Voice Search SEO: You Needed This 5-Step Strategy Yesterday

“Hey Siri,” “Okay Google,” “Alexa,” “Cortana…”

Which of these phrases do you use regularly?

These words may have seemed like a passing fad not long ago. But digital assistants are here to stay. Voice search has grown in popularity among adults and teens.

And consumers don’t just use these devices to play music, turn on lights, or reorder groceries. They’re using them to search for information on the internet.

You need a voice search seo strategy for your website now. Well, you really needed one yesterday. But the good news is that it isn’t too late to start!

Why Voice Search Is So Popular

People use voice search because it’s so convenient. When you’re in the middle of cooking, driving to work, or even out for a morning jog, all you have to do is ask for what you need.

There’s no need to pick up a device and distract yourself from what you’re doing. And it’s way faster to speak a search inquiry than to type it.

Let’s take a look at five things you can do to set up your website for voice search.

1. Pick the Right Keywords for Voice Search SEO

There are differences in how people search using their voice compared to their keyboard. Although someone might type words or phrases to search for a topic, they’ll likely use full, conversational sentences for voice search.

Say Bob wants to get a new guitar. So he hops on his computer and types “best electric guitar brands.”

But what if he uses his digital assistant to look up new guitar options? His inquiry may go more like “Hey, Siri, who makes the best electric guitars?”

Answer the Public and the People Also Ask feature in Google search results will help you to spot these differences so you can use the best keywords for voice search.

2. Use FAQs for Voice Search

Google and other search engines have complex algorithms to help find answers to user questions without the need for you to specifically type out a question every time in your web copy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help Google out.

It turns out that Q&As have an advantage. Brian Dean found that answers to voice search inquiries were 1.7x more likely to come from FAQs.

You might find that it makes sense to add an FAQ section to every page on your website. If you do, label the questions with heading tags and write the answer as a direct answer to the question. Keep your answers short and clear. Brian suggests 30 words or less.

Bob has lots of questions about electric guitars that help him make a smart decision on which model to buy.

If you were a guitar manufacturer you might have an FAQ section with questions like “Why are custom electric guitars better than factory guitars?” or “What pickups give electric guitars the best sound?” or “How should I clean my electric guitar?”

As Bob uses all these questions in his search, your FAQ page has good chance of coming up as a result.

3. Write Content Friendly to Voice Search

Sometimes it might not make sense to include FAQ sections all over your site. But you can still write content for voice search.

Type out full sentences that answer popular questions searchers have.

Remember to make your content easy to read. It’s not easy for someone to follow what a digital assistant responds with if your content reads like a peer-reviewed scientific study.

Try to write at about a 9th grade reading level. This will make it easy for voice searchers to comprehend what their digital assistant says back to them or to quickly read it on the phone’s display.

Let’s go back to our friend Bob. Say he wants to know “What brands offer custom electric guitars?”

Your website might have a heading for “Brands That Offer Custom Electric Guitars” or “Get a Custom Electric Guitar from These Manufacturers.”

You could also have copy that starts with something like “Some of our favorite brands that offer custom electric guitars are…”

Think about your customer journey and map important questions to each step. Then find a way to work in those questions and answers into your website. These tactics will help search engines find direct answers to search inquiries.

4. Use Structured Data/Schema Markup

Voice search provides very limited results compared to typed search. When you type an inquiry into a browser, you often get back ten organic results as well as a number of relevant display ads.

It’s not uncommon for voice search to return only about three choices to the user. And sometimes even only a single result.

Getting that top spot requires some advanced voice search SEO tactics like structured data/schema markup.

With structured data, you can tell Google details about the data on your site without affecting your user’s experience.

Some common types of data include products, news stories, events, places, people, recipes, and reviews. You can find a full list at schema.org.

Back to Bob.

Using schema markup, a music shop can tag a product page with code that tells the voice search engine the brand of the guitar, its color, and the price.

Now Bob is sure to get the right results when he asks “Hey, Siri, what Fender guitars come in blue for under $2000?”

5. Optimize Your Website for Mobile

You should design your site to work great on mobile anyway. The majority of web traffic now comes from mobile devices and Google will lower your rankings if your site doesn’t work on mobile devices.

But it’s especially important if you want to rank in voice search. Everyone who has a smartphone has a voice search device in their pocket.

Make your site fast. And don’t forget to optimize your search for local results. If Bob says, “Find a guitar shop near me” and your shop is right around the corner, you want to be the first result.

You can make this happen by optimizing business listings on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook.

What’s the last thing you searched using your voice? Tell us in the comments!

Get help with your voice search SEO. Call Heltzel Virtual at (352) 477-1877 to book your free consult!

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