Trying to gain a lead in your competition by optimizing for SEO? Well, typical SEO optimization strategies that most websites preach simply won’t be enough anymore.
When brands that are already more established than you employ the same SEO strategies that you strive to use, you’re not gonna get anywhere. It’s the bitter truth.
But don’t get your hopes down cause that isn’t the end of it. You need to do something unique that not everyone is doing.
This primarily comes down to voice search optimization. Voice search is still relatively new; therefore, not many organizations have devoted many resources (time or money) to it. And that’s exactly what you need to take advantage of.
By using the strategies below, you can easily beat your competitors and gain a lead in SEO marketing without spending any money.
Recommended reading: organic marketing vs. paid marketing.
Table of Contents
What Is Voice Search Optimization?
Before we talk about the strategies and techniques to enhance your voice search optimization endeavors, it is necessary that you know what voice search optimization is.
Note: if you already have a good understanding of voice search optimization, continue reading from the section below.
In simple terms, voice search optimization is the process of optimizing websites and content to rank higher when someone searches using their voice. For instance, when someone asks their Google Assistant a question, Google may give the answer through an online website.
However, in order for Google to pick your website to display to users, you need to optimize for voice search. Doing so informs Google that your content is worthy enough for users to read even if they’re searching using their voice.
So what’s the point of optimizing for voice search and why should you spend time on it?
What Are the Benefits of Voice Search SEO?
With the increasing popularity of voice-activated virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri, voice search has become a crucial part of the search landscape.
People find it much more convenient to simply ask their Google Home or Apple HomePod for an answer rather than taking their phones out and manually searching for it.
As a result, by optimizing for voice search, you make your website more accessible to users, hence increasing the amount of traffic to your website.
As we said before, voice search is still relatively new, meaning that there is not as much competition as normal search. Therefore, by capitalizing on this opportunity, you have a higher chance of increasing traffic to your website.
Additionally, voice search SEO is not only good to rank higher but also excellent to provide your users with a better experience. How exactly?
Well, individuals with disabilities, such as those with visual or mobility impairments, will need a way to navigate the web using just their voice. Consequently, if your website is easy to maneuver with just speaking, then your brand’s reputation will skyrocket.
Engagement rates will go up, causing Google to consider your website as high-quality and more authoritative. This has the domino effect and ultimately allows your website to rank higher in normal Google searches as well.
For starters, this is one of the best SEO techniques to attract attention to your website.
We know what you’re thinking now. “How do I do this?”
4 Strategies to Optimize for Voice Search
To optimize for voice search, you need to consider factors such as natural language processing, conversational tone, local optimization, and relevance.
These factors make voice search queries different from normal search queries, which is why you need to pay attention to them.
1. Use Natural, Conversational Language
Using natural, conversational language is the most important strategy you NEED to implement if you want to see results.
When searching with voice, people have a more conversational tone and search slightly differently than they would be compared to if they were typing.
For the most part, people tend to ask the full question rather than just using a few keywords.
For instance, searching on Google normally, one might type “cheap wireless microphones list.” Notice how it’s as short as possible and not a question.
Meanwhile, when searching using voice, the same query could look like this: “what are the best cheap wireless microphones I should buy to sing with my friends?” Notice how this one is much longer, more detailed, and formatted like a question.
This is supported by Moz’s research that shows that speech searches are longer and more likely to be a question phrase.
So how can you take advantage of this information? Well, instead of just targeting smaller keywords, target longer keywords too.
When targeting these longer keywords, make sure the tone is conversational and that they are a phrase that one would speak on a daily basis.
Furthermore, you need to ensure that some of the keywords you target are questions.
As demonstrated by the example above, voice searches are typically coherent questions, meaning you have to tailor your content to include question keyword phrases.
How can you devise question keyword phrases that will improve the likelihood of your content ranking?
We recommend that you include “filler words” in your question keywords. Filler words are words such as “to,” “are,” “for,” and “the.”
