Search Engine Optimization

How to Optimize Your Website for Voice Search And Why You Should

By Irena Zobniów on July 26, 2019

The views included in this article are entirely the work and thoughts of the author, and may not always reflect the views and opinions of Regex SEO.

Google search makes us lazy. We prefer checking everything on the internet instead of using books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, or asking someone in person. As a result, Google understands our intentions better and better, so we’ve started to type out long, specific queries instead of simple keywords. It is also shifting due to increasing use of voice search features.

Google search has become our adviser in any matter, we search for ‘the best food near me’, ‘the cheapest car’ or even ask for medical diagnoses. If we want to know something, we ask Google — even if it’s the most personal information or involves some important aspect of our lives.

For website owners, the changes that Google introduced meant more effort in preparing high quality content that meets user expectations without sacrificing the constant flexibility needed to meet search algorithms. That’s how my profession actually came about. I probably would not be in the SEO industry if it wasn’t for Google.

How Will Voice Search Have an Impact on SEO in the Near Future? 

I am predicting the development of voice search SEO in regards to various types of local searches. While walking around the city, it’s easier for us to ask our phone about something than actually typing out a query. That’s why restaurants, bars, and other services should optimize their websites for voice search. It’s the easiest way to be noticed and rank well in search results.

According to Canalys research, the global market for voice search grew 187% last year. This trend is continuously growing, especially in China. More than half (52%) of all voice queries are coming from searches made in China. Moreover, the popularity of voice search home devices such as Google Home or Echo from Amazon gives us a reason to believe that people want to use this functionality. As the move towards automation and simplifying our daily lives continues, voice search will become more naturally ingrained in technology.

In addition, business analytics are saying that by 2024, the whole voice search market would be worth around 30 billion dollars. That’s a pretty big cake to share, so you should focus on developing for that market now to get ahead of the competition.

Some interesting statistics about voice search:

a)     58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information within the last year.

b)     46% of voice search users look for a local business daily.

c)     27% visit the website of a local business after conducting a voice search.

d)     76% of smart home speaker users conduct local searches at least once a week—with 53% performing daily searches.

e)     It’s predicted that by the end of 2020 half of all searches will be voice ones.

f)      By the end of 2020, 30% of the searches are going to be asked on devices, that don’t have a screen (home assistant and so on).

These numbers alone should be enough to convince people that we’re heading towards a market with a large share of voice search web optimization.

How to Optimize Web for Voice Search?

So if we know that optimizing for voice is going to be helpful going forward, how do we do it? To optimize your website for voice search, you can follow a few tips!

Question Keywords

Optimize your content with question keywords and phrases like ‘what is the best meat’. Put them in the headers and create particular topics as separate subpages, so every tip or piece of information is easy to read. You have to take care of high quality data and information on your website, that way it can also be displayed in Google featured snippet.

Conversational Keywords

Focus on conversational keywords, which are significant for voice search, e.g. ‘Why can’t I lose weight’. Think of questions that are more natural for people as they speak.

Google My Business for better visibility

Optimize your Google My Business with data to make your website more visible for local queries. People using voice search often expect results for queries like ‘where is the nearest gas station’. Providing information such as contact info and your address, both on your website and Google My Business, can help you rank higher for local queries.

How-to Structured Data 

Use Google’s ‘How-to’ structured data for your questions content. If you have not done it yet, you will need to optimize your content using step-by-step instruction, bullet lists, and images.

Page Speed Matters a Lot

Check your page speed, especially for the mobile version of your website. If your website is loading slowly, you can forget about appearing for voice search queries. Usually users don’t want to wait until it finally loads, so they leave to find a better result.

If your website is struggling with the low page speed, you have to find out the problem immediately. Use Google Insights or other online tools to check what generates the problem. It could be images that are too large, issues with javascript and other scripts, and many, many other issues.

Once you diagnose it, you should exclude any errors and implement the recommendations of Google regarding the page load speed. Remember that most of them happen on mobile devices, so they need to load fast, even if the internet connection is poor sometimes.

Test Your Voice Search Optimization

Run the tests with voice search and check what is showed. If there are no results with your website, take a closer look at the results that are appearing instead of your website. Then analyze them and try to optimize your website better.

It’s ongoing work. There’s always room for improvement because it really is worth it to be visible in the voice search results. Remember that your website needs to be well optimized according to a detailed technical audit. By eliminating all the errors, you are increasing your chances to rank highly on search engines, but also in voice search results.

Voice Search Is the Future

Yes, I know, we all were fed up with ‘content is the king’ trend in SEO, even though it still matters. But looking at the development of voice search, home devices using it, and how we use technology nowadays, I can definitely say – Voice search is the future. Be aware of it and prepare for it! You have all the tools you need to do this – just work with them and stand out of the crowd of your competitors. The sooner you optimize your website for voice search, the better your business possibilities to grow are.

Irena Zobniów
Co-Founder at Insightland.org

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