Marketers have been optimizing websites to be mobile friendly for years now, but learning how to optimize your website for voice search has become a new game. Since Google is not releasing voice search data, it can be difficult to know what keywords make the most sense, but understanding nuances in voice search can help.
There is going to be a difference between what people voice search for on a mobile phone versus a home device. As a small business, you may not be able to optimize completely for some of the searches done on a home device, such as Google’s “Tell me about my day” feature. Thinking about what people are going to be asking will help.
Why Optimize Your Website for Voice Search
According to Gartner, by 2020, 30% of web searches will be done without using a screen. Web searches will be done while driving, cooking, socializing, and more. According to OC&C Strategy Consults, in 2017, 13% of households in the U.S. already had a smart speaker, and that number is expected to rise by 2020.
Not only is voice search expected to get bigger, but also optimizing for voice search can help your marketing efforts in these two ways:
Rich Snippets: By optimizing for voice search, your website will have a better chance of showing up in featured snippets. Google Home currently reads from featured snippets, which are the sites that are ranked “position zero.” Taking a look at what appears in those snippets can give you a better idea on how to optimize your website for voice search. The better the rich snippets are, Google benefits. If Google Home can’t answer the question, then Google can lose, which means rich snippets benefit both Google and the marketer.
Better Ways to Meet Customer Demand: As more customers are searching for things on the go, or from a home device, you want to make sure your website is staying up with the times and is able to keep up with customer demand. Consider ways that someone might use voice search. If they are asking for store hours, they aren’t going to type in “Pizza Hut store hours,” they are going to say something like “Is Pizza Hut still open,” or “Tell me the hours for Pizza Hut.”
How to Incorporate Voice Search Optimization
When starting to optimize for voice search, it’s important to remember that the device is going to find easy-to-identify information that is clear and concise. Voice searches are longer than what someone would type into a search bar, both on a desktop and a mobile phone, so long tail keywords are playing a major role in voice search.
When voice searching, many people ask questions or keep it much more conversational. Keywords need to not just be what people would be typing in the search engine now, but instead how they talk. In order to do this, start thinking about what kinds of questions and information customers want when they call on the phone. Document these conversations so you can start paying attention to the exact words used. Then you can create content that uses these words. Google has said that voice searches are different and they are more action related than typed searches, which is important to keep in mind when looking at keywords.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since many people ask questions when searching, creating FAQs that answer the most common questions helps you optimize. The questions shouldn’t be SEO keyword rich like they have been in the past, but instead they should include the conversational keywords you have discovered. Anticipate questions and add those to your website. People are not going to be searching things like “best electrician near me.” Instead, they are going to be asking “Where can I find an electrician that specializes in recessed lighting?” Not only does creating these FAQ pages help show up in voice search, it also assists with appearing in the rich snippets sections, which are still valuable tools for desktop searches, since you are in the first position.
The correct structured data and schema markup help search engines understand the content on your website, so they can deliver better search results. Make sure you have the correct schema code to make it easier.
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
While its not directly related to your website, claiming your Google My Business (GMB) listing can help Google get even more information about your website and things like business category, phone number, business hours and more. Many voice searches are local, so by claiming your Google My Business you can help increase your chances of showing for a voice search.
Voice search isn’t likely to be going anywhere any time soon and it does take resources and time to update content and make these changes to the website. With more people searching by home and mobile devices, the changes are worth it to give you SEO results.
Contact Poet Media to learn more about how to optimize your website for voice search.