Optimizing Your Website for Voice Search

The latest emerging trend in SEO is voice search. While voice search has been around for several years, it’s growing to the point where, if you’re a small business, you need to start the process of optimizing your website for voice search.

The Rise of The Voice

There is a steady increase in mobile, as people are searching while they’re on the go. The other driver of voice search is the rapid adoption of digital assistance like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. In fact, 20% of all Google Search queries are voice search and there are reports that Google will soon separate out voice search from traditional search in a future analytics upgrade. So whether you’re ready or not, voice search is here.

Low-Hanging Fruit

People use voice search to answer specific questions so there a few easy things you can do now to start the process of optimizing your website for search. First, use tools like Answer the Public to identify voice search terms based on your existing keywords. Then, create a blog post to each of your FAQ, where you can deep dive into the answer using the voice search phrases.

The Hummingbird Effect

With Google’s Hummingbird update in 2013, all search is local and queries that contain “near me” increased 130% YOY. To leverage local queries, start looking at phrases people use to describe your neighborhood, specific location, or popular landmarks nearby and then add them to your “About Us” page. Small businesses would also do well to add “near me” to your tags to increase your chance of getting found.

Faster is Better

Voice search users want results faster. For local searches, don’t expect a customer to go to your webpage to find your phone number, address, or hours of operation since they can get it from their search results in many cases. That means a small business needs to claim their Google My Business listing at the very least and keep the information up-to-date.

To take it a step further, you can start sharpening the backend of your website, by filling in frequently searched information right into your structured data, or schema markup. In addition, you can begin cleaning up your microdata so search engines know how to classify the data on your website.

Optimizing your website for voice search is a process. Start now and you’ll be that much closer to meeting your customers when and how they want to interact with you.

By Andrew Patricio

May 14, 2018