Over the last decade, voice assistants have become a part of everyday life. From Siri to Google Assistant and Alexa, these services give consumers an easy, convenient way to answer questions, find products and services, and improve their homes with innovative technology. As a result of these innovations, voice search has significantly increased in popularity, particularly among younger consumers. Today, over half (55%) of young adults use voice search daily, and shopping via voice search is expected to generate $40 billion in revenue this year.
The bottom line? If you aren’t optimizing for voice search, you’re missing out on a critical growth opportunity. Read on to discover how to ensure your business website ranks high in voice search results:
What is Voice Search?
The term “voice search” refers to giving commands or asking questions by speaking directly into voice-compatible devices, such as mobile phones, desktop computers, and smart home systems, rather than using text. Voice search first entered mainstream use in 2011, when Apple introduced its voice assistant, Siri, with the iPhone 4.
Voice search is a natural fit for mobile devices because it provides users with a quick, hands-free way to conduct searches while driving, biking, or walking. For example, if a user is driving home and decides they want to pick up dinner on the way, they can initiate a voice search and say, “Where can I get dinner?” Then, their device will provide them with a list of options. This search method is more practical and convenient for the user than pulling over, typing the same query into their phone, and manually scrolling through search results.
6 Ways to Optimize Your Website for Voice Search
1. Make sure your website adheres to local SEO best practices.
According to research from DBS Interactive, 46% of those who use voice search on a daily basis are searching for local businesses. One of the most important voice search optimization strategies is making sure your website effectively targets local traffic. There are several ways to accomplish this, such as:
-Claiming and completing your Google My Business profile.
-Listing your business in local online directories.
-Including your business location in strategic places on your website, such as title and anchor tags, headings, body text, meta description, and footer.
–Optimizing Keywords for local searches (e.g., “near me” searches).
-Creating content that focuses on your local Service area.
-Incorporating local dialects into your website and ad copy.
2. Use more long-tail keywords.
When people input text queries, they typically use the fewest words possible (especially if they’re typing on a mobile device). With voice searches, on the other hand, many people employ a more conversational style. For instance, instead of typing “best restaurants Toronto,” they will ask, “Where are the best-rated restaurants near me?”
To target these kinds of searches, you’ll need to incorporate long-tail keywords into your content. Long-tail keywords are more specific and detailed than conventional short-tail keywords (also known as high-volume or “head” keywords), and they often answer a “what, who, where, or how” question. For example, instead of the competitive short-tail keyword “home gym,” a long-tail keyword will include extra information like “best home gym for apartments” or “how to set up a home gym.”
To discover the best long-tail keywords for your business, you can use an online tool like Google Keyword Planner. Alternatively, if you’re not sure how to conduct keyword research on your own, you can hire professional SEO services to optimize your keywords and content for voice search.
3. Update your FAQ page.
Your business’s FAQ page is the perfect place to answer the type of questions frequently asked via voice search. Properly optimizing your FAQ page will also increase the likelihood of your business earning the top spot in Google’s Featured Snippet, which caters to voice searches. (The Featured Snippet is the short search result blurb that appears at the top of the search results page when users input a question.)
To improve your FAQ page for voice search, write questions and answers in a conversational tone, using short, concise sentences. Likewise, make sure the topics you address match the most common questions asked by your customers. Feedback forms, customer emails, reviews, and customer surveys are all great sources of information regarding popular customer inquiries.
4. Use simple, direct language for your website and marketing campaigns.
People using voice search want instant results. To meet this demand, you’ll need to avoid using technical or complicated language on your website and ad campaigns. Generally, experts recommend using sentences no longer than 20-30 words. Your copy should also be written in a friendly, approachable style that can be understood by someone with a 7th-grade reading level.
5. Build your online reputation.
Having multiple positive reviews on Google (and other online directories) is an excellent way to improve your voice search rank. To encourage customers to review your business, consider hosting events or promotions customers can enter by leaving feedback on Google. Or, you can offer discount coupons in exchange for reviews.
To generate customer feedback organically, promptly and helpfully respond to all of your business’s online reviews. If customers see that leaving a review will be met with recognition and improve their purchasing experience, they’ll be more likely to comment on your products and services.
6. Consider professional SEO services to optimize your website for voice search.
In addition to taking the steps above, you may need to improve the functionality of your website to get it ready for voice search. Factors like your website’s page load times and responsiveness, for example, can significantly impact your page rank. To make sure the technical aspects of your website are up to modern standards, ask an SEO professional to perform an audit to identify performance issues and make recommendations.
Get Expert Help With Voice Search Optimization in Toronto
At AllinBrand, voice search optimization is just one of the many online marketing consultant services we offer. In addition to performing keyword research, creating locally-relevant content, and improving website design and functionality, we provide comprehensive, data-driven branding services that help businesses stand out online and connect with their target demographic.
Contact our team today if you’re interested in learning more about how we can prepare your business for voice search. At AllinBrand, it’s our mission to ensure Toronto small businesses thrive in today’s dynamic digital marketplace – and beyond.