Hey Google, Tell Me About Voice Search
Virtual assistants are one of the latest trends in tech. Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa and Google has…Google? These assistants are becoming ubiquitous. They’re in your phones, your smart speakers and even your cars. No matter where you are, it’s never been easier to ask your assistant to search the internet for you. Voice search is changing how we plan SEO strategies to reach positions even better than coveted first page. Let’s take a look.
Focus on Featured Snippets
Google and other search engines emphasize speed above all else. In fact, most people find what they’re looking for without clicking. They find answers in Google’s Position Zero, which are the snippets of information you see listed at the top of the results page. Google pulls these snippets from websites it feels best answers your query. Most importantly, these are the snippets you’ll hear when you ask Google, Siri or Alexa something.
There are many ways to optimize your website’s content for these snippets, including a few specific to voice search.
- Answer Frequently Asked Questions. When creating content for your website, answer specific questions you know your audience will ask. Your website is more likely to become a featured snippet if it matches the exact question a searcher asks.
- Prioritize Brand Marketing. Featured snippets are typically given to websites with a high click-through rate in search results, so it’s vital that you build recognition and trust with your audience. Investing in your brand strategy is a great way for any business to refine their message.
- Be Concise. Again, speed is key. When answering questions on your website, be clear and concise. Avoid filling pages with unnecessary detail and focus on providing the answer you would want to see in a search results page.
- Use Conversational Language. As more people use their voice to search, websites are changing their tone to fit a more conversational style. Content is becoming more casual, more inviting–and more likely to be found by a voice search. Try using the language you would hear at a coffee shop or around the office and you’ll have a better chance at securing that top spot.
Build Local SEO
Many people use voice search to ask questions about their surroundings: what is the best pizza place nearby, how far is the supermarket or where is the nearest bike shop? Your website is more likely to answer someone’s questions if you include location-specific information on the page or in its metadata.
You could also improve local SEO by optimizing the Google and Bing business pages for your company. Make sure these pages reflect the correct data about your business to help increase the likelihood of search engines recommending them to searchers.
Optimize Your UX for Mobile
Most voice searches are done on a mobile device, so it’s time businesses started prioritizing their websites’ mobile experiences. This includes increasing site speed, exploring mobile menuing options and configuring all elements of your site design with a mobile-first mindset. Google recently started ranking sites with mobile-friendly designs more favorably. As voice search gains popularity, so should mobile-first web design.
Include Structured Data Markup
Structured data is markup that helps search engines better identify basic information about the website or article. Optimizing this data increases your odds of achieving a featured snippet position in Google search results. Additionally, calling out specific blog article descriptions in this markup raises the overall SEO value of that page. When a page is easier for Google’s algorithm to navigate and understand, it’s more likely to be recommended to searchers.
SEO is a moving target for any digital marketer. Voice search is only the latest challenge for businesses hoping to become the go-to source for searchers. No business should navigate these challenges alone. Contact our digital marketing specialists and let’s partner and drive more recognition and traffic to your business.