Voice search is something that is becoming increasingly popular and here at upriseUP we believe that it’s only going to get bigger. In May 2016 at their I/O event, Google announced that 20% of mobile search queries were made using voice search, and ComScore estimate that a half of all searches by 2020 will be made by voice. This has all been fast tracked with the likes of Siri, Cortana, Google Now and Amazon’s Alexa hitting the market.
With more searches being made using voice search, optimising your site is going to be increasingly important. So what can you do to make your website voice search friendly? Here are 5 quick tips to get you on your way:
One of the most important things to consider when optimising for voice search is allowing your site to be found by Google. The easiest way to do this is to utilise Microdata. Microdata is information such as your location, phone number, opening hours, offers, price etc. and by having this on your site Google is able to identify your value therefore making your site much more relevant for users. The use of Microdata also allows you to feature in Google’s knowledge graph which, appearing at the top the SERPs, can have a great impact on your organic traffic.
There is a whole range of microdata at your disposal, but by choosing the ones which are most relevant to your business you should start to see an improvement. You can find more information on microdata and the various types available at schema.org.
MAKE YOUR SITE MOBILE FRIENDLY
If your site isn’t mobile friendly yet, this is something you should really look into. Not only is Google’s Mobile First index coming into full force, but with 20% of voice searches conducted on mobile and with this figure only looking to increase, this should be a priority. By making your site mobile friendly or responsive you greatly improve the users experience on the platform where they’re going to use voice search and as a result this will be rewarded by Google.
OPTIMISE FOR LOCAL
With mobile, people are more likely to be searching on the go and looking for services, products and information near them – this is also the case for voice search. Local search is becoming increasingly important to search engines, and this is something that Google have been putting a lot of effort into with their Possum algorithm update – helping provide legitimate relevant results by aggressively penalising non-genuine listing. By making your site optimised for local, you’ll not only improve your traffic for local listings, but you’ll also improve performance with voice search.
USING THE RIGHT KEYWORDS
Whether you’re searching on desktop or mobile, the language you use when searching is going to differ drastically. As mentioned in the previous point, optimising for local search is key. Therefore including local search terms in your on page content is important.
Google itself has suggested it will soon be releasing voice search volumes via search console. This could turn out to be a goldmine for certain businesses and services. Even if you don’t think you’ll get much business from voice search, optimising for it can only further benefit your business.
It’s the goal of Apple, Google and Amazon to think of their voice search engines as your very own personal assistant and this is where Siri, Alexa & Cortana come in. By giving your phone a personality, they want your experience to feel much more human and conversational. This ultimately ends up with search queries taking the form of questions. By using longer tail keywords based around search phrases and questions, Google will see your content as much more relevant to the user compared to a standard non-optimised web page.
ANSWER THE QUESTIONS
With user’s searches taking the form of questions, and easy way to optimise your site is to create content to directly answer them. Using third party tools such as Answer the Public can help identify and give you great insight into common questions and themes in your niche or business sector. By knowing what people will be looking for and what questions they’ll be asking, you can create content around them and increase your relevancy. A great way to do this is a Q&A or FAQ section on your site or even on the bottom of each topic page.
Many of these points are applicable to general best SEO practice and overall, with a general improvement to your SEO you will see an improvement in your voice search performance. That said there are definite ways in which you can further boost your performance.
If you’re thinking of beginning on site optimisation on your site and would like to know more, or if you simply have any questions on voice search, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you and we’re more than happy to answer any questions!
Find out more about where voice search is heading by downloading "18 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in 2017"