Voice searches are very much a thing of the present, not the future – and they have been for a while! As of early 2016, Google stated that 20% of all mobile search queries had been voice searches; comScore estimates this will grow to 50% by 2020. If you’re still skeptical about voice search optimization, think beyond Google searches from your laptop – Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home are all part of a growing market that largely contributes to this shift toward voice commands.
But what does this have to do with blogging? A lot, actually. Voice search optimization will very soon be essential to ensure better discoverability of your content and attract new visitors to your platform. Our advice is straightforward: stay ahead of your game by beginning to integrate voice optimization on your strategy today.
As with any new technologies, it can feel a bit overwhelming to find your way through tons of speculative articles, so we’ve narrowed it down for you! This quick guide will lay down the main voice search optimization strategies you can start leveraging today.
USE CONVERSATIONAL KEYWORDS
When talking to a friend we don’t blurt keywords like “best camel coats”, it sounds more like: “Do you know where I can find a camel coat for under $300?” The same is true for voice search. Add to it that we speak 3.75 times faster than we type, and it becomes very clear that voice searches are wordier than tet queries!
If you want to get ranked as a voice search result, your keyword strategy should become more conversational. Think about the kind of questions you receive from your audience on social media, via email or in your comment section. Don’t just use these as content inspiration, but as voice optimization leads too!
UNDERSTAND WHAT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR
Strategic content production and on-page optimization constitute a huge part of SEO. You already know this: to rank well, you need to understand what kind of content your target audience wants and deliver it. Now re-think what you know: are people looking for the same things when they’re voice-searching on the go and when they’re home typing on their desktops?
According to the Internet Trends Report 2016, 30% utilize voice commands to search for general information; 21% want to discover fun or entertaining content; 22% need local information and 27% just need some sort of personal assistance.
As a lifestyle publisher, your first choices should be to focus on catering to the first two groups of voice searches, and deliver content that will address the pressing questions those people are voicing out. Feeling extra? Start taking in location-based voice searches as an extra factor when creating -and optimizing- shopping driven content. Plan now, thank us later!
CREATE A DEDICATED PAGE TO ATTRACT VOICE SEARCHERS
If you have a list of questions that your readers have been asking over and over again, create a permanent FAQ page that will address those. By doing so, you increase the chances for that information to be pulled by voice search technologies and showed as the top result.
You can also create a series of FAQ-styled pages that address different groups of questions – e.g. beauty routine FAQ’s; biographical info; blogging questions and so on.
Again, think ‘wordy’ and ‘hyper-specific’ to ensure better voice visibility. Instead “what is my favorite bag?”, you want to be playing on the league of “What are the best work appropriate bags that can fit 13’?”. Then deliver quick and concise answers to delight your voice-searching audience!
UTILIZE STRUCTURED DATA MARKUP
Structured data is special on-page info (via HTML code, that is) that helps search engines to better rank the content of a webpage, offering ‘extra’ info beyond the more ‘traditional’ SEO elements (meta descriptions, alt tags, headings, etc). Now, if that definition didn’t help – you’re not alone.
How would you feel if Siri recommended the nearest top-ranked Mexican restaurant near you, but couldn’t tell you its opening times? If you’d frown at your phone, you already get the importance of structured data. #winning
If you want to rank highly for voice searches, structured data is not optional for you. Use the help of HTML markups and correct schemas to ensure search engines are fully understanding your content, and reflecting this information onto the relevant users. If you’re a CD babe and have trouble setting this up, reach out to to the team!
Back to you now! Have you begun including voice search optimization in your content and SEO strategy? Are you about to get started now? Let us know your best tips, or what you’re most looking forward to, in the comments below!