Voice search requests using Alexa, Siri and other voice-activated helpers are now fast becoming the norm instead of a novelty. In fact, AdWeek reported that about 67 million voice-assisted devices are expected to be in use in the United States by 2019. The sheer volume means that website owners must reconsider how they structure their digital content.
A voice search utilizes verbal input instead of typed information, and as a result, the format of the request may be very different. Because of this fact, older engine optimization for text inquiries doesn’t automatically translate well to the newer voice standard. This means that website owners that want to maintain their competitive edge have to adjust their website to both draw in voice users and improve their overall search results.
Here are 5 suggestions on how to optimize your website for effective voice search:
For Voice Search, Use Natural Language – as you would speak a request
For at typed test search, users usually write a few keywords into the search box instead of typing the whole question. But the opposite is true in a voice search. The user will ask questions or say conversational phrases to get their query across. Make sure your website content sounds natural and that when such phrases or questions are read aloud, they’re clear and structured intelligently. Check that it sounds correct by saying the inquiry or phrase out loud.
Make Use of Structured Data
The effective use of Structured Data is highly organized and can be easily searched using the advanced algorithms used by search engines. These data packets provide clues as to what content the page has. Using structured data on your own web page will give Google, and the sites that derive information from Google, the extra context regarding your content.
Improve and Lengthen Targeted Search Phrases
You should already be using long-tail keywords in your SEO strategies. With Voice Search, this will play an even bigger role. Voiced questions and inquiries are longer than conventional keyword phrases. You’ll have to integrate the less competitive and longer phrase options for a more straightforward ranking.
Be sure to create a ‘My Business’ Listing on Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing Maps
People often use voice search to look up information or a business while they’re driving or when their hands are otherwise occupied. You can improve your search engine ranking if you are correctly listed on the three primary map sites – Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Bing Maps. This will ensure that your company’s information is front and center during crucial search moments.
Don’t Go Too Crazy With Optimization
While businesses will want to utilize as many voice search strategies as they can, this might cause more harm than good. For instance, web publishers might opt for a single paragraph page that solely targets voice search. This could lead to a doorway page where there are variations of questions and their short answers. A page like this would have really low value since it doesn’t carry a lot of relevant information; they’re just geared towards a specific voice query.
Keep the key phrases, content, and support plugins current – and adjust as needed.
Also, be sure to keep your site current with your SEO plugins, and index utilities at all times – these change often, to accommodate the changes in the algorithm, and if your site is not up to date, you may begin to lose positioning.
You need to make sure to adjust the phrases often on your website to keep up with whatever the trending seasonal usage, as it changes over time. This means you need to monitor keyword usage at least quarterly, if not every month, when you should adjust your search preparations.