If you’ve not already heard, voice search optimisation is becoming a pretty big deal. More and more of us are using home assistants and voice search functions on our phones, for example, to quickly find what we need from Google without even having to break out a keyboard. Voice search is increasing in popularity as the years go by, and, naturally, Google knows this! That’s why optimising your website content for voice, as well as for traditional search, is now an absolute must.
Over half of us are using voice search on our phones now, and with the rise of COVID-19, many are looking to hands-free search to avoid spreading viruses and germs.
Voice search is getting smarter, too. While search will traditionally revolve around short phrases which might not make much sense verbally, smart devices are learning how to respond appropriately to actual questions. They are also learning more about their users to help narrow down the right answers.
But where on earth do you start with optimising for voice search? It’s always a good idea to call in the experts. However, here are a few great tips you can put into practice with your own website right away to really get ahead of the game.
This means optimising more than just one or two words sewn together. You should be focusing on long tail phrases, though that doesn’t mean you should ignore truncated keywords all the same.
Voice search optimisation dictates that phrases such as ‘where can I find a butcher’s shop open in Chesterfield’ are much more useful than ‘Chesterfield butcher’. This is only an example, but if you start thinking more about how people talk to their automated search devices, then you’re going to find voice optimising a lot easier.
Voice search optimisation is all about getting to the point. Back in the day, long form content to pad out keywords might have been a loophole for some black hat operators, but nowadays, the Big G is stamping down on this kind of thing – and rightly so.
What’s more, getting to the point helps voice searchers. Instead of setting up a heading with a question and not answering it until much further down in the content, you should make a point of answering as soon as possible. This means they can get the concise answers they need and read more if you want to provide additional context further down the page.
No one wants to hear you waffle if they’re searching with their voice. Sorry about that!
As in all walks of SEO, make sure you actively research who’s looking for you, and who’s finding you. If you’re tapping into a market that’s not likely to be using voice search at all, then it’s probably not going to be worth much of your time.
However, it is always something that’s worth prioritising where possible. Unless your business solely appeals to users who purely use text search, you might be doing yourself out of a lucrative route towards a new customer base.
As mentioned, answering questions is vital for voice search optimisation. An even better way of tackling this would be to set up a clear, concise FAQs page. Give one-sentence answers if you can as, again, this will help those who are asking questions on their smartphone or home devices.
Start questions with ‘who’, ‘when’, ‘what’, etc – commonly-used adverbs which Google will highlight to voice searchers. Beyond this, make sure that your question pages, if you have any, are easy to find, and are always quick to load. If they’re not, neither Siri nor Alexa are going to have much hope of finding you.
We’ve always said that technical SEO is just as important as the obvious stuff, and this really does apply to voice search, too. The fact is, if voice searchers have any hope of finding you, your site is going to need to clearly tell the engines what you actually offer.
This means your markup and HTML behind the scenes is going to need to clearly identify what you do, and who is going to benefit most of all from your content and services. This side of things, naturally, can get a little technical – which is why it’s generally a good idea to call in the pros.
For example, if you make sure to focus on phrases such as ‘near me’, and point searchers towards hyper specific content with media that relates to the area you wish to focus on, you will be doing plenty for voice search optimisation.
One of the best things you can do, again, is make sure that your website loads quickly, and that you have plenty of straight answers. This will benefit mobile just as much as voice search.
Voice search optimisation is nothing new, but for many website owners, it can seem like a strange new experience. That’s why it’s a good idea to do a bit of reading into the subject – and to make sure you have a direct SEO contact who can help you achieve the best results!
At SEO CoPilot, we’re always keeping our fingers on the pulse of search. Voice search is only just getting started – which is why now really is the time to make sure your content is friendly for anyone using home assistants and smartphones.
If you’d like to know more about voice search optimisation or want to know where is best to get started, make a point of calling us now – or contact our team via web form and we will set up a consultation with you to help you get on the right track.