Over the past couple of years, the vast majority of us have invited virtual assistants into our homes. We call upon them in times of need, in times of boredom, and whenever we want to discover the best pizza joints near our house. With a simple voice command, we’re able to access information without even pushing a button, and it’s fair to say that many of us are big fans of the efficiency and convenience that Google Voice Search and its competitors have brought into our lives.
As more people turn to voice searches as a typical step in their buying journey, businesses must get busy optimizing their sites to hit the high rankings on voice searches and the more familiar text-based searches. After all, your target audience is evolving as quickly as the technology they use. Incorporating their online habits into your business practices is essential for staying ahead of the curve and delivering that all-important competitive edge.
Why Is Voice Search Optimization Important?
If you aren’t already optimizing your site for voice search, then you should be. By far still the most popular global search engine, Google saw its popularity leap forwards with the introduction of voice search. It’s a safe bet that at least some of your customers make full use of this technology.
According to recent studies, over a billion voice searches are launched every month. Voice searches will likely overtake text searches as the practice becomes normalized in the near future. Given that, optimizing your site for voice search is well on the way to becoming an essential SEO practice unless your goal is to be ignored by the major search engines.
What’s the Advantage of Voice Search?
It isn’t challenging to understand the popularity of voice search. It’s quick, convenient, and doesn’t require typing anything into your smart device. The latest generation of smartphones and devices have been built specifically with voice search in mind. On the bus, in the car, in the break room — voice search is simply the next step in making this a whole lot easier.
That’s not to say that voice search will inevitably become the standard way to conduct searches, or at least not in its present form. As with the internet in general, concerns invariably surface related to data. Like its text-based cousin, voice search could steal voice data collected as part of a search. While an entire industry has arisen dedicated to online safety, expect that various security software and strategies will soon follow.
Once these concerns are overcome, voice search represents an exciting new frontier for advertisers and marketers alike. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how optimizing your website for voice search isn’t just great for SEO but can help increase revenue. Here are some of the best ways to boost voice search optimization.
Ensure your business is listed
If you run a local business, make sure you’re listed and visible on Google My Business. Failure to do this simple and increasingly essential step leaves your business more or less invisible to your customer base.
Much of the typical work we do for website optimization revolves around researching relevant keywords. However, when optimizing for voice search, a slightly different approach is called for.
Long-tail keywords become even more critical when adapting for voice search optimization. This is because voice assistants primarily focus on directing users towards a suitable action, product, or business, rather than presenting them with a list.
Focus on local SEO
Voice searches tend to focus on local businesses, products, and services. As such, the keywords you choose to integrate into your website should be regionally and locally formulated, offering solutions based at least partly on location.
Remember — short and long-form content is king
Successfully optimizing your website with SEO-rich material depends, at least partly, on the quality of the content you provide. High-quality content that offers real value to a customer base leads to lasting solutions. Hopefully, you’re familiar enough with your target audience to have a good idea of what they want. If not, it’s time to follow up on customer research and find the type of content they best respond to!
Optimize your FAQ page
Since the Q&A format is similar to the way someone would have a conversation, you’ll have an easier time ranking this page for voice search.
Voice Search Optimization: Put in the Work, Reap the Benefits
There’s no doubt that voice search has become a key trend, and we can expect it to continue growing exponentially in the near future. To reap the full benefits and higher organic traffic that voice search can bring, you need to go back to the drawing board and reassess site optimization with a voice search in mind.
Brian Skewes is a technologist into deconstruction. Over two decades of self-employment, he has accumulated a wealth of inadvertent real-world lessons related to building, running, and preserving a small company.