Technology is making it possible for people to use their voices to interact with devices. Voice-controlled assistants have become an essential element in everyday living. Imagine not having to get up from the comfort of your seat to switch off the lights or close the doors. With voice-controlled assistants like Alexa and Siri, you simply speak your command, and you get your wish. Voice commands are also rapidly replacing typing, which can be cumbersome.
It is possible to achieve more efficiency by simply speaking your command than manually engaging with your devices. You will find that there is quite a bit of voice usage, especially among the search engines. WordPress is also beginning to enjoy the benefits, and we will look at how you can optimize the same for voice search.
Why is voice search so important?
Search engines like Google have been using voice search as far back as 2016. Data from 2017 shows that up to 33 million voice devices were already in use. Some of the leading contenders were Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa. Up to 20% of the users were using it for mobile searches.
Industry figures estimate that by the year 2020, there will be more than 21.4 million smart speakers in the United States alone.
Voice search has specific characteristics that you need to pay attention to. You will find that they are generally longer and more conversational in tone. You do not have the limitation of using short phrases due to the physical effort required to type. Developers are making voice assistants more human, thus allowing for better interaction when doing the voice search.
Focus on how your target consumer talks about your services, products, and business. You will find many tools online that will help you come up with appropriate phrases, that you can use when doing your voice search optimization. These phrases will help you understand the consumer’s mindset more, and you can use it for your online marketing strategy.
Many people who use voice search are looking for personal assistance. Many will use it to ask for direction or to make calls. Now Google has made it so much easier for the online user to make a choice.
Let us, for example, say that you are looking for a salon or clothes shop; Google will give you very detailed feedback. It will show you the location, opening hours, customer reviews, among others.
You also get an icon that allows you to make a call directly from the site. You must give relevant information about your business. Ask happy clients for testimonials or reviews so that you can incorporate them into your business listing.
How to Optimize For Voice Search
People are now actively looking for ways to optimize the online platforms for voice search. There are specific ways you can achieve it, and this includes:
- Page loading speed
- Themes and plugins
- Mobile optimization
- Position Zero Optimization
- Keywords; both long-term and short-term
- SEO optimization
- Schema mark-up
- Featured snippets
We will look at the factors above in a little more detail below.
1. Pay attention to the themes and plugins
To fully enjoy the functionality of voice search, you need to have a quick loading page.
Experts say that you will achieve up to 52% faster loading on the result page with voice search.
A fast loading page will also have a significant impact on your WordPress search rankings.
2. Longtail Keywords
Achieving voice search optimization for a website requires that you focus on the use of long-tail keywords. It should pretty much be the same way you would do if you’re using the keyboard for manual typing. While before, the common practice was to use keywords for SEO, now people are gravitating to use of longer phrases for search queries.
Long-tail keywords are not a new concept, and anyone who applies them has seen excellent results with their search rankings. The advantage of voice search is that you can add in a more conversational tone while allowing it to be quite specific about what you are looking for. You will find fantastic tools online that will help you come up with the relevant phrases. Even as you focus on the right use of phrases, it should not make it difficult for the reader to understand.
3. Position Zero Optimization
Google will continuously look for answers to questions that may arise out of voice searches. You could play a vital role by becoming the go-to place for those answers. Not only will you get excellent exposure for any content you put out, but you will also optimize for the typical queries that may arise. Getting to position zero is difficult because they’re so many people fighting for that little space. You, therefore, need to work on strategies that will improve the chances of appearing in that coveted position. You can do this by:
- Focus on any questions that may arise out of the keywords; whether long tail or short, that you have come up with
- Think about the headings and titles you use; they should always be a direct response to a query
- Ensure your answers are easy to read and understand
- Incorporate the use of bullet points, numbered lists and short paragraphs
- Q&A style for your content will make it convenient for search engines to use your content
Always strive to be on that first page on Google. The search engine and other visitors will gravitate towards using the information on the first page.
4. Local SEO Implementation
Interestingly, more than 22% of online users will use voice search to find local information.
Most of these people will be on the go and will use their mobile phones to search. Using the right keywords to describe your location will impact on the number of visitors you get to your physical store.
