How to optimize a website for voice search?

The voice search revolution is gaining momentum. According to today’s and tomorrow’s realities, it’s time to optimize the website for voice search. Here is convincing proof of this: in 2018, voice search using virtual assistants Siri, Cortana, Google Now reached 18 percent of the total search volume worldwide. If the situation remains unquestioned, voice search may even exceed traditional keyboard search over time.

We often notice that it is easier for us to give a voice command than to enter a request via the keyboard. It’s easier, faster and more attractive. 56 percent of adults even say they use voice search because it makes them feel more “technically savvy.”

You may also find that voice searches are accurate and correct in getting the information we are looking for. A Statista study found that 28 percent of users believe this method is more accurate than a classic keyboard.

But what does this phenomenon mean in terms of SEO promotion, and how can we ensure that our website content is fully optimized for voice search?

Think like a man

It should be straightforward, right? Gone are the days when we just tried to tame an inanimate algorithmic bot by choosing a few keywords and focusing on our content. Instead of focusing on unrelated keywords, it’s usually best to use a more extended sequence of words for voice search.

One of the first steps in optimizing content for voice search focuses on the natural phrases that a person would use in the language.

That is, for example, instead of focusing on “Flights to Greece”, “Holidays in Greece” you need to use longer, more pleasing to the ear keywords, such as “The cost of a ticket to Greece”, “The best package for holidays in Greece.” In other words, we need to create more “humanized” content and choose words that we use more often in ordinary language.

Use phrases with a question

Think about how you use voice search. How do you usually make a request? We usually start with question words such as “who”, “how”, “where,” and “why”. For example, we ask the question, “Where is a pizzeria nearby?” A study conducted by Search Engine Land even showed that there is now a massive surge in interrogative phrases – “61% more than a year ago.”

To be more precise, the question “Who?” Asked 134% more often, and the question “How?” – at 81%.

To decide which keyword phrases you should focus on to optimize content for voice search, put yourself in the place of a potential buyer. What questions they may ask when searching for a product or service. What phrase will they compose?

It’s all about semantics

In 2013, Google launched its Hummingbird update algorithm, which used latent semantic indexing (LSI) to better understand search queries’ basic meaning. It suggests that the search engine is taking steps to focus more on the semantics and intentions of users.

Voice search is another step in this direction, which shows us that it is more important than ever to understand “why” rather than “what” users are looking for. Instead of writing content with keywords, you should first prioritize users’ desires by creating inherently valuable content and addressing issues or problems that may arise in your audience.

Gradually this way, you will succeed in promoting your website by voice queries. Voice search will determine which best and most relevant results are mostly organic.

Use a lot of microdata

Users often refer to microdata when searching by voice, such as business location, phone number, price, etc. You can make this information easily accessible to digital assistants by creating a comprehensive map of your website, an address, relevant contact information, location information, and how best to get to you. In other words, you are required to reasonably update your local SEO campaign.

Be adapted to mobile phones

Nowadays, it is vital to adapt to mobile devices. This is worth thinking about because voice and mobile search go hand in hand. The study even showed that 40% of smartphone owners had been actively using voice search since 2017.

Since smartphones are the primary device people use to perform voice requests, your website must adapt to this device. If you don’t already know how well your website displays on your mobile, we recommend testing it on Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

If your website isn’t working as well as you’d like, Google will give you some specific steps, such as tips you can take to get your website up and running correctly.

Make sure you understand the principles of creating content for voice search

The fact is that people read mobile content differently than content from a computer screen. It is essential to understand that this is true and to find out why this is so. When you try to understand the user’s logic who chose the mobile device as the reading portal, you will get more information on optimizing your website for phones.

The most important reason why people search for information from mobile devices is convenience. The phone is always at hand! What can make text convenient for a small screen is content fragmentation, short paragraphs, lots of spaces, subheadings, and bulleted lists.

As a conclusion

Of course, it is too early to say that keyboard search is a thing of the past and will soon die out, but it is clear that voice assistants are becoming more popular and will grow steadily over the next five years. The good news is that optimizing content for voice search is relatively simple and intuitive.

It is thought that such optimization is much less robotic than outdated SEO techniques such as traditional keyword research. You need to make the search process more natural. Prosperity and success await you if you do your best to make it as easy as possible for digital assistants to understand your content.


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