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With the undeniable advancement of mobile technology, features that were previously taken for granted are being the focus of recent developments.
One of these features that are receiving the spotlight is voice search.
Voice search has been showing a progressive increase in usage. Studies are projecting that as much as 50% of searches may be coursed through voice using voice by 2020.
With this in mind, voice engine optimization is a task that you should embark on as early as now.
This is on top of traditional search engine optimization that you should ensure that you won’t take for granted.
What is Voice Search Optimization?
Defining voice search optimization per se is simple. It’s just the set of activities involved in ensuring that your site will be in the results page for searches coursed through voice.
However, doing it is not a walk in the park. If you can do it well though, you may be able to enjoy the following benefits:
It taps both voice and text searches
Traditional search engine optimization focuses on text search. This is because the traditional way to search is by typing your queries into the search box.
Voice search optimization follows the same best practices for SEO, but it just adds the understanding that the query will be done differently – through voice.
But generally speaking, optimizing for voice is similar so doing them side-by-side is the best approach.
It allows you to deal with immediate customer needs
Voice search is usually done for something rather immediate as compared to text search which is for something that a user may need more time for.
Voice search is best for decisions or concerns that need an instantaneous answer, and it is best to be able to tap that, especially if the concern is related to a sale.
It readies you for a growing norm
Again, voice search is anticipated to be a major practice in the coming years.
It is best to begin now so that you can perfect the art of voice search optimization by that time it becomes the norm.
Tips on Voice Search Optimization
To be able to make the most out of voice search optimization, the following are some tips that can help you out:
1. Think like a user
When crafting your voice search optimization strategies, make sure that you do it with your users in mind.
A lot of site owners fail to do that and end up with failed attempts.
Remember, you are a user yourself so always ask yourself what you would do as a user, and you should craft solutions that will meet this.
Or better yet, ask other people what they will do, and make strategies aligned with their response.
Coming up with an FAQ section can help you out on this.
FAQs are there because they are commonly asked, and are therefore needed to be answered.
FAQs are also structured in such a way that the queries are the normal way questions are asked, and how voice search would be done as well.
By having an FAQ section, you will have a good chance of matching with actual voice searches.
2. Focus on long-tail keywords
Keywords are not isolated for text search. It can also be used for voice search.
However, keywords for voice search should be a bit longer than what is used for text search.
When users do a voice search, chances are, the queries will be complete sentences, and thus the previous point.
But your voice search optimization doesn’t end with that. All your content should also be optimized for voice search, and the use of longer keywords can help out.
If you use long-tail keywords, you will be able to drive more traffic; you will appeal to more specific queries, you may realize higher conversion rates.
3. Use Structured Data for Better Context
Another factor that can help boost your voice search optimization is the use of structured data.
This is also referred to as the schema markup. The idea is to organize your content down in the source code.
In doing so, search engines can better understand the information that is on your site.
Sites that practice the schema markup are more likely to be on top of the results page as they can retrieve them quicker.
You should also make sure to test your structured data first with available structured data testing tools to ensure that it is done right.
And then it can bring about the desired results.
4. Complete My Business listing for local queries
At least for now, the majority of voice search is for local queries (e.g., “Where is the nearest restaurant?”, or “What is the best coffee in the area”).
It is therefore essential to you solidify your local presence.
One of the ways to do this is through the use of local listings such as Google My Business.
Create your free account and make sure to provide your business’ details such as your address, operating hours, and contact information.
Aside from Google My Business, your site itself should contain information about your location.
Helping you be a preferred result for relevant queries in your area.
Doing this will also help improve the credibility of your business, especially if you are a new player.
5. Be Mobile-Friendly
Finally, be sure that you do your part in ensuring that your site is optimized for mobile.
While voice search is not limited to mobile devices, the growth of voice search is largely attributed to mobile devices.
With that in mind, you should make sure that you observe the best practices in improving compatibility with mobile, which include the following:
Adopting a responsive web design
Allow your site to automatically adjust to the size of the screen, so that your site will always look its best whether it is accessed on the phone or a computer.
In this way, you would not need to maintain multiple versions of your site.
Keeping your site nimble
Your site must load fast – the entirety of it. The expectation is that your site will fully load in 3 seconds for less.
It is also expected that transitioning to another page can be done quickly and with minimal loading time.
You can make use of Google’s Page Speed Insight to check your site’s performance.
It will also suggest actions that can help your site achieve better speed.
Acknowledging the reading pattern for mobile
For desktops, reading is mostly done using an F-pattern. But it is different for mobile.
The text is hardly read at all. In recognition of this, make sure to optimize all the aspects of your site, including images and videos.
Optimize for Voice Search Today
It is undoubtedly true that voice search shall become a major search practice in the very near future.
It is present now, but a lot more will be using it soon enough.
It is important that you start optimizing your site for voice search so that you will be ready when the need for it arises.
The tips above can help you have a head start on voice search optimization. So follow them now and be voice search-optimized today.
John Vuong is the sole owner of Local SEO Search Inc, also offers Etobicoke SEO Services. John’s mission is to help local business owners improve their online influence so they can dominate their industry. With his business acumen and innate understanding of the local business landscape, John writes blogs that delve on how to customize SEO campaigns based on client needs.