With 6.5 billion smartphone users worldwide, voice search is quickly becoming a major method for looking up stuff online. Quick to use, convenient, and, thanks to advances in technology, smart voice search is quickly becoming the way of the future.
What this means for SEO is that we have to pay closer attention to the development of this technology, and make use of our experience to find a way to optimise our websites for this fast-growing trend.
In this article, we aim to do just that! Here are some of the best strategies and practices to optimise your website for voice search.
Google as well as all other large search engine firms have constantly been adding various tweaks to their designs and have actually changed the entire way search engines work in the past few months multiple times. This has led to a large number of search engine optimisation strategies failing, as they no longer work in accordance with the new functionalities of search engines! This has called for SEO companies to develop new strategies in order to bring in more profits for the websites they are working for, and we are here to help you with the same!
Table of Contents
- Optimise your website for voice search
- Fundamentals of a Successful SEO Strategy
Optimise your website for voice search
Optimise for Mobile
Since the majority of voice search comes from mobile devices, it’s natural that you’ll want to make your website as mobile-friendly as possible. This is not to say that all voice search traffic comes from mobile, but a vast majority of people use voice in conjunction with their phones, as voice is used primarily when our hands are busy with something else.
That said, another reason to optimise for mobile is that mobile devices are becoming a major powerhouse when it comes to generated traffic. As we stand, mobile is generating 54.4% of all traffic, a number that’s been on the rise since 2015.
Optimizing your website for mobile usually pertains to increasing the loading speeds and improving the overall user experience of the website.
Loading speed is one of the most important elements of your website. Google hates websites that load slowly, so keeping your website swift has major benefits, especially when it comes to voice search. As we said, people using voice search are doing so because their hands are busy, and they don’t have even a second to spare to wait for your website to load. See our list of Best Site Speed & Performance Testing Tools.
As for UX, make sure your site is properly formatted for a mobile display. When creating a website, you must remember that a crowded page will look horrible on a smaller screen, so make sure you test its mobile compatibility before you go live.
Go for Featured Snippets
Have you ever searched for something, and, above the links in the search engine, noticed a snippet of text that pertains directly to your search query? That’s the featured snippet.
Featured snippets, also called position 0 in SERP, are carefully hand-picked pieces of information that aim to provide a direct answer to a very specific keyword in a search query. It is also the thing your voice assistant reads out loud when you pose a question.
Now, optimizing your content for a featured snippet is a bit more complicated than regular keyword optimisation. It requires not only very careful keyword research, but it also requires you to structure your content in such a way as to appear both natural in the text, and answer a very specific question.
On top of that, featured snippets don’t generate that much traffic. They’re literally there to provide a quick answer to a question, and most people don’t go beyond that. However, it does boost your brand recognition, and is, as we said, most often targeted by voice search, so there are benefits to doing it besides getting more people to your website.
Optimise for Long-Tail Keywords
One thing that really separates voice search from regular search is speech recognition. And, when we say, speech recognition, we don’t mean just the fact that voice search translates speech to text. No, we mean that voice search is specifically tuned to respond to the way human natural speech does.
When speaking, we don’t tend to use terse phrases and just rely on keywords to get our point across. Instead, we elaborate and speak in a long-winded manner to make sure our message is specific and not open to misinterpretation.
The same happens with voice search. This is why voice search is more sensitive to long-tail keywords (keywords consisting of 3 or more words) than short-tail ones (less than 3 words).
This ties in quite well with featured snippets. Since voice assistants tend to look for specific content first, it’s no wonder that they’d respond better to long-tail keywords.
Interestingly enough, it would seem that long-tail keywords have taken the torch from short-tails as the major traffic divers. Statistics show that as much as 70% of all traffic comes from long-tail keywords.
Before, short-tail keywords, coupled with keyword stuffing, was the way to go when it came to boosting your rankings. Nowadays, however, Google has, in their effort to improve the content, put more emphasis on long-tails, as they’re often a lot more specific, and more naturally introduced into said content.
