How to optimize a website for voice search?
Over the past few years, the way we search for information online is changing significantly. More and more people are using voice search via their smartphones, tablets, or voice assistants to make their queries because it is an easier and quicker way to find information. It makes voice search fascinating for many to adapt to it.
Voice search optimization isn’t the latest SEO trend, it is a necessity. If you want your website to rank top on the search results, make your website voice search friendly which will help people to find you.
Is voice search optimization necessary?
Before we jump into how to optimize a website for voice search, we need to cover some statistics that will clearly show, why you should optimize your website for voice search,
- 50% of all searches were voice-based in 2020. Google algorithms now can understand the human language with 95% accuracy. By 2023, the number of voice assistants will reach 8 billion units.
- 27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile.
- 71% of consumers prefer to conduct queries by voice instead of typing.
- More than half of all owners of smart speakers use their devices daily.
- 51% of online shoppers in the US use voice assistants to help them research products.
- 80% of the voice search answers on Google assistant come from the top 3 results.
- 75% of the voice search results rank in the top three positions for that specific query.
So If your website isn’t optimized for voice search, it is a great time to focus on it.
Tips to optimize a website for voice search
Without SEO strategies, your website will not appear in voice searches. Here are 8 proven voice search optimization strategies to follow,
- Optimize for local search
- Use conversational keywords
- Use long-tail keyword
- Get featured snippets
- Add FAQ pages
- Use schema markup
- Optimize for mobile
- Improve website loading speed
Optimize for local search
Do you know? According to bright local, 58% of consumers use voice search to find information on a local business. If you are a local business and you want to get your website found on voice search, you need to optimize your local SEO.
It is simple to do. First, you need to claim and update your Google My Business page which will help to increase your exposure. Google my profile is an online profile that contains your business name, address, and phone number. You can also include business hours, website URL, description, and other contact information. Get listed in other online directories like Bing places, Yelp, and Apple Maps as well.
If you have multiple business listings on several sites, make sure that your business listings are 100% accurate across all the places. Consistency is the key here. Because if there is any mismatch, Google or other virtual assistants may give incorrect information and of course, it will impact your search engine rankings.
Use conversational keywords
People don’t search in voice search the same way, they search through text. In voice search, people speak naturally and it is the key characteristic of voice search.
For example, if someone is asking for a bread omelette they might type “Bread omelette” or “Bread omelette recipe”. But in voice search, they may state the same question like “how to make bread omelette”.
That’s why conversational keywords are very important for voice search. So plan and write your content according to that.
Before creating content, you have to understand the user’s intent. You need to know how your audience would ask a question about your product or service. Using common phrases and questions which are normally used in conversations between humans is the best way to get top rank in voice search results.
Use long-tail keyword
As I mentioned above voice search queries are longer and more conversational than text queries. Voice searches are 76.1% longer than text-based queries. So using long-tail keywords is a must in your content that helps to increase the chances of your ranking in voice searches. Long-tail keywords are more specific and more targeted and of course, they have better click-through rates.
Using location-specific keywords and creating location-specific content for an area that you are targeting is the best way to get a top rank in voice-generated search results. Use images and videos in your content with the name of the geographic area. Use location-specific alt tags for images. You can also use nearby landmarks in your content because people sometimes mention those landmarks in their search queries.
Use the “near me” keyword in your titles, tags, meta description, and content.
Example: Italian restaurant near me
In this article, we will be analyzing the necessity of implementing Voice search for your website and the 8 tips for successful implementation.
Get featured snippets
Featured snippets or position zero results are the answer boxes that appear just under the search bar. A featured snippet is a quick, concise, and direct answer to a user’s query.
According to Backlinko, more than 40% of all voice search answers will come from a featured snippet. The intent of the voice search is quick, instant results. Isn't it? Google hardly depends on featured snippets for instant search results. I hope the above statistics will clearly show the importance of featured snippets in voice search.
When a user asks a query, Google directly pulls the best and most relevant answer from a website, and it displays at the top of the SERP which contains a URL, and a page title.
Few tips to optimize content for featured snippets
- Find the queries that your target audience looking for.
- Create the content that should answer your user’s query.
