Ok Google: How to optimize for voice search

With many individuals preferring to use voice assistants, businesses need to step up to achieve good SEO

11Sep

Today, voice search is becoming increasingly popular as many people find it more convenient to use voice to research what they need online, and so businesses must adapt to consumer needs.

Therefore, here are a few ways to optimize your web page for voice search:

How does voice search differ from conventional search?

The increasing popularity of voice search has many people confused as to how this new trend differs from regular search. Voice search uses speech to find things online, meaning people will have conversations with their voice assistants, whereas conventional search consists of typing in short and specific keywords that best describe user intent.

That means that voice search requires specific SEO. For example, people using voice search are more likely to use more detail in their search, such as what is, why is, where is, when is or how is. Sentences give more context to search queries than keywords. More context requires specific answers. Therefore, your SEO strategy won't be much different than your standard practices, however, you'll need a slightly different approach to voice search optimization.

Page speed still matters

Fast loading pages have been a ranking factor on Google for some time now and website speed has been a crucial factor in customer satisfaction, which is yet another ranking factor. Nothing has changed for voice search optimization and speed will still be a factor that determines your rankings. Since voice search is primarily a mobile feature, consumers want to find answers as fast as possible.

That's why Google will include  page speed as the ranking factor their voice search algorithm for mobile searches as well, not just desktop ones. Therefore, it's very important to ensure your website pages are loading fast enough to meet current standards. That way, your voice search result will be able to rank higher on Google.


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Mobile-friendly website

As mentioned before, voice search is primarily a mobile feature because mobile users are more likely to use that option. After all, it's faster and more convenient to use voice search on mobile than it is to type in keywords. That means that a mobile-friendly website is an absolute must.

Consumers who use voice search will eventually land on your website and, if it's not mobile friendly or properly optimized, they'll just bounce right off. That's why you must include a proper responsive design in your website as well. In addition, you'll still need a  reliable SEO checklist to ensure your website is search-engine-friendly and optimized to provide an exceptional customer experience for your website visitors.

Optimize for local search

In most cases, consumers leverage voice search to search things locally. That's why it's important to optimize for local search as well. You can start by adding your business listing to  Google My Business feature. Also, make sure you update your business information, such as the location, phone number, company website, open hours, address and more, as well as ensure this information matches other business listings your business is on.

Furthermore, optimize content for your local search, so that it provides the most relevant information to consumers. Moreover, you can include positive reviews from satisfied customers, in order to boost your local rankings and appear in the 3-pack of Google's local search results. Not only that, but 84% of online consumers will trust a positive review as much as they'd trust a personal recommendation, which means more traffic and more opportunities for you.

Develop easy-to-understand content

Content that's easier to read and easier to understand ranks well on Google's voice search results. That means you should avoid complex words, as well as words that require further explanations. In short, ensure that your content, as well as your answers, match the user’s search. Consumers will most likely use simplicity and slang, which means you should adjust to it accordingly.

As a matter of fact, matching your results to that of a 9th-grade reading level is more likely to rank better than more complex articles. Therefore, use simple words that Google can easily pronounce. Also, ensure your answers are short and on point by leveraging the simple KISS rule (keep it simple, stupid). In addition, the information you provide should be comprehensible without the need for visual representation to simplify things further.

Ranking for voice search will soon become mandatory for businesses that wish to remain relevant to their audience. As technology progresses further, new trends become the standard on the market. It's safe to say that voice search will quickly become that trend. That's why it's better to start ranking for voice search sooner, rather than to wait for your competitors to outrun you.

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