5 Tips to Optimize Content for Voice Search


optimize for voice search graphic

November 26, 2019

 
Voice search, which allows users to use a voice command to search the internet, a website, or an app, is gaining in popularity and if you’re not optimizing your content for voice search, you could miss out on a lot of users. According to a report from Voicebot.ai and Voicify, 66.4 million people in the United States - 26.2% of the adult population - own a smart speaker (e.g. Google Home, Alexa Echo, Apple Home Pod). Furthermore, Google has reported that 20% of searches are now by voice, particularly local-specific content like “near me” searches.
 
With a wide range of virtual assistants available, such as Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, etc., users are becoming increasingly familiar with voice search commands, resulting in a more “conversational” style search with voice assistants and mobile devices. As search continues moving toward mobile and voice search’s increasing marketing share, content and search engine optimization (SEO) must be developed with this in mind. See how to make your content more voice search-friendly with these tips.

1. Target long-tail keywords

The language used in voice search is different from how we communicate through text/typing. According to research, voice searches are longer, which means you should target long-tail keywords to imitate a human conversation.
 
A desktop search is typically briefer and more direct:
 
Best cafes in Orlando
 
Whereas a voice search is usually longer and a question:
 
Where is the best cafe near me?
 
When developing content, make sure to add relevant question phrases, answer the question quickly, and use a conversational tone to satisfy users' search intent and keep them on your site.

2. Think like a customer

It’s not enough to target long-tail keywords, you must target the right ones by thinking like a customer. Are users looking for information or a product to buy? Find out what matters to voice search users and focus your content on that - optimization will naturally follow. There are many ways you can learn more about your customers either directly (surveys, polls, and reviews) or through tools like Google Analytics’ Queries report which shows the Google search queries that generated impressions of your website in the organic search results.

3. Have a Google My Business listing.

A large part of voice search is local SEO which is why it’s so important to claim and verify your business on Google My Business (GMB) if you haven’t already. Having a GMB listing allows your business to establish a presence on Google so it can show up on Google Maps and appear in search results on all devices. It also helps your business appear in a Google Maps Pack (aka Local 3-Pack) which appears on about 30% of Google’s first results pages and has a coveted position above the organic search results. Learn more about the benefits of optimizing your Google My Business listing for local search in our blog post.

4. Consider the context.

There’s more immediacy and relevancy expected from voice search results which is why content should be optimized by context. Voice search tends to be used while on the move when a text-based search is inconvenient and the topic is safe to say out loud. Focusing your content and SEO strategy around these types of searches is a good starting point.

5. Keep it simple.

As we move toward less typing and more talking, it’s crucial that content isn’t overly complex. The content should be clear and concise so users are more likely to stay rather than bounce. Avoid using jargon, too many images, big blocks of text, and anything else that can distract or overwhelm users. Before publishing content, preview it across all devices to ensure it looks good on desktop, mobile, and tablet.

Don’t Wait on Voice Search Optimization

Businesses with an online presence need to keep up with digital marketing trends like voice search to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. With these practices, your content will be more voice search-friendly and better positioned to connect with customers, especially for local searches. As voice search grows, new opportunities and challenges will arise which is why partnering with digital marketing experts like Sales & Marketing Technologies will ensure your site is prepared for the future.
 
Contact us today to schedule a digital marketing strategy session to discuss voice search opportunities for your business.

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