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How Do You Optimize Web Content for Voice Search?

How Do You Optimize Web Content for Voice Search?

Voice searches have come a long way since they were introduced in 2011.  While it’s well known that the number of searches made from a mobile overwhelmingly exceeds those made from a desktop, diving deeper into mobile statistics tells us that 20% of mobile searches are done using a voice assistant such as Siri.  Furthermore, voice recognition technology is getting more and more accurate and sophisticated; Google is thought to be spot-on 95% of the time.  So, in light of the expanded use of voice technology, optimizing our business content for a voice search world is crucial.

SEO and Long Tail Keywords

Writing great content is an art, and writing great content with SEO keywords strategically peppered in for maximum effect takes practice and skill.  On the other hand, voice search demands a whole new type of keyword: a long tail keyword. Since in the past we’ve written on this topic, a full review of long tail keywords can be accessed here.  

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But here are a few key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Voice Search Queries are longer than text queries and tend to be 3-5 words in length.
  • Think of your keywords now being key phrases.
  • Voice queries tend to ask very specific questions, so your phrases should include specifics.
  • Trigger words such as “how,” “where,” “who,” and “best” are key.

According to SEOMoz, long tail searches currently make up 70% of all search queries.  As voice search increases, the need for your content to be optimized for such searches will be essential.  

Voice Search and the Role of Featured Snippets

When you search on Google, you will see a “featured snippet box” at the top of your search results page.  This is designed to give you the answer to your question without having to scroll through a bunch of options.  In addition to a summary of what the webpage entails, it also includes:

  • A link to the page where the information came from,
  • And the page title and universal resource locator (URL) of the site.

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Because we live in a world of fast-paced to-do lists and instant gratification, many people will read the featured snippet and stop there.  Therefore, it follows that getting your website listed as the featured snippet will not only increase traffic to your website but also increase your chances of being featured in the voice search results.  

How to Become a Featured Snippet

In order to have your web page listed as a featured snippet, you must know what search engines are looking for in order for your website to qualify.  For one thing, Google knows that people using voice search are busy and that they are looking for specific answers to very specific questions Results that rank higher will serve the needs of the user. While the list of things Google and Bing are looking for can be long and ever-evolving, here is a list from Search Engine Land that we have adapted to help get you started:

Write a topic-specific page.

This will increase your keyword and key phrase density, hopefully resulting in a higher ranking.

Create content that answers a specific question.

What types of questions would a person using voice search ask? Maybe try asking your coworkers or friends to ask their preferred voice assistant a question relating to the topic at hand.  Compile these questions to find the one that works best for your webpage or blog topic.

Understand your customer’s intent, and optimize the content on your pages for every stage in your customer’s buyer’s journey.

What will your customer want to do or achieve after they have their question answered?  Be sure to take your content or call to action one step further to keep your customer engaged.  

Use conversational language — write like you’re talking to a friend.

Most people use conversational language when talking to their voice search assistant, so answering the question in the same tone makes the most sense.

Use Headings (H1, H2, H3, H4).

This is a basic SEO strategy.  Why? You can read all about it here.  

Use the keywords in the page’s universal resource locator (URL).

Your SEO strategy for voice search should always be evolving to keep up with industry and algorithm demands.  

Not only is voice search on the rise in mobile devices, but it seems as though there is constantly a new home device on the market as well.  With voice search capabilities now being offered without the user ever looking at a screen, it has become even more imperative that our content not only shows up in these searches but also reads well.  

This can all be put into place on your website and blog manually, but it takes a dedicated SEO team to make sure that your content is changing as the SEO algorithms do.  As a full service, boutique, digital agency, we offer both content creation and management services as well as full spectrum SEO services. Contact us today so we can help you succeed online with all aspects of emerging technologies.  

Randy TaylorHow Do You Optimize Web Content for Voice Search?