With the rise of digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, it’s no surprise that voice search is on the rise. In fact, more than 27% of people worldwide are using voice search on mobile. That’s a pretty significant number, and it means that if you want your website to be found, you need to optimize for voice search. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with our voice search SEO tips. Keep reading to learn about key considerations for optimizing your website for voice search, so you can stay ahead of the curve and ensure your site is easily found by potential customers.
What is Voice Search?
When someone uses voice search, they are essentially asking a question out loud instead of typing it into a search engine. Voice search has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people use smart speakers and other devices that allow them to speak their queries.
SEO for voice search is similar to traditional SEO in many ways, but there are also some key differences to keep in mind. For example, since people tend to speak in full sentences when using voice search, your keywords should be long-tail keywords that match the way people naturally speak.
Here are some other tips for optimizing your website for voice search:
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, since many voice searches are done on mobile devices.
- Use structured data to help search engines understand the content on your website.
- Optimize your site for featured snippets, which are often read aloud by virtual assistants.
- Use natural language and avoid keyword stuffing.
- Create content that answers common questions people might ask via voice search.
What are the Benefits of Voice Search?
Voice search is a relatively new technology that is rapidly gaining popularity. While traditional search engines require users to type in their queries, voice search allows users to speak their queries out loud. This can be done using a smartphone or a smart speaker such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home.
So how does voice search work? When you speak your query into a voice search engine, it uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand what you’re saying. It then searches its index for documents that match your query and returns the most relevant results.
There are many benefits of using voice search, including the ability to hands-free searching, faster results, and improved accuracy.
- Hands-free searching is one of the most convenient features of voice search. Rather than typing out a search query, you can simply speak it aloud and get results without having to use your hands. This is especially useful when you’re cooking or driving.
- Faster results is another big benefit of voice search. When you speak your query aloud, it can be processed more quickly than if you had to type it out. This means you’ll usually get results more quickly when using voice search.
- Improved accuracy is another advantage of voice search. When you speak your query aloud, it’s easier for the software to understand what you’re saying. This can lead to better results since the software is more likely to find what you’re looking for.
Best Practices when optimizing for Voice Search
Voice search is one of the most important tools that consumers use to find information about products and services. In order to ensure that your business is visible in voice search results, you need to optimize your website and content for this growing technology.
Know Your Audience
Before you can optimize your content for voice search, you need to understand who your audience is and what they’re looking for. Research shows that people use voice search differently than typed search. With typed search, people tend to be more generic and use shorter keywords. With voice search, people are more likely to use natural language and longer keywords or phrases.
To get an idea of the kinds of questions people are asking, you can use a tool like Answer the Public. Just enter a keyword related to your business or website and it will generate a list of questions people are asking about that topic. You can then use those questions as the basis for creating new content or optimizing your existing content to be more voice search friendly.
Use natural language in your content
If you’re looking to optimize your content for voice search, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, focus on conversational content. This means using natural language and phrases that people are likely to use when speaking to a digital assistant.
When people speak into a voice search device, they typically use natural language rather than keywords. As such, it’s important to use natural language in your content as well. This means using phrases and sentences that people would actually say when searching for your products or services.
Structure your content with headings and bullet points
Another way to make your content more easily digestible for voice search is to break it up with headings and bullet points. That way, Google can easily identify what your page is about and match it to relevant queries. So next time you’re creating content, remember to structure it using H2s, H3s, and bullet points whenever possible.
Optimize for Featured Snippets
When you’re writing your content, keep in mind that featured snippets are pulled from existing content on the web. That means your competition for a featured snippet is other websites’ content, not just other voice search results.
To optimize your content for featured snippets, focus on creating clear, concise, and well-organized content. Use short paragraphs and bullet points to make your content easy to skim. And include keywords and phrases that people are likely to use when asking a question aloud.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Many people use voice search on their mobile devices, so it’s important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile. This means having a responsive design that looks good on all screen sizes and making sure your site loads quickly on mobile devices.
