When you indulge in online marketing or advertising, you probably hear of SEO, but how about VSO? Today, due to such overpowering technological advancement, searching online is no longer just restricted to typing down your queries in the search bar. In the US alone, it has been found that about a quarter of adults have at least one smart speaker or digital voice assistant of their own such as Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and the like. In India too, it has been established that voice search queries have been growing at a rate of 270% each year. Before your brain cells lead you to become paranoid for having not known these staggering facts earlier, let’s quickly begin with understanding what voice search marketing or voice search optimization is!
Optimizing your website for voice search such that your content gets first found by various voice assistants when people speak up their queries is what is known as Voice Search Marketing or VSO.
Well, voice search optimization is not as difficult as you might think. SEO for voice search overlaps with one’s traditional SEO strategy. So, if you’ve already been following best SEO practices in the first place per se, you do not really have to worry too much about additional work on your plate. Thus, if you have been familiar with SEO-compatible content, this will also not be hard to do too.
One thing to note before proceeding is people who use voice search, do it differently than typing. It is not based on short keywords and is more likely to be a fully constructed question with long-tail keywords. It is because of these differences, you need to do the VSO with slightly changed basics than SEO. Whether you are selling something online or have a website that needs more views, it will be to your advantage to make your website friendlier for voice search. So, without further ado, let’s get right to diving into top seven tips to undertake VSO or optimize for voice searches:
Think around user intent
Since voice searches are very specific, you need to keep in mind the user intent. The voice search results are usually very precise such as the information of the restaurant’s opening hours or a product’s price. To optimize while considering user intent, make sure to answer various kinds of important basic questions about your store/product.
Do not keep any information hidden so that the search engine and the customers can get a hold of your website easier. As long as you are thinking about user intent, and optimizing according to it, you will have no problem getting higher ranking voice search results.
Write not for the bot but people—Include natural conversational language
Think about how you phrase your query when interacting with a virtual assistant. There is a good chance that while you seek information from your phone or smart speaker, you ask questions. So, when you want the answer to a math question, you don’t say, “121 square root” rather you simply put up a question, “What is the square root of 121?”.
Home assistants like Google Home, Alexa, Siri, and many more use a conversational language system that includes questions. This implies that if you include natural and conversational language in what you publish on your website or page, it is more likely to come up as a voice search result and thus, contend for the top voice search spots. The key is to remember that you are not writing for robots, thereby content curated must read like a conversation.
Include long-tail keywords
Including long-tail keywords related to your business or what you sell or provide in your content is essential. Also, including short and understandable answers in the form of FAQs on your site are a good idea too. Since searches are done through questions, try to think of possible questions about your content and make sure to include them on your page.
Be careful that your answers aren’t too long. Because home assistants such as Google Home answer questions in approximately 30 words. According to a Backlinko study too, the typical Google voice search result is only 29 words.
Optimize featured snippets
Let’s first decode what a featured snippet is:
A featured snippet, also known as ‘position zero’, appears for some searches as a large box at the top of the search result with the page’s title and an excerpt/portion pulled from the page directly addressing the search query. It might appear right under the ads and before the regular results as well.
To optimize your content for a featured snippet, you can consider formatting sections of your website by including questions and answers, creating a list of items that could be potential search queries, and creating tables inhabiting comparable data pertaining to two heads. Since about 41% of voice search results use answers from a featured snippet, making sure that your content is concise, factual, and well-organized does help win half the battle. Don’t bimble around if you wish to master voice search SEO. Save people some time and frustration by answering their questions to the point.
Update your contact information and optimize “Near me” voice search & local SEO
Most of the voice searches are the NEAR ME questions such as “Where is the closest hairdresser near me?”, etc. If you don’t have any or updated contact information online, you’re missing out on the ‘near me’ and other local voice search results. When people use voice search keywords to find businesses close to them, the results essentially include businesses’ names and contact details.
Make sure your business profile is updated anywhere people can search for you like Google Business Profile, earlier known as Google My Business, Bing, Yelp, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Apple Maps, etc. If you’re not on any of those platforms, it’s probably best to get on them now. It is also pivotal that you put your address, business opening hours, website link, etc. on these platforms. The reviews and comments too help you appear on a higher rank. So, don’t forget to ask for feedback. Throw in enough pictures to give the potential customers an idea of your business place too.
Promote your content
A study from Backlinko states that voice search results attract a lot of attention when shared on social media. Thus, make sure to share links to pages optimized for voice search on your social media handles. If you’re still not yet on social media, it’s time that you expand your digital presence and capitalize on it. The more people who see your content through it, the more likely it is they would spend some time on your website and even possibly link back to your website.
If Google notices people linking back to your website and more clicks on your search result, it helps you rank higher. Thereby, ranking higher helps your business grow in addition to getting recognized by voice assistants.
Make your website/business page compatible with mobile devices alongside a greater loading speed
Voice search is especially used with mobile devices. If you want your page to appear on mobile search results, make sure that your page design is compatible with mobile screens as well.
Just like normal search results, Google gives priority to websites that load faster in voice search results too. Make sure your page doesn’t have loading problems. Use a plugin if you need to improve it.
Follow these 7 tips with utmost patience and faith, and in no time be on your way to voice search marketing success. To optimize your content to suit the needs of VSO, reach out to us at The Thinking Cloud for we provide complete content solutions to help you rise higher and higher in the volatile world of search engines and marketing.