Improve Your FAQ Section
Following the trend of long-tail keywords and featured snippets, we must note the importance of well-structured and well-written FAQ sections on websites.
As we mentioned before, featured snippets are often formed as a question and answer for a specific search query, and where better to draw that answer from than your FAQ section?
This is why many websites feature this section, especially those that expect their traffic to come primarily from mobile. On top of that, FAQs are much more easily digested than blog posts, so people might be more inclined to further scour your website.
With enough optimisation, you can also make FAQ your main traffic driver for all your other content. You see, many websites like to place their FAQ at the end of their blog posts and other similar content.
What this does is it puts the spotlight on that content through your FAQ section. It’s like saying: ”Hey, here’s your answer. But, if you want to learn more if you want that answer elaborated, here’s this piece for further reading.”
Of course, some people won’t take you up on your offer, but some will, and, if your content is good enough, you’ll gain a recurring visitor.
Keep Your Google Business Profile Listing up to Date
Another thing you can do, and that’s warmly recommended by all of the most popular SEO companies, is to update your Google Business Profile.
This is especially useful if your intent is to target the locals as a local business. It’s also very useful for people running brick-and-mortar stores, or physical offices.
As for your Google Business Profile, you need to update your working hours and location and display any relevant reviews and testimonials.
People tend to trust ratings and reviews a lot, so, if you’ve got positive things said about your business, be sure to display them to attract more customers.
Another thing that’s awesome about your Google Business Profile is that it’s connected to Google Maps. If you give an address, Google will pin your location on the map, and voice assistants are capable of reading maps, so it’s a great way to let people using voice search know where to find you.
Implement a Schema Markup
Finally, let’s talk about something more technical, and that’s schema markup. Schema markup is a great way of making your website, and its content, more readable to Google, and, by extension, voice assistants.
So, what is schema markup? If you’ve ever looked a bit more closely at SERP results, you’d notice that they have different things written under the title. Some have a small description (this is called a meta description), some have nondescript text (this is when neither a meta description nor a schema are implemented), and some have a text snippet and a rating displayed.
In recent years, this has become a much more popular choice, because of its ability to be more easily read by the search engine. It also lets you display more relevant data from your website for your visitors to see. This is especially useful if you’re selling a product of some kind, as you can display its ratings, a snippet of a review, or product specs.
These days SEO is also comprehensively implemented as an online marketing strategy due to its usefulness in upgrading the website of a company. For delivering the most important and applicable content for every query it is essential to know the fundamental objective of Google. It must be an essential objective of any SEO strategy.
Fundamentals of a Successful SEO Strategy
Research and Selection of keyword
In any SEO strategy, research and selection of keyword play very important role. The main objective of Keyword research and selection is to choose keyword and phrases with high traffic volume, powerful profitable plan and making website reachable by an increase in traffic and rank of a website. Once these objectives are fulfilled, the website goes ahead to a successful ranking with a successful SEO strategy.
SEO-friendly platform and code
Your website’s platform, as well as code, must be SEO-friendly so that the websites can simply be crawled as well as indexed by the Google bots and also can be easily directed to optimise URLs and additional SEO elements of the website. The URLs of a website should go after best practice, must be customizable and unique. Any previous website that is important which may be from past websites or within present website should be 301 redirected to their new location
Visitor’s interaction with website
Google do not only evaluate the content as well as the code of your website rather it also measures visitor’s interaction with a website. Thus, in order to attract visitor to your website the navigation should be consistent and information should be comprehensible, understandable and easy to find. The design of the website should also be pleasurable, eye-catching and browser-friendly.
The role that social media now plays in the life of people is known to all. Web surfers of all age groups now have their own separate accounts on these websites and a huge majority of these people spend hours and hours of their times on them. This has led the social media to be a huge platform for marketing, and businessmen have continued to do so. However, it is now advised to have official accounts on only a handful of these websites and share content on them in a friendly speech. This causes more intimate interactions between you and your followers, ensuring loyalty. Further, your loyal followers will share your posts more, which might attract newer followers and even get you some more new and loyal followers!
