The number of spoken web searches is growing by leaps and bounds. Recent data from Google shows that about one in five searches are voice-driven. Come 2020, as many as 50% of searches will be conducted via voice, a ComScore study predicts. Naturally, then, your site should be optimized for voice search. These five tips can help make it so.
1. Improve Your Page Load Speed. Google gives special priority in voice searches to sites that load quickly, so make sure your site’s download speed is fast. A service like developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ can help with load time insights and improvement.
2. Answer Questions With Content. Voice searches often come in the form of natural language questions. That means it’s important to populate your site with info that answers key questions prospects might ask in searching for the products and services you provide. Online services like AnswerThePublic.com can help you develop insights into natural phrases people might use in asking questions related to your business. Also helpful: Google Analytics can reveal keywords people use to locate you online.
50% of searches will be conducted via voice by 2020. (ComScore)
Once you have questions and keywords in mind, create blog posts, white papers and articles that answer the queries. To help search engines find your content, include brief summaries of the pieces. Also, it’s advantageous to embed audio of the articles in the pieces, too.
While the longer content is important, it’s essential to create an FAQ page that includes succinct answers to questions prospects might ask in voice searches. Clearly written answers could help you place higher in searches and potentially get you in a Google “featured snippet” – that box above search results that offers a summary to a searcher’s question.
3. Be Mobile-Ready. Given the priority search engines attach to mobile-ready websites, your site should already be optimized to load quickly and display correctly on mobile devices. The capability is especially important for voice search, given the volume of such searches that occur on mobile. That’s why a responsive web design is pivotal. You can test how mobile-enabled your site is with a free Google tool. Just Google “mobile-friendly test” and the page will come up. The super-diligent will go a step further, manually checking how pages look on various mobile devices with different resolutions and making necessary adjustments.
4. Brand Local. An Internet Trends Report found that more than one in five voice queries focus on finding something local, so include keywords and phrases of local significance on your site. Think landmarks, descriptors of your town, and using the term “near me” in title tags, anchor text, internal links and meta description. Of course, include accurate contact and address information in plain text format. Be sure to claim your Google My Business listing, too, populating it with an introduction to your business and contact information, and associating it with the correct business categories.
70.4% of leading results in voice searches made on Google Home feature URLs that have adopted HTTPS, so be sure your site is good to go on HTTPS.(Backlinko)
5. Leverage Schema Markup. This is microdata that folks don’t see but gets built into your site’s source code. It gives search engines more relevant information about your site’s content. For instance, contact details and address, which helps with local searches, can feature in the microdata. Bottom line: Schema markup relating the right information about your business simplifies search engines’ work of understanding if yours is the site that’ll best serve a searcher’s need, giving you an edge in rankings. Schema.org can help you do things correctly.
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