How do I optimise my website for voice search?
“OK, Google…how many people use voice search?”
Private: Sam Smith
Digital Marketing Manager
Whatever you make of voice search, it’s not just here to stay – it’s becoming an integral part of people’s lives. In 2020, it’s predicted that half of all online searches will be voice rather than typed into search engines. And that number’s only going to go up.
So, how can you optimise your website for voice search and make sure you’re not losing out on valuable traffic?
Think about how your audience speaks, not how they type
Voice searches are, by their nature, much more conversational than typed searches. Most typed searches come in at three words or less. With voice, you’ve got about six words to play with, so make sure your website copy contains long tail keywords.
What on earth are long tail keywords, we hear you ask? They’re the longer key phrases, usually about four words or so, which sum up your products or services. They're handy for traditional search engine queries, but they'll really come into play with voice search results.
For example, a typed search might look like this;
“digital marketing agency”
whereas a voice search might look like this;
“show me digital marketing agencies in Plymouth”
When you’re looking at your website’s metadata and tagging, think about longer snippets of information. The beauty is that you won’t lose out on the 50% of searchers who are still typing their queries. All you’re doing is extending the query that’s already being used. Win win!
The most commonly used words in voice search are “what” and “how”. People tend to use voice search to ask questions rather than make demands given the more conversational nature. Blogs and FAQ pages offer the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Get hold of your Google My Business listing
With so many voice searches using the qualifier “near me”, your Google My Business listing is vital. The more up to date it is, the more relevant you’re seen to be by search engines. The location pin also helps search engines identify who’s nearby when the user is searching.
If you already have access to your GMB listing, make sure your it’s accurate and up-to-date. Don’t underestimate the importance of some good imagery too!
Make sure your website is mobile friendly
The vast majority of voice searches take place on a mobile device, so if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, the chances are search engines aren’t going to rank it very highly. There are some free tools, like Google Search Console's Mobile-Friendly test, that you can use to check how your site performs.
Structured data is a way of organising information on your website that helps search engines interpret its content. It can highlight key data for search engines to display and helps them locate information more easily – these are called “rich snippets”. If I ask Google “what is the capital of Australia?”, it can pull the result directly from a website because of the way the data is structured.
There can be a lot to think about when making sure your website is optimised for voice search. But luckily there are some quick and easy changes you can make so you're not missing out on valuable searches.
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