Including filler words has 2 benefits: your content becomes better for humans to read (improves engagement) and Google ranks you higher in voice searches due to stronger question keywords.
Ultimately, using longer, question keyword phrases makes it easier for your content to cover the ways people search with voice.
2. Focus on Local Optimization
How many times have you asked your smartphone’s digital assistant, such as Siri, to give you options for a restaurant near you?
Similarly, people often ask for various other local businesses. Their digital assistant then gives them a few nearby options to choose from.
If you are a business with a physical location, you need to be one of those few options that are displayed in the search. You will immediately see a huge spike in customers.
Since Google has its own list of businesses that show up in response to searches for local businesses, users rarely need to actually go to a website.
Therefore, you need to create a business profile on Google My Business. Starting here is where voice search SEO comes in.
Since your website won’t actually show up in these searches, your business description has to be well-optimized. The most effective way to do that is by analyzing the location and people around you.
Ask yourself the following 2 questions:
Based on your answers to the questions above, you need to develop potential questions that you may ask. For instance, if you own a restaurant near a stadium, a relevant voice search query could be “where can I eat after watching football near the stadium?”
Once you do this, the next step is to include these questions in your business profile description.
Note: you have very limited space to write your description, so make sure to be concise and only target the highest volume keywords.
3. Optimize for Featured Snippets
If you’ve never heard of snippets before, they are simply the short answer box that pops up when you search for something.
Since snippets are displayed before any other website, they are a proven way to rank first for a query.
In terms of voice search, search engines, and digital assistants commonly read out snippets, meaning your content has to be easily understood when read aloud. Therefore, you cannot include complicated language that young people find difficult to understand.
We recommend that your content has a readability score of around grade 8, which means around 80% of Americans can read it.
The best way to rank as a snippet is to gather question keywords, as described in strategy 1 above, and answer those questions as directly as possible. Snippets have to be short and straight to the point, so you need to target a long question keyword and answer it in a simple, straightforward manner.
Here’s another tip to capitalize on this and gain more traffic from ranking in snippets: end the snippet with something interesting.
By hinting at more interesting information, users are inclined to click on the link and actually go to your website rather than just listen/read to the snippet and exit out.
For example, if you own a kitchen website and are writing a product review guide on smoothie blenders, then you could create a small chart that lists all the blenders you review and the prices of them. You can do it exactly the way this article does it.
Doing so will leave a significant impact on your website traffic.
4. Include an FAQs Section on Your Pages
As emphasized already, voice search is question-based; therefore, your content also needs to be question-based.
While you should answer questions throughout the entirety of your article, the answers won’t be as concise and straightforward.
According to Backlinko’s study, Google prefers short and concise answers to keyword questions. As a result, the best way to answer questions in the way Google likes it is by including an FAQs (frequently asked questions) section on your pages.
The questions you answer in this section should be long keyword phrases that are used in voice search queries. Go back to strategy 1 to learn how to find these keyword phrases.
Here’s the most important thing you need to keep in mind while drafting your FAQs section, though: write short answers. For reference, SEMrush’s study found that the text length of answers was 41 words on average.
Ultimately, FAQs are the easiest way to target question keywords, allowing you to rank higher in voice searches.
With voice search being relatively new and on the rise, it is an unexplored SEO tactic that can prove to be very fruitful for your business or organization.
However, big companies undoubtedly know the eminent potential of optimizing for voice searches, so you need to take action immediately to gain an edge over your competition.
As time goes on, it will only become more and more difficult to rank for voice searches.
By employing the strategies outlined above, you can boost the traffic to your website. Even if users do not actually click on your website, you will build brand awareness and Google will deem you as a more trustworthy source.
Remember, voice search optimization is not everything; click here to see if your website meets other SEO requirements.
I am Anish Agarwal, the founder of FME Articles. I write about the best cheap electronics and machines so you can find cheaper alternatives to expensive purchases and save money. Read our most popular article here. Follow us on Pinterest to view our new affordable product suggestions every day.
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