Nowadays, everyone and their grandma use devices that allow voice search.
From Alexa, to Siri, to Cortana, the underrated Bixby, and Google Assistant, you can see how technology has grown to the point where it’s important that voice search optimization be implemented in your content strategy.
Is your business voice searchable?
Asking Siri where’s your “Business Name” doesn’t count!
Ask Siri where’s the nearest “Keyword”, now we are talking!
Don’t worry. No need to panic.
In this blog we’ll cover everything you need to know to make your business voice search ready!
Let’s jump in!
What is voice search?
Voice search basically means that you are using your device to summon one of the aforementioned “assistants” by talking into the device and having “it” help you find information you are looking for.
This could mean:
“Siri is there a general contractor near me?”
“Cortana give me directions to the closest coffee shop”
“Alexa who makes environmentally friendly straws?”
Why do people use voice search?
The answer is sweet and simple… convenience! (isn’t that at the core of all user experience?)
It will take you less time to speak into your phone than it will take you to type it out.
It is accessible and hands free!
It’s like a big giant filter because you don’t have to scroll through results because you are given an answer on the spot.
Why should you care about voice search optimization?
Well, you don’t have to take my word for it… Let’s look at some quick numbers, shall we?
- 65% of 25-49 year olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once a day. (PWC, 2019)
- Voice is expected to be a $40 billion channel by 2022. (OC&C Strategy Consultants, 2019)
- By 2020, 50% of all online searches will be voice searches. (Wordstream, 2018)
Did you read that last one? 👀
What does this mean for your SEO strategy?
I’m going to tell it like it is…
It means that if you’ve been doing the work and have been following SEO optimization tips from the beginning you shouldn’t have to face a giant change.
It will be a smooth transition.
If you’ve been slacking with your SEO and have not been working on optimizing your content, then… R.I.P….
Just kidding!!! There’s still hope for you!
I am going to help you with some basic tips that you can implement on your website for voice search optimization.
Voice Search Optimization Tip #1 – Write Conversational Content
I want you to think of the voice search revolution as a revolution that is bringing back the human aspect to online searches.
What does this mean?
When you type in a search query on Google or Bing or whatever search engine you use, it usually looks like this:
“control valve maker”
The text searches are robotic and you typically don’t go into detail because you expect the search engine to in a way magically guess what you mean.
Through voice search, it’s like you suddenly you turn into the sweet grandma that tells google please and thank you.
Your voice search query will be like:
“Alexa, is there a control valve manufacturer near me?”
“Google, what is the release date of Marvel’s endgame?”
“Cortana, what is the best way to kill roaches?”
See what happened there?
You got more descriptive!
On average a voice query is 4.2 words long compared to a text search which is 3.2 words.
So basically long description = long tail searches = more conversion!
The purpose of these “digital assistants” is to in a way humanize your device and allow you to have a conversation (yes it’s a little weird, but shhh let’s not think about it.)
Tactical Tips for Voice Search Content Optimization
- Make sure your content is relevant.
Your writing should include valuable information and should be answering the questions that people will be asking through voice search. This is a great opportunity to optimize your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. This page is a great place to start because whenever a search engine give you an answer it is usually an average of 30 words long.
- Make sure your content is readable.
Your writing should be easy to read. Avoid using jargon or a lot of technical language. Per voice search study, you should aim to write content that falls within a grade 8 in the Flesch Kincaid Grade to have a higher chance of reaching a broader audience and have your content be easily read and understood by a higher percentage of people.
Voice Search Optimization Tip #2 – Upgrade Your Local Listing Game
You don’t have to be an academic researcher to acknowledge that a lot of the voice searches today include “what’s near me” searches. That means a lot of people are using their devices to find businesses close to their location.
With that being said…
How’s your Google Business listing looking?
Heck, how are your local listings in general?
If you don’t have your local business page set up, you are missing out on a lot of business. Not only does a business page help you appear in voice searches, but it is also essential because it provides potential clients with your phone number, address, and reviews.
Tactical Tips for Voice Search Local Listing Optimization
- Make sure you assign the correct categories.
If you own a bakery you are not going to add the “marketing” category. You will likely fall under “Food and Beverage.”
- Make sure you add zip codes.
If you optimize your listing and list all the possible zip code you serve it will increase your chances of appearing in search results.
- Make sure you add keywords.
Yes, just as you add keywords to your website you also need to add keywords to your listing so you make it easier for people to find you.
I know you’re asking yourself, “do I need to update my listing or can I set it and go about my business?” The answer is always no. You cannot set and go!
Just as you update your social media and website, you also have to keep updating your listing with any new address, phone number, or posts about deals or updates.
The good news is that there are many software options that can help you with that at a very accessible price! Yext is our preference.
Voice Search Optimization Tip #3 – Create an Amazing Mobile User Experience
As you might know already, the majority of voice searches are conducted through a mobile device.
This means your website should be mobile friendly and optimized for search.
Tactical Tips for Voice Search Mobile Optimization
- Make sure your website loads fast.
Google “spiders” are unforgiving, if your site is slow they will skip it and move on to the next site that lets them “crawl” faster and easier through content and information.
- Make sure your sitemap is set up in Google search console.
Although you can’t force Google to index all the content on your site, you can submit a list of pages you “suggest” it index through a sitemap. A sitemap is your offering to Google. It highlights the pages that you see as most important and that will bring more value to your reader.
Voice search is here for the long run! Optimize accordingly using the tips below and you should have a good starting point:
- Write Conversational Content
- Improve your local listing
- Optimize your mobile website
Hope you find this blog useful!
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So, what will you implement first to make your business voice searchable?
How are you using voice search in your day-to-day life? Leave your comment below!