
You can even embed Google Maps into your website’s footer or contact page to make finding your business that much easier for your potential clients. On your profile you can beef it up to make your business look more appealing to those searching by including your contact information (NAPs - name, address, phone number) along with your website, your description, any services you provide along with images, posts and reviews. That’s a lot of opportunity right there.
Optimize for Local
With 58% of consumers using voice search to learn more about local businesses, it’s more important than ever to ensure your content is optimized for voice searches. That number is on a steady path for immense growth as well. That number tells us about the number of users, but what’s also important to note here is the volume of voice searches. Of those users who have used voice search to find local businesses, 46% use voice search to find local businesses daily.
To optimize specifically for local voice searches, you’ll want to ensure that your Google My Business Listing, eCommerce stores and your citations on various other business directories all contain accurate and up-to-date information.
The most important things you can do for local SEO and voice searching is 1) get your company listed in relevant directories, 2) ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date and 3) remain consistent with the information you’re providing.
Continue Building on Site’s Overall SEO
Optimizing for voice search and for SEO overall isn’t an either-or scenario - it’s a both type situation. Your overall domain authority (DA) and SEO can and will impact how/if you rank in voice searches. Don’t neglect focusing on overall SEO for your website in favor of strictly focusing on optimizing for voice search!
Optimize for Voice Search with SEO Strategies
As technology continues to advance and our homes become filled with more and more “smart” tech, voice searches will only remain on the rise. Optimizing your site for voice searches becomes increasingly more necessary as each day passes. Need some help optimizing your site? Pendragon Consulting is a Baltimore SEO company proudly serving clients across the nation. To learn more about how we can help your organization optimize your content, send us a secure message via our website today!