Best Practices: Voice Search Optimization

So what does that mean for marketers? It means you better understand what exactly it is all about and how you can optimize your site for voice search. Cutting right down to the facts you need to know, here are some key points to keep in mind when it comes to voice search optimization:

  • Voice search is conversational in nature. Target keywords and content should align with this.
  • Think of the questions that searchers are asking. Create content that answers these questions. Example: create Q&A content on your site.
  • Voice search is highly customized / personalized to the individual searcher. Example: Google gives specific traffic information at the time of an individual searcher’s commute and customized data and reminders.
  • Ensure your site is mobile friendly and follows Google’s mobile SEO best practices.
  • Mobile voice searches often involve “near me” queries. Optimizing local sources, such as your ‘Google My Business’ information, can help your visibility on these types of queries.
  •  Your street address and opening hours should be clearly visible on your website in text format.
  • Use schema and other structured data markup such as rich snippets, breadcrumbs, and a Sitelinks search box. This increases your chances of Google using this information on the SERP.
  • The bottom line is this: if you already understand and have implemented current SEO best practices on your site, you’re in good shape.

How to Measure the Impact of Voice Search

Just like with a typed search, voice search produces different results for different people based on your web history, patterns and preferences. Keyword ranking tools can be useful, however these tools may not have sufficient technology to accurately track long-tail mobile search rankings. Google Analytics and Search Console both have some features that assist in measuring voice search impact, however, none are specifically built to measure voice search. While today there is a bit of a gap in the ability to analyze voice search metrics, accurate tools to measure voice search will likely be rolled out in the near future.

Comparison: Voice Search vs Typed Search Query:

  • There’s little to no difference between a SERP that is produced by a spoken voice search and a typed query. This includes ‘near me’ searches.
  • In other words, voice searches and typed searches should be examined under one SEO umbrella. They are not isolated from each other.

What Are People Using Voice Search For?

  • Adults use voice search most often to get directions.
  • There are many other common uses for voice search, including using voice commands to dictate text messages, utilize mobile device call functions, check the time, and play media.

What else can you do on the paid-search side to optimize for voice search?

  • Add keywords that contain “near me” in your Google Ads search campaigns.
  • Utilize Google Ads location extensions, and keep your locations updated for accuracy.
  • Use Google Maps Local Search Ads.

A final note: this article primarily focuses on Google products. However, when it comes to voice search optimization, there’s also Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa to keep in mind.

Need help with your digital marketing? Contact us today.

*ComScore: The Future of Voice From Smartphones to Smart Speakers to Smart Homes

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