Hey Siri, How Do I Optimize My Website for Voice Searches?

It’s almost impossible to talk about web marketing these days without getting into it about voice search. In fact, voice searches have recently started to seriously take over the online marketing scene. Right now, 40% of adults use voice search at least once a day. That figure may grow to encompass the lion’s share of online searches by 2020 (according to ComScore). Therefore, if you’re not optimizing your SEO for voice, then you’re potentially missing out on a vast swath of the marketplace. That’s not exactly good for business. But that begs the question: how do you optimize your website for voice searches? Well, there are several different things you can do. Let’s break it down.

Step 1 – Pick A Voice Search Enabled Ecosystem

Of the most popular few voice search enabled digital assistant ecosystems out there, each one operates and pulls information from the internet a little differently. So, therefore, the first step in your optimization efforts should always be to pick a digital assistant to work with. To help you decide, here is a quick list of the most popular assistants and the estimated number of devices each one is installed on:

  • Google Assistant: 500 Million
  • Amazon Alexa: 100 Million
  • Apple Siri: 500 Million (however, fewer people use Siri for search than Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant users)
  • Others: There are other digital assistance devices out there, but they aren’t as focused on search (notably Microsoft Cortana and Samsung Bixby). There is no way (currently) to optimize for those ecosystems. However, we felt they were still worth a mention.

Step 2 – Get Your Business Listed Online

After you’ve selected your desired voice search ecosystem, it’s time to get your local business listed online. Smartphones and other smart devices show business listings before traditional organic search results. What that means is that if your business listing is nonexistent or outdated, then you won’t show up in the first results for searches on those types of devices.

When we say “get your business listed online” we’re talking about using Google (or another search engine) to list your business hours, phone number, address, and other information on their platform.

Don’t just add your business to one search engine’s ecosystem, either. Instead of focusing on Google alone, make sure you upload accurate information regarding your business to places like Bing as well. If you don’t want to do all this yourself, you can either hire one of our SEO professionals or use an external tool to help reduce your time spent (like Synup).

Step 3 – Make Sure Your Conventional On-Page SEO is Fully Optimized

Before you focus on voice search optimization, you should make sure that your conventional on-page SEO is as optimal as possible. To do so, focus on the following areas:

  • Quality Content: Content is still the king of the SEO world. Always make sure you create authoritative, factual, high-quality content that provides your site visitors with the type of information they’re looking for.
  • Optimize Meta Titles and Descriptions: Always make sure you set relevant and custom meta titles and descriptions for every page and post on your website. Remember, these are the first things your customers will see whenever they search for your business online. That’s right. First impressions still matter on the internet.
  • Page Load Speed: People have extremely short attention spans these days. So, naturally, the faster any given page on your site loads, the less likely you are to lose a potential customer!
  • Schema and Structured Data: We’ve already covered how to use schema and structured data markup for SEO in another post. So, we’re not going to get into it here. If you’d like to read all about how to wrangle your schema and structured data, head on over to our post found here.

Step 4 – Optimize for Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are keywords with more than four words. IN the past, SEO professionals mainly focused on short-tail keywords since that’s how people used search engines. Ever since people began adopting voice searches, the amount of words per search has gone up significantly. The sudden uptick in long-tail keyword usage is likely since most people talk faster than they type. It just takes less effort to ask a full question with your voice then to type on in the search bar for your search engine of choice.

Examples of long-tail keywords include:

  • Find California lawyers near me
  • Five star car accident and personal defense lawyers

Do you see how those longer keywords more accurately matched the way someone would phrase those querries to another human being? That’s what we mean by long-tail keywords. They’re simply keywords that more closely match the patterns of typical human speech. Thanks to voice search, it’s now important to make sure your website is optimized for those types of queries.

Step 5 – Ask and Answer Questions Within Your Content

Questions make up the majority of voice searches on digital assistants. For example, something like: “Should I file a car accident lawsuit?” Generally, a search engine would read out the answer to that query (provided it found one). Wouldn’t it be pretty great if your site was the one that provided the answer? Well, that’s entirely possible!

All you have to do to gain eligibility for questions and answers through voice search is to:

  • Make sure you ask the question explicity within your content.
  • Provide a brief answer (fewer than 30 words), that is 100% factually correct and up to date.

Conclusions

In short, optimizing your website for voice search performance isn’t all that difficult or complex. However, it is a time-consuming process. You’ll need to make sure that your conventional on-page SEO is watertight while also optimizing for long-tail keywords and questions/answers. However, thanks to voice search taking over nearly 50% of the overall search marketplace, optimizing your site for voice search is definitely worth the time and effort required. If you’d like help getting your site as ready as possible for voice search, then you can always contact the SEO professionals here at Goldstein Brossard! We’re always standing by to help!