Jul 17

How To Optimise Your SEO For Voice Search

There’s something new that you need to consider when you’re improving your Google rankings, and that’s voice search. Here’s why we feel that you should always consider voice assistant searches when you’re designing your Search Engine Optimization strategy:

Voice Search Is Trending

It is estimated that more than 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and a significant portion involves the voice search feature on those devices. It’s estimated that around 25% of searches are voice searches, and we expect that this number will grow.

In fact, it is thought that by 2020, around 50% of all internet searches will be voice or image searches. However, due to the rapid advancement of voice assistants, it’s possible that even more people will use them than experts currently expect. As a result, there will be drastic changes in the techniques that are required for search engine optimisation, and we feel that it’s a good idea to get ahead of the curve by keeping voice assistant searches in mind now.

Voice search statistics

Credit: Kleiner Perkins

Your Business Will Be Easier To Find:

Voice assistants make searching the web easier than ever, and customers are likely to access them at times when they wouldn’t be on the internet otherwise. Voice assistants, such as Google Home, Windows Cortana, and Amazon Echo are available to us wherever we are in our homes, and people are using these devices when they are doing all sorts of activities around the house, such as cooking, cleaning, and even while in the bathroom. In the past, people often forgot what they wanted to search for by the time they got to the computer.

Users Have A Clear Purpose:

Often, voice searches are more goal-directed than those that are typed in, and this means that many of the people who come across your business using a voice search will choose to hire you or purchase your product. In fact, it’s estimated that 18% of local voice searches lead to a business making a sale within 24 hours, and a large portion of voice searches are local searches.

In fact, it is estimated that 22% of all voice searches are local searches. It’s estimated that the other 78% of voice searches are comprised of 30% general information, 27% personal assistant searches, and 21% for fun and entertainment.

Google Dilbert ComicDilbert

Customers Will See Your Internal Pages:

It used to be common that visitors to your website weren’t able to find internal pages easily, but voice searches have changed this. People are often looking for informational pages when they use voice searches, and voice assistants often direct them to internal pages immediately.

Our Tips For Voice Assistant SEO:

Use Schema Markup:

Schema markup is a type of code that is designed to help search engines determine what the content on your website means, and if you don’t use it, there is a possibility that the search engines will only see the words without knowing what is on your page. Not only can using it help you design a website with higher search rankings, but it can also help you personalise your brand.

This is because it can ensure that the people who are directed to your website are people who are looking for information about the type of product or service that you offer, and this is likely to increase your conversion rate. Here are some things that we feel are important to consider when you are using schema markup:

Your Keywords Will Be Preceded By “Hey Google”:

While many keywords for general searches are phrases that people are unlikely to say out loud, all of the keywords that you choose for voice searches should be keywords that people are likely to say out loud in everyday conversation, and all of your keywords must be spelled correctly.

Some keywords for popular searches may include common misspellings of phrases that people may type into Google when they’re looking for your website, but a voice assistant will always run a search of the internet with the phrases that people say out loud. Here are some other tips that we feel are important for coming up with keywords for voice assistants that people are likely to say out loud:

  • Make sure you use long tail keywords. Each keyword must be four or more words long, and shorter keywords are often ineffective for voice assistant SEO.
  • Make sure you create your keywords with local SEO in mind, and you should include the name of your region along with the keywords.
  • Some of your keywords should be in question form.

Google home

Create FAQ Pages:

In many cases, we feel that it is best to direct voice search traffic to your frequently asked questions page rather than the homepage. To ensure that this is the case, we feel that it’s usually best to place the keywords that are in question format on the frequently asked questions page only and use other keywords to direct voice search traffic to your homepage.

Here are some other tips for creating a list of frequently asked questions that we feel will improve your search rankings for voice assistant searches:

  • Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Think of questions that you would be asking about your product or service if you knew nothing about it.
  • In some cases, we feel that it’s a good idea to have a family member or friend come up with a list of questions that they’d ask about your business.
  • Make sure that you place the questions that are most important or are asked most frequently at the top of the list.
  • Make sure that your list of keywords is long enough to cover all the bases, but don’t overwhelm readers.

Google Hummingbird Changes:

Google’s Hummingbird update has changed just about everything when it comes to SEO. Hummingbird is an algorithm that is used by Google, and we feel that it is designed to be much more precise and faster than the previous algorithm.

Hummingbird is much more likely to focus on the meaning of words than previous algorithms, and we feel that it’s one reason why it is critical to now make sure that your keywords are directly relevant to the content on your website. Here are some other factors that we feel you should keep in mind to ensure that your site is compatible with Hummingbird:

  • Hummingbird makes it more likely that the company that offers a product will be the first search result for those who are looking for information about it.
  • If your website doesn’t contain enough information or has information that is not directly related to the product or service that you offer, we feel that people are much less likely to find this information with a voice search than a conventional search.