- 4 types of featured snippets you can target. These are a) Paragraph featured snippets, b) List featured snippets, c) Table featured snippets, and d) Video featured snippets.
- Organize your content according to the above 4 categories depending on your audience's needs.
- If your audience needs a comparison, optimize your content using Table featured snippets.
- If your audience needs specific answers, use Paragraph featured snippets.
- If your users need Steps or Tips like answers, Use List featured snippets.
- Add high-quality images and videos.
Add FAQ pages
Another best way to optimize the website for voice search is by creating FAQ pages. FAQ pages have an organized collection of relevant information on the website. Voice search assistants use machine learning to understand the user’s intent which means the algorithm drags the results from a website by relevancy and the quality of the information.
When creating a FAQ page, you have to consider the following points,
To make a well-structured FAQ page, do the research with your target audience, and find out your audience’s search intent. Make sure your FAQ section on your website has all the related queries that users may have, and create the content accordingly.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that the answers are clear, concise, and conversational. Ensure not to deliver complex answers on your FAQ page. Try to make answers that are no longer than 1 paragraph and at a simple reading level.
Most voice search queries start with words like Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. So use those words in your questions, and answering those questions is the best way to create FAQ pages. A FAQ page is an excellent place to include long-tail keywords and phrases.
Finally, Don’t use your FAQ page for advertising purposes.
Use schema markup
Schema markup is a semantic vocabulary tag or microdata that you can add to your HTML on your website. It creates a detailed description of your page that is called rich snippets.
This microdata allows search engines crawler to understand your website. It doesn’t affect your ranking directly but it helps you to get featured in search results for the related search queries, especially in voice searches.
Do you know? According to Backlinko, 36.4% of voice search results came from the page that uses schema markup.
With the help of Google structured data markup helper, you can create relevant structured data for your page and you can add it to your website.
Now Google is developing a speakable schema. Speakable schema markup tool allows webmasters to markup sections of their content for voice search. I hope it is going to play a significant role in voice search.
Optimize for mobile
According to a recent study, For voice search, smartphones are the most popular devices than the other devices. So you can’t ignore mobile responsiveness for better SEO.
If your website is not mobile-friendly, you can’t optimize it for voice search. Mobile friendliness is one of Google’s major ranking factors. A quality responsive website always wins the competition.
Here are some ways you can use to optimize your website for mobile,
- Test the mobile-friendliness of your website with the help of Google’s mobile-friendly test.
- Choose 100% responsive Webdesign
- Test your website’s core web vitals. There are three core web vitals which are Cumulative layout shift (CLS), First input delay (FID), and Largest contentful paint (LCP).
- Redesign your popups for mobile devices.
- Optimize images and videos for mobile.
- Avoid using flash video.
Improve website loading speed
Speed is very important for SEO. It plays a significant role in all types of searches whether it is text or voice. Especially in voice search, searchers need immediate results. Imagine, what happens if your website takes longer to load? Do you think they have the patience to wait? Absolutely not. They will simply abandon your website and move away from you.
Optimizing page speed helps websites to get ranked better in voice search results.
Tips to increase website’s speed
- Improve server response time
- Use a CDN
- Remove unnecessary plugins
- Minimize redirects
- Fix broken links
- Optimize images and Alt tags
- Use a fast web host
In our previous blog post, we explained in detail, Why the loading speed of a website is important? and How to check your website’s speed? Also, the ways to improve your website loading speed. It will help to improve your website speed and it increases your website’s chances to appear in voice search results.
Voice search is growing rapidly, and for sure, it is going to dominate all searches in the coming years. That’s why it is significant to focus on and implement the above-mentioned tips for your website.
The above techniques will help you to optimize your website for voice search and stay ahead of the game. If you have any questions or any tips to add, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Content writer and Marketer
An enthusiastic SEO expert, passion for digital marketing with two years of expertise in writing Digital Marketing and SEO content. She is a Master of Business Administration graduate from a reputed university in south India. Her passion for SEO and online marketing helps her to stay up to date with the trends and strategies. Follow her on social media sites, to stay up to date with SEO, and Digital Marketing, Updates. To contact Raji, visit the contact page.