Starters guide to voice search optimization

Starters guide to voice search optimization

As Google develops it, voice search is growing in popularity and so does the need to optimize your business website for it. But how would you do that and where on your website should you do it? In this article, we are going to answer those questions so that you can prepare your online presence for it.

What is voice search?

Voice search is the feature that many devices use that allow their user to interact with a search engine with their voice rather than text. Often with a question put in this way, “Hey Google, what are fairy penguins?”

According to the statistics from The Search Review, around 50% of all searches were made via voice search last year. Keep in mind that this is a growing statistic. Most of these searches are for facts, businesses and finding products or services. The latter two could include your brand if you have optimized your online presence correctly.

Google’s voice search, in particular, will usually supply answers from the featured snippet. If not that, then it will find the best result from the top-ranking websites for that search. If you want your website to be the answer, you will need to either be on the featured snippet or rank within the top five websites.

It’s important to note that the answer Google gives will differ depending on the device used. For example, a search for “chocolate chip cookie recipes” might display multiple options on a mobile device while on a Google Home device, the search engine will pick a recipe for you.

Should you optimize for voice search?

While using your voice to find answers online is becoming more popular, it might not be what’s right for your business right now. It’s a good idea to list the things that optimizing for voice search can offer and then see if they match your current and future business goals.

Right now, most voice searches are made to answer simple questions. While Google may use your website for the answer, it will not draw in traffic. What it will do is bring more brand awareness since Google does mention its source. This could put the name of your brand in more peoples minds but might not lead to a direct conversion.

How to optimize for voice search.

Optimizing for voice search is particularly difficult right now since search engines have not given data on which questions are coming from it. Third-party tools can’t find this information either. What we do know is that the searches made are simple and are mostly questions. So search engine optimization (SEO) for voice search is about finding those questions and answering them in the most effective way.

Here is our checklist for getting your business optimized for voice search:

  • Get on Google My Business.
  • Find the right questions.
  • Choose your questions.
  • Create the best content.
  • Practise basic SEO.

Get on Google My Business.

One type of voice search that your business is going to benefit from are the searches about your brand or its industry. The best thing you can do for these searches is to create a Google My Business (GMB) profile.

Google will pull answers about your business directly from this profile and boost your local SEO. Of course, GMB is important for more than just voice search and should be something your business has regardless. To find more of the benefits GMB offers and how to set it up, read our article; How to use a Google My Business account.

Find the right questions.

There is no point in going in blind and answering questions that nobody is asking. You need to do some research into what questions are being asked first which we can use keyword research tools for. With those tools, you should cover three categories of questions, your website, your competitors, your industry.

It’s a good idea to discover what questions your website already answers. If you find that a page ranks for a question keyword, mark that page down for further SEO review. You can optimize it to rise above your competition.

Next, look at that competition and find what questions they are answering. Write down what those questions are for use in our next step. You will do a similar thing for industry-related questions. You can search for more question keywords and look around forums to find common questions that search engines aren’t able to supply good answers for yet.

Choose your questions.

By now you have a list of questions that you can answer on your website. That list could just be a handful or a whole page, but it’s important to focus on the ones that are more important. It’s worth starting on the ones that your competitors rank for, but choose ones with higher search volume and lower competition.

Create the best content.

Google tries to find the best answer to supply for a voice search, so you need to have the best content for Google to pick you. Answering a question in your industry is, fortunately, a straightforward step, but there are guidelines you should follow.

For one, keep your answer short or make it a list. Google rarely picks an answer that is longer than 30 words and will pick a list if it can. Just make sure it reads well and is still engaging for readers who are on your website too.

Practise basic SEO.

Now your website has answers to questions that the world is asking, but that’s not the last step. You want to make sure that the pages that have your answers are optimized for basic SEO as well. This means meeting the page speed recommendation, getting high-quality backlinks and having a strong user experience (UX).

Our blog is filled with SEO guides that you can use but we recommend you take a look at these five important ranking factors to start with.

Improve your SEO and rank higher with Web2Web.

Since Google takes voice search results from the top pages, a lot of what you need to do to rank on voice search has to do with improving your SEO as a whole. This means optimising your website, setting up a GMB profile and providing content that answers the questions your clients are answering.

Our digital expert team at Web2Web do exactly that. From the backend of your website to the targeted content on your pages. Don’t wait for your competition to overtake you, get in touch with us and we can give you the online boost to keep you ahead.