How many times do you hear or use this phrase in a day?
More often than you think, probably.
Search behavior has evolved so much in a span of a few years. Instead of typing their queries on the search bar, most people would rather holler a question at their phones or personal assistants and then let the device run a search for them.
Looking up information online has never been more convenient – and it’s all thanks to voice search.
What is Voice Search?
According to Ahrefs, voice search is “where someone uses their voice to interact with a search engine rather than searching by text.” Asking Google “Where is the nearest vegetarian restaurant?” or “What is the weather like today?” are both examples of voice searches.
A report by Uberall found that roughly 21% of respondents used voice search every week.
How to Optimize Your Website Content For Voice Search
With nearly 60% of users around the world accessing the Internet through their mobile devices, it has become increasingly important for companies and e-commerce shops to not only invest in a responsive web design, but also optimize their websites for voice search.
People will continue to employ voice search for as long as they use mobile phones. If you haven’t optimized your website for voice yet, now would be the time to do so
Here are five simple but effective ways to prepare your website for the voice search revolution:
1. Create Scannable, Persona-Based Content
People who use voice search are specifically looking for content that can directly provide them the information they need.
Brevity, context, and relevance are three of the most important factors to consider when optimizing for voice search. This means creating readable and scannable content that answers your audience’s most common questions clearly and concisely.
Make your content easier to read and digest by using headers to break it into smaller sections. Also, keep your paragraphs short and your sentences simple.
2. Target Long-Tail Keywords
Optimizing for voice search requires shifting your focus to long-tail keywords, which are longer terms and phrases that people use when searching for something online.
The way we talk is very different from the way we type. While you may type “weather New York today” when performing a text search, you’ll probably say “What’s the weather like in New York today?” for voice search. Thus, optimizing for voice search is more about real speech than keyword variations.
People are more inclined to use conversational language when using voice search, so target phrases or even entire sentences, instead of words. Build your content in a way that reflects how people naturally speak when asking questions in their daily lives.
3. Build Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Pages
You can further utilize the customer and SEO data that you have collected by creating a frequently-asked page, adding a FAQs section in your home or services pages, or publishing blog posts that quickly answer your audiences’ most common queries in depth.
Most voice searchers ask questions that begin with who, what, where, when, and how. Dedicating a page or section of your website to addressing recurring questions in your niche (especially those that begin with these words) not only fulfills your audiences’ need for immediate answers, but also satisfies Google’s rich snippet requirements.
Creating pages and content centered around FAQs make it easier for search engines to pull information from your website and increases your chance of making it as a featured snippet for both text-based and voice searches.
4. Structure Your Content
Proper use of headings and subheadings improves the structure of your website, making it simpler for people to navigate and understand. To boost your website’s SEO for voice search, however, it’s equally important that the search engine also understands what your content is about.
Google understands language through Schema markup. Using structured data and adding schema tags makes it easier for search engines to figure out the context of your content. As a result, your website ranks higher and gets better visibility for related and relevant searches.
5. Understand How Your Audience Utilizes Voice Search
To create a truly robust and effective voice search strategy, you’ve got to dig deeper and get a good grasp of how people use the platform. If you’ve ever used Alexa, Siri or OK Google, then you already have an idea of how casual or even playful users tend to get when interacting with these personal assistants.
Different people in different demographics use voice search differently. Thorough research and data collection will give you an insight into how your audiences utilize voice search and help you successfully optimize your content for this technology.
Voice Search is The Future
Though there are still many unknowns and uncertainties when it comes to the future of voice search, one thing is almost certain: voice search will become more intelligent and widely used as new innovations in communications and consumer electronics market emerge.
Read more about voice search and local SEO.