How to optimize your website for voice search

by | Feb 27, 2024 | Marketing

The digital landscape is changing. Rapid advancements in AI, shifts to how we interact with the Internet, and rising concerns about data privacy mean companies will have to adapt to stay visible, comply with changing data regulations, and drive qualified leads through their website. 

One of the most significant shifts has been the rise of voice search. Due to the increasing popularity of virtual assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa, more people are using voice commands to search the internet than ever before.

Below, we outline how you can adapt your digital marketing to leverage voice search queries, and significantly increase your website traffic and business opportunities.

Voice searches vs. type-based searches

Unlike type-based searches, voice search is about context. People tend to use natural language and longer, more conversational phrases. They’re more likely to ask complete questions rather than typing in fragmented keywords. 

For example, while a traditional search might be “best Italian restaurant NYC,” a voice search would likely be “What is the best Italian restaurant in New York City?”

This shift towards more natural language has implications for SEO and content strategy. Here’s how you can adapt:

1. Use conversational keywords in your content

If your strategy doesn’t include long-tail keywords, this is the first place to start. These are longer, specific phrases that people are more likely to use when they’re in the consideration or intent phases. They can be less competitive than generic keyword phrases, and also result in more qualified traffic. An example would be:

Generic keyword: “laptop”
Long-tail keyword: “best gaming laptop under 1000 dollars”

To utilize this, think about the types of questions your customers might ask. Be specific as they relate to your products or services. These queries will form the basis for your content. Question-based phrases in your headers or content, such as “how to,” “what is,” and “why do,” are conversational and great ways to capture search traffic.

2. Create content that answers questions

Voice search queries are often looking for quick, direct answers. Structure your content to provide clear, concise answers to potential questions.

  1. FAQ pages: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page is a straightforward way to address common questions in a format that’s friendly to both voice search and your visitors.
  1. Structured data: Use schema markup to help search engines understand the context of your content. This can increase the chances of your content being used to answer voice search queries directly in search results.
  1. Use natural language: Your content must be easy for voice assistants to understand. The more concise, informative, and closely matched to the user’s intent it is, the higher the chances the voice assistant will extract answers from your website.

4. Consider user behaviour: Knowing your user’s specific goals and needs will allow you to tailor your content around their intent.

3. Focus on local SEO

Voice search is a convenient way for visitors to find nearby businesses, products, and services. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure your SEO is optimized to capture on local search queries.

  1. Update your Google MyBusiness: Ensure your listing has your address, phone number, business hours, and website. Add keywords in the business description.
  1. Post local content: Blog posts, photos, guides, or events can appeal to your local audience, answer their needs, and boost your search visibility.

3. Leverage local keywords: Incorporate conversational, location-specific words such as, “near me,” keeping in mind that it should sound natural.

4. Optimize your meta descriptions

Meta descriptions tell search engines about your website’s content. Ensuring it’s optimized for voice search and type-based searching by focusing on your keywords. Incorporate natural language and make sure your descriptions are clear and informative. Your website content and meta descriptions should align with the same focused user intent to improve your chances of high voice search rankings.

Conclusion

As voice search becomes more prevalent and useful, companies must adapt to meet its unique demands. 

By focusing on conversational keywords, creating content that answers questions, emphasizing local SEO, and ensuring mobile-friendliness, brands can position themselves to benefit from the growing trend of voice search. 

Embracing these strategies now will not only improve your visibility in voice search results but also enhance the overall user experience on your site, setting your business up for continued success.

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