The Ultimate Guide to Voice Search Optimization

Voice search is a new trend that seems to be the future of digital marketing. With that, massive changes in consumer behavior are happening at the moment.

Millions of voice assistants are sold around the world each year.

27% of online users are actively using voice search on mobile, according to Google. And in a recent report by PwC, 64% of voice-enabled device owners between the ages of 25-49 use them every day.

That’s why you need to get your business ready for this new era so you can have the edge over your competitors.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about voice search and how it can help you achieve further success with your business.

Let’s get started.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search is a speech-to-text technology that allows users to find information by talking instead of typing.

It’s a new function that came to the scene with the development of voice-enabled devices.

And ever since, it has become popular among consumers due to its practicality and ease of use.

How do Consumers Use Voice search?

Any user with voice-enabled technology can use voice search to find answers quickly.

Once they’re connected to the device, they could ask a question just by talking.

Their voice assistant will transform the speech into text through its algorithm. Then, it will get the answers from various sources and ensure its relevance.

Finally, the answer is read to the user within a matter of seconds.

And all of that happens without a single click.

What is Voice Search Optimization?

Voice search optimization is the process of optimizing your website to dominate the results for voice searches.

There are four popular voice assistants in today’s market:

  • Google Assistant
  • Siri
  • Cortana
  • Alexa

They pull data from different sources and serve different kinds of answers depending on the query.

Voice Search Optimization

For example:

Siri is more specialized in answering specific questions about locations, brands, celebrities, etc.

Google Assistant, on the other hand, pulls its data from Google Search. Thus, it’s able to answer all types of queries, no matter the question.

The goal with voice search optimization is to get your website ranking high for voice search queries so you can attract more leads to your business.

Why is Voice Search Becoming a Trend?

55% of households in the US are expected to own a voice assistant by 2022, according to Juniper Research.

Want to know the reason?

It’s simple.

Most internet trends are driven by the development of new technologies to allow their execution.

A few decades ago, we didn’t have the powerful speech recognition technology to allow for accurate speech-to-text conversion.

But in recent years, we’ve seen many virtual assistants with advanced voice software.

Once we had the technology, it was time to try it out.

And that brings us to the real cause.

The main reason voice-enabled technology was greeted with open arms by consumers is that it saves them time.

Anyone can get an instant answer about any topic they want — just by uttering a few words.

How Does Search Intent Differ With Voice Search?

The way we search by talking is a bit different from how we search via text.

First:

With voice search, the phrases are more conversational and come in the form of questions.

Consumers talk to voice assistants as if they were talking to another human being.

Meaning:

Instead of a user typing “running shoes for men,” they’ll say, “Hey Google, what are the best running shoes for men?”

Voice search intent

Which brings us to the next point:

Longer keywords.

With text search, most queries are shorter than three words and are more focused on the main keyword.

For example:

Users will type “glucose test” to find answers. But with voice search, they would say, “How can I get tested for diabetes.”

Finally:

Most voice searches today are location-based and come with queries like “Best X nearby.”

And those are all potential customers ready to work with you because they know what they want.

How to Optimize Content for Voice Search?

You must jump on the voice-interaction bandwagon early so you can easily dominate the results.

It’s now time to get your website and business optimized for voice search.

Ready?

1- Featured Snippets

Most consumers are using Google Assistant to find results. So, Google search is a great place to start your optimization.

Featured snippets are small parts of your pages that Google pulls to show in position zero.

They’re intended to give a direct response to users, so they don’t have to click on your link and visit your website.

Featured Snippets

Each time a consumer uses voice search to find an answer, they’ll be more likely to visit your website to learn more.

Better yet…

They’ll regard you as an expert in your industry since you’ve been so helpful to them from the start.

That’s why you need to leverage structured data to create featured snippets for your website.

2- Long Tail Keywords

Users talk to voice assistants as if they were asking a friend about a piece of information. Therefore, voice queries are much longer compared to text search.

So:

Why not meet them where they are and focus on long-tail keywords?

Don’t focus your long-form articles on a few main keywords.

Instead:

You could cover more on your website by breaking down those long articles into smaller ones. And for each article, you’ll find relevant questions to answer in your own words.

Once Google sees that you understand search intent and what potential costumers are looking for, you’ll get higher rankings.

This approach makes it easier for you to rank higher for less competitive keywords.

And that generates a lot more leads to your business.

3- User Experience

As we mentioned earlier, voice search predominantly comes from mobile devices. Google has been on a journey for the past decade to provide the best mobile experience to its users.

So, you know where this is going…

If you want to claim high rankings in the SERPs, you need a mobile-friendly website first. And it must serve mobile users the best experience.

To make your website more user-friendly, you need:

  • A clean website layout
  • Fast-loading elements
  • Beautiful typography
  • High-quality images

The second important part of mobile UX is page loading speed.

If your website takes too long to load, every visitor you get is going to leave within the first ten seconds.

So, be sure to test your site loading speed and optimize it to load faster.

To take user experience to the next level:

You must break down your texts into short, readable paragraphs with lots of whitespace around.

You can also include images to break down your sections and give readers some rest time from reading.

4- Optimize Your Business Listings

The best part about voice search is this:

Local searches bring potential customers with the highest buyer intent. Most consumers use voice search to find nearby businesses to help them solve a problem.

But this time:

You won’t only be focusing on Google Assistant.

All voice assistants can drive new clients to your business once you claim high rankings. And they’ll provide users with your business information instantly.

Local SEO

First:

You need to get your business listed on popular business directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, CitySearch, etc. That’s where most voice assistants pull their information from.

Remember:

You must have consistent NAP information through all listings to maintain your credibility.

Next:

Be sure to choose the right categories in your Google My Business listing as that allows algorithms to find your business easily.

Also:

Try getting more positive reviews on your business profiles online to establish trust. It’s an essential factor to help you outrank local competitors in a short time.

Want to learn more about these steps?

Check out our comprehensive local SEO guide to learn more about how to implement more techniques step-by-step.

5- Create Amazing Content

Every successful business today that’s doing content marketing focuses on two things:

  • Providing value to customers
  • Creating SEO friendly content

The two aspects should work together to help your site claim better ranking spots and generate new leads.

Valuable content is often informative and helpful to users in the awareness stage.

It answers basic questions and user queries in FAQ articles. But, it does that by providing unique insights and high-quality information.

For instance:

You can gather lists of questions your potential customers often search for and put them all in one post.

To find such common questions, you can use Google, AnswerThePublic, or Quora and search for your main keyword.

Here are the results for “running shoes” on AnswerThePublic:

 

AnswerThePublic generated questions

 

 

Want to know the secret to increasing engaged reading time?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there isn’t really a secret.

It all comes down to this:

First, you need to maintain a friendly, conversational tone throughout all your posts. Stay away from using too many salesy words or industry jargon.

The average online reader can only keep up if the readability grade is 7-8 grade or below.

Next:

You must write in the human language that people use to talk to each other every day.

The days of formal writing are ending with more writers getting into blogging. So, keep your vocabulary simple and easy to understand.

Most importantly:

Be consistent in creating your content for your business. It’s the best way to keep both people and Google bots coming back to your website.

Conclusion

Now that you understand the power of voice search, it’s time to take some action and be an early adopter.

You must get your business ready for the next big trend. Follow this guide to implement the strategies and claim better rankings for voice search.

Ready to grow your business online with the help of an SEO agency in the USA?

Call us now at 800-280-2749 or schedule a call at your convenience.