Having comfortably crossed the threshold of early adopters, voice search has gained a lot of mileage in recent years.
In fact, ComScore estimates that 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. This rings especially true with mobile users, as a whopping 60 percent of searches are now performed on mobile devices, most of them equipped with sophisticated voice search technologies.This means SEO professionals and business owners need to start thinking about incorporating voice search optimization techniques into their arsenal. Here, we explore the different nuances of voice search SEO, with actionable tips and insight into how you can make your efforts successful—and beat your competition to it.
The way people search for information online has changed significantly over the past couple of years. In voice search, real speech—the kind of natural language used by people to ask questions verbally—prevails.
When optimizing for voice search, it’s important to brainstorm the type of spoken questions or queries that might bring people to your website. Think how you would perform a voice search for the products and/or services in your industry, or what types of questions you get when customers call you on the phone to inquire about your business. Document and make a list of these questions and statements as they’ll serve as long-tail keywords for SEO purposes later on. These are some great tips for carrying out long-tail keyword research.
Now that you’ve got them handy, it’s time to start creating meaningful content that is correctly optimized for these long-tail keywords and successfully answers each of the questions in the best possible way.
Q & A-style content pages that focus on those conversational keyword phrases are great for voice search SEO. Creating several different pages centered around specific semantic questions that people are asking is even better as this will increase your chances of appearing in a Google “Featured Snippet.”
Remember, providing the best answer to each of these questions will give you a leg up on your competitors.
Latent semantic indexing, also known as LSI, assists search engines with identifying related keywords and processing synonyms to deliver more accurate search results based on a user’s search intent and its relationship to specific keywords.
Including relevant LSI keywords in your website content can result in higher rankings and more traffic. If you’re not sure how to find LSI keywords, here’s a quick list of tips to get you started:
With schema.org structured data markup, you can give voice search platforms even more information about your website and content. This step is essential to ensuring that specific information on your website is properly defined and easy to find for search engines.
Structured data markup will also increase the chances that search engines will use the content on your website to answer voice search queries.
Tip 1: Make sure you submit information such as directions to your physical location, prices, store hours, and your contact information.
Tip 2: Create markups for various cases. Check out Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to find out more about the different types of content you can markup.
There is still a long ways to go to ensure all content is ready for voice search. But a the best thing you can do today is ensure your on-page SEO is setting a solid foundation for your future SEO strategies. Find out if yours is with our 2018 SEO Checklist here.
Emma Knightly is a Digital Marketing Specialist at the Digital Marketing Institute. The DMI offers marketing education and certification to over 20,000 marketing professionals and students worldwide.