Due to the success of Google Hummingbird, it’s likely to be used for quite some time.

Readers Will Scan The Text:

Often, people want to get information quickly when they go online, and it’s much easier if the text that they are reading is scannable. To ensure that your text can be easily scanned, it’s important to make sure that a person could get a significant portion of the information from merely reading the headlines and that your headlines are as engaging as possible.

We also feel that it’s important to make sure that the language that you use in your article is easy to understand for the average reader. Here are some other tips to keep in mind to ensure that the text is scannable:

  • Read the headlines of your content aloud.
  • Include plenty of images in the content.
  • It’s best to keep paragraphs about 3-4 lines in length.
  • Make sure that the font size of headlines is large.

Keep Your Website Mobile-Friendly:

Make Sure Your Website Looks Good When It’s Viewed From A Small Screen, Because It Certainly Will Be:

The screen of a mobile device is typically less than a quarter of the size of a desktop or laptop computer, and it will be difficult to thoroughly read the text of a website that is not designed with mobile devices in mind. Here are some ways that we feel that you can make sure that your site is designed for the small screens of mobile devices:

  • Create a slideshow on your website that has a small amount of text to go along with each slide. You can also create slideshows that incorporate videos.
  • It’s better to have multiple short pages than a single long page.
  • If you have any videos on your website, make sure we feel that it will be possible to watch them on a small screen.

Mobile SEO

You’ll Need Different Video Scripts:

Mobile devices are not always capable of reading the video scripts that are often read by laptops and desktops, and this can cause videos to freeze. Additionally, we have found that using the wrong scripts can make it impossible for the video to play at all, and this will be extremely frustrating for visitors to your website. Here are some tips that we feel can help you to make sure that your video scripts will be read by mobile devices:

  • Javascript often doesn’t run on mobile devices. Even if it does run, it might not run as well as it would on a laptop or desktop, and this can create a frustrating experience for people who visit your site.
  • Scripts that are shorter tend to be easier for mobile devices to decipher than longer scripts.
  • Make sure that you are uploading and creating images are high-resolution.

Your Site Should Be Lightning Fast:

If your website is not running at its optimal speed, we have found that people will click off of your site as soon as they find it, and your search rankings will be damaged. Since people who are using voice assistant searches might only receive the first search result, you’re unlikely to get much voice assistant traffic if your website is slow.

Not only does your website have to be fast for laptops and desktops, but it also has to be designed to run quickly on mobile devices. Here are some tips that we feel will help you ensure that your website runs quickly enough:

  • Check the speed of your site regularly. Luckily, many online tools allow you to make sure that your website is running fast enough.
  • Load times for your website should not be more than a few seconds. Ideally, the load time for your site should be measured in milliseconds.
  • Choosing the right hosting provider is the key to having a fast website, and you need to make sure that you have a hosting provider that regularly tests the speed of their website and is known for fast websites.

Voice Assistant SEO Matters For Off-Site Ads:

Claim A Google My Business Listing:

Your Google My Business listing is an integral part of making sure that your website ranks well with search engines, and it’s especially true with regard to voice assistant searches. Your Google My Business listing gives customers important information about your company, and it can make people more likely to visit your website.

The increased traffic will improve your search rankings. Here are some things that we feel are important to keep in mind when you’re creating a Google My Business listing:

  • Your Google My Business listing should tell customers where your business is located.
  • All information on your Google My Business listing should be well-written.
  • It’s best to include your company’s telephone number and email address in your Google My Business listing.

Business listing example

Consider It For Blog/Forum Posts:

Not only does this affect what sites you should post blog comments on, but it also affects how you should write content on blogs and forums. Here are some things that we feel are important to consider when you’re posting on blogs and forums:

  • Post on blogs and forums that are seen as reputable sources of information on topics that are related to your products or services.
  • Use titles of posts that are phrases that people are likely to say aloud.
  • If possible, choose blogs and forums that you were able to quickly locate with voice search yourself.

Summary:

Voice assistants are already popular, and we believe that they will be even more popular in the future. There are many factors to keep in mind to ensure that your website ranks well with voice searches. Changes in search algorithms have changed what you need to do to make sure that your website ranks well for people who are using voice assistants.

About The Author

Ajay Chavda is the co-founder of Weboptimizers, an SEO agency in Melbourne and has been involved with SEO for over 15 years. Between the digital properties and security forums he has managed, his articles have been read by approximately 50 million unique visitors.

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