10 Strategies to Make Your Web SEO Compatible with Voice Search
According to Adobe, 48% of web searches were voice-based in 2019. In 2020, that number was poised to grow even greater. Hence, businesses around the world should start optimising their websites for voice-based search.
The Popularity of Voice Search Has Surged
The popularity of voice search is undeniable. Ever since the introduction of voice assistants on smartphones, nearly every smartphone, smart wearable, and smart speaker use voice search. In 2020, it estimated that 4.2 billion voice-enabled devices were being used. According to forecasts, 2024 will see the number of voice-enabled devices grow to 8.4 billion.
At the moment, there are myriad voice assistants and smart devices that allow you to voice search. However, the dominant voice search devices are still smartphones. Nevertheless, using voice search as a medium and voice as output is on the rise. So here are 10 strategies that businesses can use to optimise their websites for voice search.
10 Strategies to Optimise Your Website for Voice Search
1. Use Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are the backbone of SEO. You already know that long keywords tend to be more effective when it comes to attracting new users. However, for voice search SEO, you will need to double down on this.
Voice-based queries have a conversational tone. Hence, they tend to be longer than normal, condensed, text-based queries. Incorporating the keywords in these queries would help your SEO tremendously.
2. Use Questions, Not Queries
Remember that people are usually asking questions when they use voice search. Hence, your landing pages, web pages, blog posts, and any other web content should include questions. Either as titles or headings or sub-headings, questions should be highlighted on your website.
Create a Frequently Asked Questions Page
When people ask questions, they use the 5 Ws and 1 H. Who, what, when, where, why and how are almost certainly used in voice searches. Hence, creating an FAQ page will do wonders for inquisitive users.
Begin each question with either of the 5 Ws and 1 H. Also, answer the questions in a conversational tone.
Create Blogs for Specific Questions
If a question requires more detail to answer or is receiving a lot of attention, you can assign a blog to it. This will greatly improve SEO for your website as well as visits to that page. If you structure it right, the page will be featured in Google’s snippets and send more traffic to you.
3. Optimise for Mobile Search
In the UK, 20% of households reported having a smart speaker in 2019. That includes 6.58 million homes and a total of 10 million users. That’s on top of the voice assistants installed on smartphones and tablets.
A study by Code Computerlove and Mediacom North revealed 93% of UK voice-device owners used them at least once a week. That was up from 83% in 2018. That’s a huge audience you can cover. Since most of them are using voice search through their smartphones, it’s best to optimise your website for mobile browsing.
There are several ways to do this, but you need to begin by designing a mobile-friendly version of your website. Most website builders today, including WordPress, are automatically optimised for mobile-friendly web pages.
However, to improve mobile-friendliness, make sure that your website is easily viewable on mobile screens. Ensure the font size, the videos, the images, and the interface are all easily readable and usable.
Improve Loading Times
A critical factor in improving SEO, in general, is improving loading times. When users are looking for an answer to a question, they need a swift answer. A website that loads quickly will often be their favourite pick. If a website fails to load quickly, users will either bounce or abandon the search altogether.
Website loading speed improves the chances of a customer staying on for longer. It also improves your website’s search rankings. Here are just a few things you can do to improve your website’s loading speeds:
- Use Compressed Images: Small file sizes mean that the website has less data to load. It’s just as simple as that. This will improve your website loading speed immensely.
- Reduce Redirects and Plug-ins: If you can do without a plug-in or a redirect, don’t use it. It will only make your website slower and increase the loading time.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): This reduces the distance between a server and the website so that you can load website pages more quickly.
4. Structure Your Content For Specificity
Make sure that your content is structured well. It should be broken into different headings and sub-headings, and paragraphs not longer than 2-3 sentences. This way, your content will be easily scannable by Google. It will make for much more specific answers to voice-based queries.
Concentrate on Readability
A great way to improve SEO for voice search is to improve readability. Using simpler language, shorter sentences, and more direct answers to questions will improve your search result rankings. For voice search, there’s no better way to appeal to your customers.
5. Use a More Conversational Tone
People tend to be more conversational with their voice assistants. Hence, companies and online businesses need to invoke more conversational tones in their marketing material. Their web pages and websites need to incorporate more conversational language.
They need to concentrate on the type of questions being asked and keywords being used to do this. They need to focus on short, but informative answers that don’t bore the user. Voice-based answers are much shorter than you’d think. According to a study, the average voice search results are 29 words long. Businesses also need to concentrate on the conversational styles and tones of local people to target niche searches.
Also, if there’s additional information that the user needs to open a link for, indicate that. For instance, if there is a picture or a graph, highlight its presence in the text.
6. Work on Your Google My Business Profile
Your Google My Business profile contains all the necessary information customers need to find you. This includes your location, your phone numbers, emails, website, and timings. Claiming that profile will do wonders for your SEO. It’s exactly the kind of specific information that voice-based searches require.
7. Create Landing Pages
Creating landing pages for your business is very important to capitalise on voice search SEO. Using phrases that incorporate the name of the city, area, or neighbourhood you’re in will attract local customers. Using keywords that include gender, professions, age, etc. will also lead to high search result rankings.
8. Segment Your Customers by Device
Voice algorithms use data about the types of queries for any user, their gender, location, device used, etc. Hence, you need to do the same. You need to segment the users on your website by their age group, gender, and even the devices they use. This way, you’ll find out how to serve them better depending on the topics they search for.
Real-time data and research on consumer insights can help understand how your customers use voice search. You don’t need to be extra specific. Just lump them into age groups like Gen Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers, Gen X, etc. You can also lump them into groups like smartphones, smartwatches, and smart speakers.
This way, you can find out who is searching for what, and in what way. This will improve your chances of climbing up the voice search results ladder.
9. Use Schema Markup
If you’re not already, get acquainted with schema markup. It’s used to mark up content and tell search engines what your site is about. It’s an HTML add-on which helps search engines understand your content’s context. This way, you’ll rank better in typical searches. Specific queries made through voice search will be more easily directed to you.
Google understand the language used by several different schemas. Hence, schemas can help add a lot of useful data to your website. They help seal the deal when it comes to SEO for voice search.
10. Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
Do yourself a favour and make your website easy to navigate. Google should be able to navigate through your website to pick out specific content. Hence, any content that is listed under certain categories should be easy to find.
The best way to do this is to:
- Build a Sitemap: This will make it easier for search engine algorithms to crawl through your website and index relevant pages.
- Do Some Testing: Conduct blind voice assistant tests to ensure that your website is easy to navigate. Try and conduct some sample tests with blind test subjects as well. If they can navigate your website with ease, you’re in the clear.
Using these 10 tips, you can improve your Google search rankings for voice-based search. This is a fundamental shift that all companies need to make sooner or later. With voice search taking up a significant share of the search market, its dominance over search is all but inevitable.