Voice assistants are now standard in smartphones and are increasingly finding their way into our homes. With more voice assistants in the world, the number of people using voice search is increasing exponentially. Google Assistant is one of the most popular voice assistants in the world, and so every website should be optimizing for voice searches via this tool. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Prioritize User Intent
Most people who use voice search already have a pretty good idea of what they are looking for. This is because voice searches are generally performed on mobile devices and involve the user vocalizing their question. If the user is uncertain about what they are searching for, it is much harder to formulate a coherent and complete question. If users cannot express their queries in everyday speech, they are much more likely to type their questions out and use text searching.
For example, voice searches are commonly used to determine specific information, such as when a business opens or its telephone number.
Understanding the underlying intent of your user’s voice search queries will be essential in optimizing for them. Because many of those searching for your business using voice will be looking for specific information, the more readily available you make this information, the more Google will like you.
Make sure that all the essential information about your business and product is readily available. It is a good idea to use headings and tags that target the voice search queries most likely to bring users to your content.
Optimize for Featured Snippets
You have almost certainly encountered Google’s featured snippets already, even if you are not aware of it. If you search for a specific question or query through Google, you will often notice a box at the top of the results page that contains the answer to the question you asked. As well as providing users with a quick response to the query, the featured snippets box is also useful for promoting websites. Many users will click on the link to the original content after reading the snippet. Some SEO experts even believe that the featured snippet box is more valuable than a position at the very top of the results page.
Ever since Google introduced the featured snippets element to its search engine results pages, SEO specialists have been vying for this valuable real estate. If you can get a piece of your content included as a featured snippet, it will have numerous benefits for your voice search optimization.
If you want your content featured in this box, you will need to first raise your content to the search results’ first page. Google will very rarely take a featured snippet from content that doesn’t make the first page.
Structure Your Content for Voice Search
Voice searching is a lot more conversational than traditional search methods. To optimize your content for voice searches, you will need to rethink the structure slightly. You might also have to branch out and start producing content that you usually would not. Your overall goal is to make your content more voice search-friendly by streamlining its layout.
According to most SEO experts, Google prefers short and concise answers for voice search queries. Long-form content is generally given a lower billing.
If you want to optimize your content for voice search, it is worth including frequently asked questions on your product pages and blogs. These sections are valuable for voice search optimization because they include question keywords and are generally relatively short. Both of these will make the content rank higher with Google. These are also essential characteristics for optimizing for voice search.
Another good way of restructuring your content for voice search is to use pointers to break your content into smaller fragments. These smaller fragments are easier for Google to retrieve and present to users searching with their voice.
Choose Target Keywords Carefully
Choosing target keywords for voice search optimization is a slightly different process than it is for traditional search. As we have already covered, users searching with their voice will express themselves differently. Instead of the disjointed queries that users often type, anyone searching with their voice is more likely to express themselves fully.
Google’s featured snippets prefer shorter content. Breaking longer content into shorter sections is also useful for optimizing for voice search, but Google’s love for long-form content should not be forgotten. By targeting the right keywords and phrases in addition to search queries, you can ensure that your best content remains visible and accessible to voice searchers without having to cut down the length of your pieces.
Many websites, and even SEO specialists, overlook the importance of long-tail keywords. For many websites, long-tail keywords are an afterthought. But now that voice searching is really beginning to take off, long-tail keywords will become much more important in the future. For one thing, a long tail keyword tells you much more about user intents than a single keyword can.
Update Your My Business Listing
One of the most common reasons for utilizing voice search is looking for businesses and services in the local area. When Google is ranking local businesses, Google’s My Business Listings are perhaps the most important consideration. Your business listing in Google lets customers know where your business is located, as well as your contact information. Businesses can provide Google with a range of data that Google will use to rank them in relevant local searches.
In addition to providing Google with your business’s vital statistics, you will also be able to specify what kind of business it is and what categories you operate in. You can also add posts containing details about any new deals, updates, or general news relating to your business. If you haven’t yet sorted out a My Business listing on Google, now is the time to do so.
Optimizing for voice search requires SEO professionals to learn a new set of rules. However, most of the principles and techniques at play will be somewhat familiar. Given the growing popularity of voice searches, time is running out for websites to catch up with their optimization.