Think about the common phrases people in your neighborhood use to describe your location. Strategically position phrases such as near me in the Meta descriptions, internal links, and anchor text and title tags. It would also not hurt to include a landmark which will make your location that much easier to find.
Another common phrase that people search for a lot is ‘things to do near me.’ Incorporate this into your content, thus helping you push your product or brand. If you are example running an eatery, a direct response to ‘things to do near me’ could be ‘try the local cuisine at XX eatery.’
You should structure your data in a way that makes it easy for the visitor to get as much information as possible. The use of words such as nearest, best, and store hours will help the search engines find you. Make sure you add your contact details and office opening hours. It will make it easy to process the data, thus making it likely for people to find you.
5. Google My Business Listing
One essential tool you should sign up to is Google My Business listing. It will make it easy for your customers to find you, especially those in the local area. You also get the opportunity to share more business information, thus making it easier for the search engines to find you.
By using location, or specific phrases like’ near me’ you increase the chances of visibility on the search engines. Be careful about the information you have on your listing page. Include your name, physical address, and telephone number. Use the introduction part to give a proper description of your services and products.
Link what you have to the different categories; doing this will help when online buyers use the voice search functionality. Focus on describing what your business is, and not what it does. While you may stock up on pet toys and foods, the category should be Pet supply store. If you are a photographer, you should focus on the kind of photography YouTube; for instance, a wedding or birthday photographer.
6. Your Content Should Be Readable
Paying close attention to how you deliver your content is crucial. You want content that is scannable, easy-to-understand, and well presented. You will find that people spend more time on a website, thus a higher likelihood of a positive response.
Remember, the website visitors and no longer only human, we now have virtual assistants who will troll websites looking for relevant information. The same resistance will also read back the content to anyone who is doing a voice or manual search. Take your time to research on how to present content in a reader-friendly manner.
It is interesting to note that on average, Google will give you a voice search result of only 29 words. It is therefore clear that you will benefit more by using short, concise content and not a lengthy response. You have to think about that online user who barely has the patience to sit around their device to read long-winding explanations to a simple query.
7. Optimize For Mobile
Mobile has become so crucial to most businesses that you cannot afford not to optimize for the platform. More than 60% of the people on the online platform will use mobile devices for search queries. The experience the visitor gets when they use the desktop computer should be the very experience they get when they use their mobile device.
Do a test of how mobile-friendly your WordPress site is by using Google’s mobile-friendly test tool. In case there are certain aspects you need to change, Google will advise you appropriately.
8. Use of schema mark-up
Schema refers to that visual representation of data and the instructions that allow you to operate it. By using schema mark-up to classify words and sentences on your website, you assist the search engines in organizing content on their pages.
Up to 36.4% off voice search results use the schema mark-up.
It, therefore, allows for the optimization of voice searches, thus ensuring that you get users to your website. It will also significantly impact on your SEO, hence a better ranking with the search engines.
WordPress has the Schema Pro, which will help you add the necessary mark-up to any content on your website.
9. Featured Snippets
You will find a strong relationship between the featured snippet and the voice search results. Many of the voice results come from featured snippets. It is, however, not easy to get onto the featured snippets, but you can elevate your chances by:
- Paying due consideration to the question keywords. As we have stated above, think about relevant questions around the keywords, and try and provide the appropriate answers
- You will get good snippet keyword ideas from the People also ask section in the Google Search results
- Focus on structured data that allows you to present your information in a short precise way
- Q&A all the FAQ format works very well for voice search and the featured snippets
Think about incorporating the use of blogs to answer any questions people may have. Pay attention to the words the users to give you the guideline on what they are looking for. While the FAQ page will work well, a well-thought-out blog post can be more engaging and can provide better results.
There is unending potential for voice search, and it will be exciting to see what technology has to offer. The astute marketing manager knows that ignoring emerging trends can be detrimental to a business. They must, therefore, equip themselves with the relevant knowledge. Marketers need to take advantage of this technology. It, therefore, requires that whatever strategies you come up with must incorporate SEO and voice optimization.
We have shared with you excellent tips to consider above, and it would be fantastic to hear from you concerning our topic above.