How To Do Voice Search SEO
Most SEO experts are recommending focusing on voice search as part of a forward-thinking SEO strategy but this probably makes little sense to those still getting to grips with even basic SEO. So how do you optimise a site for voice as opposed to visual search results? Is there really any difference?
Well the answer isn’t a straightforward yes or no. Google increasingly cherry picks the best content to include in its answers to search queries as well as the information it holds about the various businesses in a particular location. That said the following tips should give your website a better chance of appearing when people use voice search.
Google has already rolled out mobile first indexing, so the shift to a greater focus on mobile search is now complete. As most voice searches are going to be done on a mobile, one of the first things you can do is ensure that your website performs as well on a smartphone as it does on desktop. That means your site should as a minimum be responsive i.e text should be easy to read, content is displayed in a way that makes it easy to navigate and so on. You can run a full test of how well your website performs on mobile here.
Make sure your website is set up for ‘near me’ searches
According to hubspot nearly one third of mobile searches are for location based businesses. This means a lot of people are using their phones to find local businesses. They will also be increasingly using their voices because it is faster and more convenient than having to scroll through loads of results while out and about.
According to Google, and certainly from our own experience, optimising for local voice searches isn’t a case of using ‘Google where can I find x near me’ as a keyword in your content page titles and so on.
The process is explained by Google below:
Essentially optimising your site for ‘near me’ searches is about having your website listed in places such as Google my business and having you brand feature prominently in the organic results.
Search results are already hyper localised to specific towns and cities on mobile searches so the most important thing you can do for voice search in this case is have an office address on your site. This same address should be repeated wherever your business is listed to keep things consistent.
It should also be clear exactly what your product or service is to remove any ambiguity.
Keywords are going to be different for Voice Searches
Us SEOs have grown accustomed to short snappy keywords that get straight to the point. Grammar has largely been cast aside in favour of keywords such as ‘SEO London’ and so on. When it comes to voice search however people tend to search differently and explain themselves better. So for example if someone is searching for that SEO person in London, they might say “find me the best SEO in London” or perhaps “find me the best SEO in the UK”. Including these long tail keywords in your content will make it sound odd of course but you can adopt a more conversational way of writing. This means using simple language in your content rather than complex terminology. Paying attention to the reading level of your content should help you optimise your site better for voice search.
Write long form content
Where optimising for voice search is similar to standard searches is the bias towards longer form content. Pages featuring more than 1800 words tend to rank better than thin pages and stand a better chance of being included in Google’s featured content. This is now a key part of getting your website noticed. Providing the best answer among your competitors to a given query is your best chance of outranking them in the search results.
Provide a summary of your content above the fold
Having your content included in Google’s featured snippet is no easy task but it will certainly help your voice search optimisation to aim for it. Along with creating long form content, you will need to structure it in a way that makes it easy to read.
Newspaper articles often provide a short summary of content and search results work in a similar way. Providing a short 29 word summary of your content above the fold will, according to experts, give it the best chance of being included in featured snippets. Another tip is to use lists which Google seems to like for certain queries such as those relating to ‘top 10s’ and ‘find the best’ type queries.