According to Comscore, 50% of the searches will be voice searches by the year 2020. The voice search industry is growing very fast.
With new devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, more people are using voice search. This increase in voice searches means you need to optimize your website so that you are not left behind the race.
Because if you fail to do so, you will experience a huge decline in website traffic.
So how do you optimize for voice search?
In this article, I’m going to show you 7 tips that will help you optimize for voice search.
1. Target More Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are already important because more than half of the search queries are long-tail.
But now with the rise of voice search, it has become more important. Because voice search queries are longer than text queries. And it makes sense.
If you are searching for something by text, you will search it like this:
“Best action movies of 2016”.
But by voice search, the query becomes longer:
“What are the best action movies of 2016?”.
This is why you should incorporate more long-tail keywords in your keyword strategy.
2. Include Conversational Words
Let’s look at the above example once again. The two queries are:
“Best action movies in 2016”
“What are the best action movies of 2016?”
The second query is more conversational. This means that it’s just like you are talking to someone.
So, if you want to answer the user’s query, your content should be conversational too.
Using more conversational keywords in your content and the title will help you crack the top spot of voice search results.
3. Optimize for Local Search
According to Search Engine Watch, Mobile voice-related searches are 3X more likely to be local-based than text.
People are using voice search to find the best restaurant near them or a doctor. In a nutshell, if you are a local business, you must optimize for local search.
This means you should fill out all the information about your business precisely. Getting more reviews for your business also improves your chances of showing up on local search.
4. Use Q&A Style Content
Many voice search queries are simply questions. And the best way to answer their questions is by creating content in the form of a Q&A.
Using Q&A style approach to create your content will help you rank higher in the search results.
5. Being mobile-friendly is just not enough
“Your website should be responsive”. You’ve probably heard this many times and maybe your website is mobile-friendly.
But being mobile-friendly is just not enough. You need to provide a great experience to your site visitors so that your content shows up on top in voice search results.
This means your site should be extremely fast on mobile devices. Also, it should not distract the user from the content. Avoid using pop-ups on your mobile site.
You can also check whether your website is mobile-friendly using this tool made by Google.
6. Featured Snippets
Google is trying to answer the voice search queries using featured snippets. Now, many SEOs realized that their time is over because featured snippets will eventually lower the traffic the site gets because Google was directly answering the question.
But there’s something interesting. The page generating the snippet may not rank on top. So for example, you searched for “How to make green tea”.
It is likely that for queries like this, Google will show a featured snippet. But the page from which the content of the snippet is generated may not rank on top. It may rank on the #2 position or even below.
So how does this help in voice search? Let’s say you searched for the same thing “How to make green tea” by voice search.
Google will begin its answer by “According to WebsiteName”. Google mentions the name of the website which means if the user wants to read more, they will probably click on your website even if your page is not ranking on the first position.
Thus, having featured snippets will help you tremendously. To get your content generated in the featured snippets, you will have to understand searchers intent and create content accordingly.
7. It’s All About User’s Intent
All of the above tips will not help you unless you understand the user’s intent.
User intent matters a lot when it comes to voice search and you cannot really optimize your content for voice search if you don’t understand the user’s intent.
Chris Giarratana explains it in this article how and why user intent is so important and gives the following example:
“Restaurant near me” means “I am hungry, don’t want to cook, and want to eat somewhere now.”
So if someone searches the above term, don’t expect that your article “How to make these 7 famous restaurant recipes at home” to pop up in the results.
User intent already matters a lot in text-based search but it matters more when it comes to voice search.
Because people are asking questions directly and want the answers directly.
Thus, don’t ignore user intent and then hope to rank for voice search.
Since the voice search platform is growing bigger every year and you want your business to stay ahead of the curve, you need to make sure that you follow these tips that will help you rank better for voice search.
It might be a little difficult to figure it out at first but instead of trying to do everything and failing hopelessly, just remember that semantics play a very important role in voice search.
It’s not as simple as targeting keywords and creating backlinks. You need to understand the user’s intent and the style of the content that is required to answer their queries.