Voice search has evolved over the years. What once seemed like an odd troupe in a science fiction show is now commonplace. We have all turned to Siri or Alexa to get an answer to a quick question or find a place to eat.
And as regular users embrace voice search to make their lives easier, marketers are embracing it as another tool in the digital marketing world. As it progresses, there’s little reason to ignore it as an essential factor in your overall search strategy.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how you can optimize your website for voice search results.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search allows users to use a voice command to search the internet, specific website, or app on their mobile device or computer. Audio technology built into your devices uses speech recognition patterns to understand what people are saying with extreme precision. Instead of typing keywords in Google or Bing, people are now merely talking into their devices and achieving similar results.
Why Should You Use It?
While technology continually shifts, the staying power of Siri, Alexa, and Google Home shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the infiltration of these devices is making voice searches more prevalent than ever.
And because this artificial intelligence can scan the web, perform tasks, shop, and even play music for people, the adoption rate among all demographics is soaring. According to PwC, 65% of consumers ages 25-49 talk to their voice-enabled devices daily, and only browsers account for more mobile searches than voice search.
How to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search
Optimizing your website for voice search is similar to the ways you optimize for SEO. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Make Sure Your Website Loads Quickly
While this is true for standard SEO, it’s especially imperative your website loads quickly when optimizing for voice search. Most people doing a voice search use a mobile device, and page speed is a significant mobile ranking factor because users expect quick information when they’re on the go. To improve your website speed, make sure to do the following.
- Optimize your website images
- Compress any files you can
- Improve your hosting plan if you can
- Use plugins sparingly
- Eliminate any excess code that accumulates on your site
- Ensure your website is responsive and mobile friendly
Write The Way People Speak
The most significant difference between voice search and a more traditional method is the way people phrase their inquiries. For example, when people type into Google, they may write something like “top marketing agency Phoenix.” However, when they use voice search, people tend to speak conversationally: “What are the top marketing agencies in Phoenix?”
Because of this, you should focus on targeting more long-tail keywords that reflect a person’s natural speech pattern. Think about having a conversation and lean toward questions rather than simple phrases. The average voice search result is 29 words, so don’t be afraid to go beyond an average keyword.
Aim for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets, also referred to as position zero or answer boxes, are the summary answer from a webpage that appears just after paid ads but before regular search results. They provide easy-to-read and credible, informative answers. And more importantly, digital assistants like Siri or Google Assistant read them out loud when asked questions.
Because of that, featured snippets have a significant impact on voice search. That would suggest optimizing your content to garner more snippets would also help optimize your voice search results. Optimizing for a featured snippet is also like optimizing for voice search. Instead of throwing keywords around in your content, try and answer your users’ most frequently asked questions. Then, organize your content into short sentences and paragraphs that are about 40 to 50 words. Also, remember that H tags and bullet points are easily readable to Google and thus perform well.
Concentrating on local searches — especially if you have a brick-and-mortar location — can help your voice search results skyrocket. 51% of consumers claim they would use voice search to find a local business, asking questions such as, “Where is a good Italian restaurant near me?” If you invest in local content like this, you have a higher chance of producing results.
To target these people, use words like “by me,” “near me,” “close to me,” or similar variations in your strategy.
One advantage to longer search phrases is that we can better understand what the user is looking for. Simply searching for “Orlando Disney” might mean that the browser wants photos of the city/park, travel arrangements related to the place, or information about the history of Orlando or even about Walt Disney, the man.
Voice command’s tendency to use more words makes intent clearer with phrases such as “how much are flights to Orlando” or “what does a trip to Disney World cost?”
Optimize for Voice Search, See More Results
When you optimize your website for voice search results, you’ll notice an uptick in site visitors. Meet them where they are, and they’ll give you what you want in return. If you need help optimizing your website for voice search, contact our team. We have years of experience in optimizing websites and inbound marketing strategies that boost your bottom line.