Are you currently having trouble driving traffic to your website despite implementing a well-thought-out SEO strategy? Take a look at your voice search and see if it’s optimized. No? Then, that might just be the problem.
With 111.8 million Americans using voice to conduct searches today, there’s no denying that voice search has gotten incredibly popular – and it will only continue to rise globally. Google can attest to that, as their speech recognition is now supporting more than 100 languages.
Whether people are searching for quick answers from Siri on the go, multitasking across browsers, or are just too lazy to type long keywords, voice search has made it more convenient for everyone to give commands, locate services, make purchases, or access information online.
Although most still use smartphones and smart speakers for voice search, there’s been a surge in voice search carried out using smart TVs, smartwatches, cars, desktop computers, and other connected devices.
Indeed, voice search is no longer just a fad. It’s here to stay.
That’s why more and more businesses are now incorporating voice search optimization into their digital marketing efforts. Guess what? It’s time that you should, too.
However, it takes the right SEO strategies to be successful at getting your website ranking high in voice search results. Fortunately for you, we’re here to make your life easier.
Below are six proven tactics that will no doubt optimize your site for voice search, drive more organic traffic to your web pages, and get you to dominate search engines:
1. Audit Your Voice Search SEO
A surefire way to discover whether voice search works well for your website is by testing your content.
As with a typical SEO audit, you can start by listing down the most important, business-related searches you want to perform for. These may include your company info, product and/or service pages, and key search terms within your industry.
Next, vocalize the questions commonly asked by your prospects and customers. Considering that all smart devices don’t exactly use the same ranking methods or search engines, it’s best that you use a range of devices for testing. Otherwise, you’ll be seeing several disparities that will confuse you.
In case your business fails to show up or the information returned in your voice search results doesn’t appear relevant, you can solve it by studying your competition’s voice search SEO. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Find out which brands in your industry are winning the voice search results
- Analyze which areas they’re outperforming you at
- Pinpoint your content’s weaknesses
- Optimize your content based on your findings and make sure to keep voice search SEO in mind
- Test your content again
2. Keep Your Tone Conversational
Ever noticed that people tend to talk in a more natural way when using voice search than when they’re typing a query? Instead of saying “bars near West Palm Beach” aloud, they’d prefer to ask Alexa or Echo this: “What bars can I find near West Palm Beach?”
Why’s that? Simple: It’s just human nature.
Being conversational is key to a successful voice search query. The more human your content sounds, the higher your chances are of appearing in voice search results. Hiring a voice actor is certainly not easy for this task, therefore text to voice generators can be a good alternative.
To determine how searchers are asking verbal queries, you need to understand their intent. You gotta study and anticipate the query style your target audience uses when performing a voice search. Consider these questions:
- What type of question keywords do they normally use?
- What type of questions are frequently being asked?
- Also, what type of answers are ideal for these queries?
- What answers are being shown in the voice search results?
- What’s their conversational style?
3. Leverage Your Google My Business Listing
Did you know that your GMB listing plays a crucial part not just in your local SEO, but also in voice search?
Since people often use voice search to learn more about local businesses – such as their contact number, complete address, and operating hours – Google is now seeking these information as the basis for ranking.
You should see to it though, that all the details you input are super accurate. That way, Google and searchers will understand what your business does and offers, who it caters to, where it’s located, and when it opens.
All of these are actually the information voice searches ask for, which means that providing them helps you give immediate results to people who might be interested in what you’re offering.
4. Use Structured Data
Take out your smartphone and ask: “Who’s the 45th President of America?” What does it do next? If it’s narrating a couple of basic facts about Donald Trump from a long page, then you have structured data to thank for that.
Besides your content, search engines will look at several other factors to assess your page’s relevancy and position in their search results. Structured data, particularly schema markup, is definitely one of those factors.
Schema enables search engines to have a thorough understanding of the purpose and context of your content. It aims to draw attention to certain parts of a web page, making it an essential part of your voice search SEO strategy.
Implementing schema on your website means boosting its visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs), specifically in featured snippets, rich snippets, and winning Position Zero rankings. All of these can leave nothing but a positive impact on your voice search SEO.
While structured data doesn’t affect your rankings directly, it can give you an advantage over your competitors, especially in terms of voice search.
5. Optimize for Local Search
Here’s a fact you should know about voice searches: They’re three times more likely to be local searches than text-based searches.
Why might that be, you wonder? Convenience.
Say you’re out and about in another town, and you suddenly find yourself wanting to visit a museum, you grab your phone and ask for one that can be found near you. Or, maybe you got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, so you seek help from your mobile device asking it to call for a professional.
This is where you realize that local SEO does have an integral role to play in improving your voice search.
With local searches, you’re attracting searchers who are extremely keen to take your desired action. These folks will drop by into your store and buy right there and then, especially if your page shows up in the local search pack.
Local SEO pretty much follows the same rules as traditional SEO, and the only difference is, the latter consistently reminds people that they’re looking at a local business. You should focus on creating content that’s relevant to your area and targeting local keywords.
Not sure what local keywords to use or where to place them? These will give you answers:
- “Near me” in your title tags, meta description, anchor text, and internal links
- Landmarks around your business address
- Phrases people usually use to describe the neighborhood around your store
- Local institutions that are relevant to your business
6. Improve Your Domain and Local Authority
If you think domain authority and search engine rankings are only essential for text-based SEO, think again. They can also affect your voice search SEO rankings.
To determine whether you deserve the top spot for local queries, search engines will have to see if your brand is highly relevant for your target local audience. This means they should recognize you as domain authority and thought leader in your industry,
It’s not as difficult as it seems. Here are some ways to boost your authority online:
- Organize local PR campaigns
- Appear in and gain inbound links from authoritative local online news outlets
- List your business in industry-related online directories
- Optimize the parts of your website that matter most to local searchers
- Boost your website’s EAT (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness)
- Be active in the local communities your business operates in
Voice search will continue to soar as each year passes. Before you know it, it will be EVERYWHERE. That’s why you should prioritize it as early as now. Applying the strategies above will help you get better rankings for voice search, driving organic traffic to your site, generating qualified leads, and ultimately converting them. If you feel like voice search optimization is solely a job for SEO experts, you can always count on the professionals who specialize in SEO in Florida.
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