The likes of Apple, Baidu, Facebook, Samsung and Microsoft have all adopted voice-controlled assistants in their latest smart phones with the most prominent one being Siri by Apple. Beyond that you have the likes of Amazon and Google constantly improving their voice search devices such as Echo and Google Home.
This drastically changes the way that digital content is managed and creates more challenges as businesses look for ways to ensure that their content pulls through these voice searches.
Now let’s break down some of the top tips for optimising towards voice search.
- Perfect your local SEO
Research has found that voice search is 3x more likely to be in in the form of a local search. Therefore, businesses need to ensure that their Google My Business Page is up to date, with the correct address, contact details and opening hours listed.
If a user is asking “where is my nearest DIY store” you’ll want to ensure that you’re appearing in the top location results if that is the nature of your business.
Research into the kind of questions your target audience is most likely to ask to a digital voice assistant and create content that provides specific answers to these queries will ensure that your content is put in front of the right audience.
- Improve Site-Speed on mobile devices
Voice search is almost always used across mobile devices therefore it is imperative that your website is mobile optimised, in fact if you’re a high mobile web traffic business it may be even better to build the website mobile-first.
If your site isn’t responsive and takes more than five seconds to load, then there is a 90% probability that users will just bounce back and will impact your rankings and overall site performance. Google also found that bounce rates are 10% higher mobile devices since mobile users are on-the-go and won’t have time to hang about waiting for a site to load.
If you’re unsure whether your site’s mobile performance is up to scratch, please refer to Google’s “Mobile Friendly Test”, which will provide you with advice on how to make your mobile site faster.
- Optimise for featured snippets
Google Home and Google Assistant currently read out featured snippets when they answer voice search queries, so it makes sense that you aim for the elusive “position zero”, in the feature snippets on SERP.
Having a FAQ section on your website may be the best way to improve your chances in ranking highly on these snippets, as you can imagine there will be loads of content for Google to choose from. Therefore, you don’t want loads of jargon that people fail to understand, rather the approach should be simple and concise answers to questions pertaining to your chose topic.
Additional 99% of the featured snippets are taken from top 10 ranking sites for the search query therefore ensuring your page is well-optimised: your content should be engaging, your meta data optimised, and your internal and external link building needs to be strong.
- Write for humans not machines
Voice search queries will be more in a conversational manner rather than written queries, it’s important to ensure this is reflected in your tone of voice, to help you climb the rankings. So instead of “restaurants Leeds” users will be searching in this manner “where are the best restaurants in Leeds”.
Engaging and interesting content will always be held in high regard by Google’s algorithms, therefore the era of robotic content is over!
If your content answers customer queries in the best and most useful manner possible, expect Google to take notice of it and rank the website/mobile site accordingly.
In 2018, it’s impossible to ignore the power of voice search. The market is set to be worth $601 million by 2019 and all the major smartphone makers have adopted this technology is some form or another. If you don’t start to optimise your website now, you’ll be missing out on a lot of traffic in the long term.