Voice search is providing both opportunity and change to the SEO landscape.
This is because how you speak and how you type are very different. With voice search becoming more popular every day, including daily usage by 55% of teens and 41% of adults, how can you optimise your SEO strategy for voice search?
Here are 5 tips that explore the ways in which you can tailor your SEO strategy for voice search:
1. Focus on long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are by nature more conversational and specific. Short-tail keywords aren’t necessarily obsolete, but focusing more on long-tail can greatly increase your conversions.
Do your keyword research with specific phrases to determine where there’s an opportunity.
Look for ones that are highly relevant to your brand, have significant volume and lower competition.
Also, perform research in a conversational tone. This may include the use of stop words like “and” or “of,” which are usually filtered out to derive meaning. You’ll need to understand when you should include them and when you shouldn’t. Voice search may have new implications for how these are handled.
2. Use schema markup
Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) embedded into a website to help search engines with context. The context allows a search engine to understand what your content means, not just what it says.
Why this is so important is due to the fact that since most users searching for local businesses are looking for key data that can be marked up; opening hours, contact information, address, directions from their address, etc. All of these can be marked up with microdata. Check out schema.org to learn more about the code and how to implement these on your own site.
Directions to your location and XML sitemaps need to be readable for actual users and search engines. This type of information will often be the most sought related to voice searches.
This is particularly important for businesses that have multiple physical stores or addresses, making sure that you silo your content correctly around your locations is not only SEO friendly, it also offers a better user experience for your customers.
Mobile devices know where you are as long as location services are activated. So when you ask for directions to the movie theatre, it will provide the one nearest to you.
4. Create content around Q&As
Voice search is often phrased as a question. Where? What? How? So, it’s a good idea to create content around questions and answers. Consider what the most asked questions about your specific brand or industry are. Use this to then do keyword research. If certain questions present opportunities, develop blogs or static pages around answering those questions. When users ask a question, it’s pretty clear to search engines their intent – they want an answer. When your content answers this question, it’s more likely to be returned in the results.
5. Claim and improve your Google Business listing
Claiming and optimising your Google My Business listing is a must have, especially if you have a brick and mortar business (a.k.a a physical location). It helps them learn more about your business, its category and locations. As many voice searches are localised, this increases your business’ chance of showing up in organic results. Google feels like it knows you and provides your listing as high result.
Now it’s time to perform an audit of your site and look for how you can improve your SEO strategy for voice search. Continue to evolve your SEO strategy for voice search regularly. Think about being conversational in everything you write. Search engines and humans will both benefit from this. Voice search will certainly on grow in adoption. Be prepared to ensure your content aligns with how users now search.