If you want your business to succeed, you need to have a strong online presence. Having a user-friendly website that clearly expresses your brand’s personality is key, but if your clients and potential customers can’t easily find you, then, you’re losing the money invested in your website and the potential to get new leads.
To add up to the challenge of having a SEO friendly website, optimizing your website for Google voice search has become essential. IA powered devices such as Google Home, Alexa and many others have propelled the number of voice searches done daily. In fact, many big companies have started to implement strategies that help their websites show results for voice searches.
Why is it important to optimize your website for Google voice search?
Let’s start by saying that the main reason you need to optimize your website for Google voice search is that the number of users that do their queries through voice search is quickly escalating. In fact, 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day.
The use of devices that work as digital assistants has been changing the way we search the web. The growing trend of voice search requires that companies take their time to optimize not only their websites, but of course their social media to meet the demands of users.
Of course, to optimize your website you need to pay close attention to your demographics demands, interests and needs. By analyzing social signals you can measure what kind of contents give you better results in the audience. On the other hand, voice searches allow you to understand better the context of the queries, and therefore improve what you offer.
Another important reason to optimize your site to voice search is that it helps you get more visibility on featured and rich snippets. For example, when Google Home answers a question it takes only optimized snippets, if it doesn’t find any good featured snippets it won’t give an answer.
How does voice search impact SEO?
As you can imagine, the way people search on the web, has an impact, not only in the results they get, but in the way we manage and optimize our websites. We can say for certainty that voice search is not just a trend, but it is here for the long run, and we need to understand the repercussions it brings.
It changes the way people search.
Voice search has an impact in two main aspects of how people search, first, searches are longer, people use a lot more words than in a written search. Why? The answer leads us to the second aspect, because through voice search we use a more natural language, making searches conversational.
When you’re searching a query, the language you use will be completely different if you use your voice rather than typing it. Let’s think, for example, that you want to start building your own furniture, a few years back you would probably just type something like “building a table”
But now, voice searches are done using a natural human language, so your search term will be “Hey Google, how do you build a table at home?”
It changes where people search.
Of course! It is fast and convenient, so people have started using voice search, pretty much everywhere. In fact, according to a study, the number of people using in it in public searches has increased dramatically compared to last year. In addition, Google states that searches ending in “near me now” have had a huge growth.
To better understand this change, let’s think of an example, imagine you are on a work trip in Chicago. The first morning, while walking to a big meeting you remember you left the charger of your laptop back at home. You can search for a Wi-Fi area to open your phone and search for a place to buy a new one typing “electronic stores in Chicago”.
But that’s not how we work nowadays, instead of wasting time you just ask Google “Where can I buy a laptop charger near me now”.
It changes how people get their search results
Lately, the number of organic clicks has dropped significantly; this is because SERP features such as Knowledge Graph and Feature Snippets allow you to get an answer without needing to visit a site, instead it is shown directly in the search results.
While searching on the Google app, you still get a list of results and the links, but on top of those links you can easily read the answer to your query. With these rich and feature Snippets you get your answer in matter of seconds. If your voice Search is done through devices such as Google Home, it will read the answer you are looking for directly to you.
Asking Google “How many calories in a medium apple?” will give you a direct answer “There are 95 calories in one medium apple”.
How to create voice-optimized content
So far we’ve seen why you should optimize your content, and how voice search affects SEO, having a direct impact on how people search and the results they get. Now, let’s see what actions need to be done in order to optimize your content for voice search.
Research the right keywords.
The first step to optimize your website is to research and know clearly the right keywords for voice search. Since the type of language used is different from typed queries you need to include both in your contents.
There are three main actions you should take to get the right keywords:
Of course, since people use a more natural language to voice search, your keywords must follow this style. For example, words like “marathon preparation” “athlete” and diet are somehow robotic, and will get fewer searches than the more natural language option “how to prepare for running a marathon”
Many avoid using these long keywords since for typed queries few people use them, but as we mentioned before, the number of words used for voice search is higher. So don’t be afraid to use them throughout your text, without completely optimizing a complete page with these long keywords.
Long keywords such as “best preparation for a marathon” “diet before running a marathon” will certainly get better results for voice searches.
When using voice search, people tend to ask Google complete questions instead of typing isolated terms
Make sure to include short direct answers.
After analyzing 10,000 Google Home results, a study showed that Google answers voice search queries with results that are not longer than 28 words. This means that your content should be able to answer queries in less than 30 words. Of course, creating a blog post with only 30 words doesn’t make much sense. So there’s another option for you.
Create FAQ pages for voice search.
This format is just perfect for voice search, because it allows you to give concise and short answers. Combining the length that Google uses to answer questions and the long keywords in question format will give you 1.7x more probability to appear in these results.
Don’t miss out Featured Snippets.
Being ranked in Featured Snippets is essential for showing up in Google Home and Alexa search results, since these devices don’t show a list of results, instead, they give users one single answer. In fact, 40.7% of voice search results come from Feature Snippets.
Tips and tricks to optimize your website
Don’t forget to include “filler words” in your question keywords. The more matches your website has, the more likely it is that your answer shows up in a voice search.
Avoid using jargon or complicated words in your content, make sure it is easy to read. In fact, it is advisable to use a 9th grade reading level.
Improve the speed of your website, voice search results load 3.8x faster than the average website. Besides, who doesn’t want a fast loading site?
Work on building your domain authority, Google will always use trusted sites to get answers from.
Make sure to have Video Featured Snippets, when using the natural language used in voice search queries, Google now shows you in the first place just an extract of the video that answers the question done.
Voice search is a trend that has grown so fast that we are still learning, but with these tips you can make sure to give the first steps to optimize your site.