How to Get Your Business Website Ready for Voice Search


How to Get Your Business Website Ready for Voice Search

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is changing at a rapid pace, and it’s hard for us SEO professionals to keep up.

Let alone Small Business owners. Speaking of changes, voice search is leading the charge. Mobile devices coupled with voice assistants have changed how people use search engines. It’s no longer unusual to ask our pocket-friend Siri, Google Assistant or Cortana to do a search for us. In this guide, you’ll learn more about voice search and how to prepare your business.

What is voice search?

Voice search is speech recognition technology that lets people search the internet via a voice command.

For example, you might want to know, “How old is Donald Trump?” (by the way, which is a popular question):

And instead of typing that into Google you ask your smartphone. You’ll get something back like this:

Why business owners should care about voice search.

Voice search isn’t just used for trivial searches. Google revealed that 20% of mobile queries are now voice searches. This number will grow as the technology becomes more widely adopted. In fact, ComScore projected that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.

If one in five mobile searches occur via a voice search and this is expected to grow it’s time your business starts preparing.

Voice search action plan for business owners.

Now you know that voice search is important. You might be wondering, “How do I get my business ready?” Let’s go over some strategies that you should start trying on your website. 

1. Voice search answers questions.

At the heart of any voice search strategy is question answering. People who use voice searches are looking for answers. Take advantage of this. Research and understand the important questions that your business would want to answer.

For example, if you’re a Human Resources consultant you might want to appear when someone asks, “How to hire your first employee?” or for a local café, when someone asks, “Best cafes in Bondi?”

You can use tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to see what people are searching.

2. The five w’s (and one h).

Voice searches tend to ask the classic five w’s (and one h): who, what, when, where, why and how. Here are a couple of examples:

  • What’s the nearest coffee shop to me?
  • Who is the president of the United States?
  • When is the Australia Day long weekend?
  • Where can I get a burger for lunch?
  • How far is it to Sydney?

People will use natural language and more words than a typical typed search. You will need to address this in your keyword targeting and content.

3. Focus on long-tail keywords.

Voice search is much like normal conversations. Your keyword strategy is different. You need to focus on targeting super long tail keywords. For example, “How much does an Apple TV cost in Australia?”. Instead of a common typed search, ‘Apple TV cost Australia’.

You’d want to make sure that you are optimising your web pages for your keyword in the:

  • Page title.
  • Heading tags.
  • Image alt attribute.
  • Meta description.
  • Content.

If you want to read in-depth on this, check out my blog, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): The Definitive Guide. 

4. Order your HTML and content.

How you structure your content on the page is very important. Follow this process when optimising for voice search:

  • Your target long tail keyword should appear in a header (h2, h3, h4, etc.).
  • The answer you want to be picked up by voice search should be directly below it.
  • The answer should ideally be 54-58 words long.
  • If your answer involves steps, include ‘Step 1’, ‘Step 2’, etc. to start each subheading.

This will help Google to understand the content on the page much easier.

5. Optimize your page for mobile use.

If you’re trying to optimise your website for voice search you need to make sure it’s optimised for mobile.

Google won’t use your result for a voice search if your mobile user experience is terrible. You want to make sure your site meets best practices:

  • Responsive design.
  • Fast site speed.
  • Easy to digest content.
  • Easy navigation.
  • Content same on mobile and desktop.

Over to you.

I hope you enjoyed this guide to voice search. Now I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What tip are you going to implement? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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