As the number of devices and ways to interact with the web continues to grow, businesses that are serious about their SEO need to take these different channels into account when optimizing their website.
In recent years, the rise of voice-technologies on smart devices have given many a new way to search the web and interact with search engines. Although this might be great for users, the ability to use voice commands to search Google has opened up a whole new host of optimization problems for businesses. There are many other things that need to be taken into account when optimizing your website specifically for voice commands from mobile devices, and certain industries are more likely to entice users to search using their voice than others. If your website or business is one that users may be more likely to search for while out and about, you may want to take voice optimization into account.
What is Voice Search?
Before we get too deep into the nuts and bolts of voice search optimization, let’s cover exactly what we mean when we say “voice search.” Using Google’s Voice Search as an example, their system uses natural language processing and text-to-speech to understand what a user is saying and directly connect that to actions performed on the smart device. Natural language processing (NLP) isn’t a new concept, but is one that has made massive strides in recent years with the usage of programs like Siri (on iOS devices) and other similar applications.
Although there are not a lot of studies and data currently available on the subject,you can be sure that users are likely to use different language when creating a search query by speaking, rather than typing. There are a few simple steps that any business can take to ensure that they are making the most of their potential voice search opportunities.
Take Advantage of Schema Markup
Schema is a markup language that works alongside HTML to provide information to search engines and other services that want to use the data that you provide to learn about your website. The information that you provide through schema already has an affect on your search optimization, but becomes even more important when targeting users that are using voice search. The more information that you are able to provide to search engines, the better that they will be able to understand the content on your website and connect relevant to voice searches that are performed by users.
Ensure the Feeds Your Provide are Readable
A website might provide search engines with a large number of feeds that provide data and information to help them properly categorize their listings. For instance, XML sitemaps and location data are integral for helping Google to crawl the entirety of your website and help to provide information that can help your business to rank in local search engine pages. Ensure that you are providing all data that is relevant to your company in the feeds so that search engines can correctly classify and detect when your content is appropriate for voice commands and search.
Use Conversational Phrases Throughout Content
Unless you are publishing internal memos or corporate documents, you should always strive to create content that is conversational. That fact becomes even more important when you want to optimize for voice search. Re-evaluate the content on your website, and keep SEO for voice commands in mind while reading through your content. While reading, imagine that your content is being delivered to a large crowd be a speaker, or from one co-worker to another. Does it sound like something that someone might say in a casual conversation.
Using adverbs like “who”, “what”, “where”, and “why” provide a simple way for you to ensure that your content sounds conversational. Use natural phrases and sentence structures, and try to avoid going out of your way to ensure that keywords are stuffed into your articles unnecessarily.
Too often companies feel like they have to publish something that sounds, and looks, extremely “professional.” What they are missing is the fact that their content is coming across not as professional, but stiff. You want people to enjoy reading your content and focusing on optimizing for voice search is just another reason to take a look at your content and how conversational it sounds to other parties.
Improve the Search Experience
Often, users that are using voice search are looking for very quick answers to their question. They want to know the answer and have it read back to them as quickly as possible. For this reason, you should try to ensure that the answers to common questions that users might have about your company, product, or industry are answered clearly on your pages. Frequently Asked Questions pages are an excellent way to provide quick, relevant answers to questions that voice searchers might have about your industry and company.
If you would like ensure that your company is drawing as many users as possible to your website through search engines, it is time to embrace voice search. Using spoken word to search Google has become increasingly common in recent years. You can bet that this technology will only continue to rise in popularity as time goes on. For that reason, it is incredibly important that you begin to prepare for the future now. If you would like to learn more about how to properly optimize your website for voice search, please contact us today to schedule your risk-free consultation with our team of SEO experts.