Recently, by the increase in the use of social networks, it has become most significant part of SEO. They have a straight consequence on search results however they can also participate in receiving links to your website. From social networking site, users or visitor can simply share your content which indicates that your content is important and useful content to be shared.
Presently, social media has become a most important part of every business. You can find different social media channels which help you to promote your business and reach out to customers. It also offers the medium by which your customer can keep in touch with you. It is essential to create profiles for each of the social media platforms. Social media is great chance for a company to move forward into the public discussion and improve the status of their company at the same time.
The word count of the content of a page ought to be no less than 400-600 words. Content must include targeted keyword related to the topic. Exclusive, meaningful and understanding content are the main priority of SEO strategy. Content needs to be appropriate and related to the website. This helps visitors to get useful information from the website and magnetise them to visit your site again. Good quality content is usually focused by visitors.
Content in the website plays an essential role in the Search engine. If you are willing your site to be crawled on the frequently, you should ensure your content is updated regularly. You can do this by providing fresh content through the blog on your site. This is more convenient way compared to adding pages and altering the content of a page all the time. Make sure you update your website frequently to create crawling of the pages simply and speedily.
Proper and adequate internal links to a particular page and the anchor text used in those links can determine the authority of that page comparative to other pages in the website. This facilitates you to develop the ability and power of definite pages and also helps Google to choose the page to deliver in its search result for the specific inquiry. Preferably, every target pages must contain a direct link from home page and footer. Moreover, there needs to be the high fraction of related links to the target pages from additional pages in the website along with anchor which intimately recounts to the target keywords for the page that is linked to.
Create attractive & informative Homepage
The home page gives the first impression to the customer about your company or business. So you need to make your homepage attractive with informative content to impress visitors. You can use flat design, readable content, interactive website, and browser-friendly design to magnetise visitors to your site. An essential thing is when customers visit your website; they should find it usable and professional.
Not Just Google
If you were of the common notion that a majority of the people use Google as their primary search engine even now, then you were wrong. With the excellence in services provided by other browsers, Google is now facing more and more severe completion in the search engine field. Until now Google had been the most popular and used search engine among all others. But the other search engines like Bing and Yahoo are catching up. Firefox, one of the most popular browsers of the world, has removed Google as its default search engine and gave the title to Bing now. Also, rumour has it that Safari is also going to change its default browser. This means that SEO strategies will have to be implemented in such a way that websites can earn profits via users searching on Google as well as all other major search engines.
Consequently, these are the fundamentals of a Successful SEO Strategy. The fundamental goals of Google have to be clearly understood to deliver the useful and related content for each search query.
And there you have it, some of the best ways you can optimise your website for voice search.
To reiterate what we said in the beginning, voice search has become a much more prominent piece of technology. And, from what we can gather, this seems to be the way search engine trends are going.
Again, this is closely tied to the proliferation of mobile devices. Due to mobile devices becoming more powerful and widely used in our everyday lives, more people are looking to unlock the full potential of the technology, and that technology currently is voice search.
A common and grave mistake committed by SEO companies is that they work on the basis of keyword rankings, totally ignoring ROI. Your website can surely top the rank charts in terms of the keywords it uses and all, but it is of no use if it fails to provide you with any returns at all. It should be clear in the minds of SEO strategy developers that it is not the keyword rankings but the actual returns they can score that measures the effectiveness of their SEO strategies!
One final thing we have to mention – if you’re optimizing your website for a certain voice assistant, know that they don’t always support the same browsers. For example, Alexa doesn’t support Google – it supports Bing instead.
Luckily, most search engines perform similarly, and have similar features, so the standard web optimisation features aren’t going to be too different.
Still, making sure your optimisation practices are tuned specifically for a particular search engine and the voice assistant will be crucial in getting you the results you’re looking for.
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