Avoid using Homonyms as Keywords
When you’re optimizing your website for voice search, one mistake you don’t want to make is using homonyms as keywords. If you do, you could end up ranking for the wrong thing.
For example, let’s say you run a pet store and you want to rank for the keyword “paw.” But if someone searches for “paw print,” they’re probably looking for something else entirely. And if you don’t have that keyword on your site, you could miss out on ranking in the search results.
The same goes for other homonyms like “flower/flour,” “bass/base,” and “break/brake.” If you want to rank for a specific keyword, make sure it’s spelled correctly and that there aren’t any other words that could be confused for it. Otherwise, you could end up driving traffic to your site that isn’t looking for what you offer.
Optimize For Questions targeting Long-tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are those that are more specific and detailed than shorter, general keywords. For example, instead of targeting the keyword “dog,” you might target the keyword “What kind of dog is best for a family?”
By targeting these more specific keywords, you’re more likely to show up in results when people use voice search. That’s because voice search is often used to ask questions, and these longer keywords better match the way people ask questions out loud.
Use Schema Markups
If you want your site to be equipped for voice search, you need to make sure you’re using schema markups. Schema markups are a type of code that help search engines understand the content on your website. Structured data is a type of code that helps search engines understand the relationships between pieces of information on your website. By adding structured data to your site, you can improve its chances of appearing in voice search results.
Optimize your website for local SEO
If you want to be visible in voice search results for local searches, you need to optimize your website for local SEO. This means including your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on your website and making sure your NAP is consistent across the web. You should also create local landing pages for each of your locations and make sure to list your business in online directories.
For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar business, you need to make sure your listing is claimed on sites like Google My Business and Yelp. That way, when someone does a voice search for your business, they’ll be able to find accurate information.
Optimize for Multiple Voice Search Languages
Assuming you want to target a global audience with your content, you should consider adopting multiple voice search languages. This will ensure that your content can be easily understood by users from different countries and backgrounds.
When it comes to voice search, there are two main types of languages: natural language and keyword-based language. Natural language is the type of language that we use in everyday conversation. Keyword-based language is the type of language that is typically used for searches on the internet.
To optimize your content for voice search, you should focus on using keyword-based phrases that are commonly used in voice searches. These phrases should be specific to the topic of your content and should be relevant to the keywords that you are targeting.
In addition to using keyword-based phrases, you should also make sure that your content is easy to understand. This means using simple sentence structures and avoiding complex words or jargon. Your content should also be well organized so that users can easily find the information they are looking for.
Keep it simple – Flesch Readability Score
When you’re optimizing for voice search, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. One way to do this is to check the Flesch Readability Score of your content. The Flesch Readability Score is a measure of how easy it is for someone to read and understand your content.
There are a few different factors that go into the Flesch Readability Score, but one of the most important is the average number of words per sentence. The shorter your sentences are, the easier they will be to read and understand. Another important factor is the use of simple words. Using simpler words will make your content more accessible to a wider audience.
You can check the Flesch Readability Score of your content using a number of online tools, such as the Readability Test Tool or the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test. These tests will give you a score that you can use to gauge how easy your content is to read and understand.
Pro Tip – Use Voice Search Yourself to Understand How It Works
If you want to really understand how voice search works, the best way is to try it yourself. Use your smartphone or other device to search for something using only your voice. Try asking a question that you think would be difficult to answer with a traditional text-based search.
You’ll quickly see how voice search can be more effective than typed searches in some cases. For one thing, you can say exactly what you’re looking for without having to worry about spelling it correctly. Voice search can also be faster in some cases, since you don’t have to type out your query.
Of course, voice search isn’t perfect. It can sometimes have trouble understanding complex queries or names of people or places. But it’s getting better all the time, and it’s definitely worth trying out for yourself to see how it works.
Overall, optimizing for voice search is not that different from optimizing for regular text-based search. The main difference is that you need to focus on creating content that is easy to read out loud and using natural language keywords. If you keep these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to ranking higher in voice search results.
PS – Here is an example where I wrote an article explaining SEO to non-SEO folks (businesses) keeping it simple.