In 2016, Google reported that 20% of users practiced voice search worldwide, and experts expected it to grow by 50% by 2020. It’s 2021 outside, and 72% of people with voice search devices admit they’ve become a part of their daily routine.
With AI technologies on the rise and with voice search occupying so many queries, it’s worth optimizing your website’s content accordingly. Users prefer voice search to typing, and it changes how they look for information and what results they get.
Why is voice search so popular?
- It’s faster than typing and easier to implement. We speak faster than we write, so it’s more comfortable for us to say what we want than thinking of keywords to type in a search bar to get a relevant result.
- It’s more convenient for mobiles. More than half of the total web visits come from mobile today, and voice search saves tons of time for users as they don’t have to type long queries at small displays.
With that in mind, all responsible webmasters focus on their websites’ optimization for voice search to appear in SERP and therefore improve visibility and traffic.
Instruments are many: Page speed increase and website security with SSL are among them, but a considerable amount of work here relates to website content optimization. To appear in SERP, it needs to match user search intent and give direct answers to their voice queries.
Here’s what you can do:
1) Reconsider your keywords
Users don’t think of 2-3 particular words when searching information by voice. They “talk” to a voice assistant with their natural language, just the way they speak. That is why you need to focus on long-tail and low-volume keywords when optimizing your website content for voice search.
Pay attention to related questions and user-generated keywords. These are what most users consider when looking for information via voice search. Add these long keywords and queries to headings, subheads, and interactive content on your website.
2) Create a FAQ page
Users consider voice search when they want to get quick and precise answers to their questions. Your website content should provide those answers, and the best instrument to help here is a FAQ page.
Create a website page with answers to the most common questions related to your business or product. Also, consider the “People also ask” section in Google Search and questions your target audience may ask verbally.
Besides a FAQ page, you can place questions on other related pages of your website: blog posts, landing pages, About Us pages, and others.
Here’s a great example from Bid4papers: They’ve added their target audience’s most frequently asked question to the landing page to appear in the corresponding voice search results.
If you run some local business, please remember to include location keywords in your content’s titles, descriptions, and customer feedback. Many people use address and “near me” keywords when searching information by voice.
For example, they may say something like, “What’s the best pizza in Chicago near me?” The corresponding keywords in your website content will help search engines identify it as the most relevant one for this query.
3) Publish long-form content on your website
Not only does your position in SERP depend on a website’s tech metrics, but it also relates to your content’s quality. Top-notch articles, informative and valuable for your target audience, do matter:
The better your website content is, the more likely search engines will rank it higher, and more users will see and click it.
As you know, there’s a direct relationship between content length and its position in search results. So, of course, it doesn’t mean you should say no to short-form articles. But you could try creating long-form content assets of 2,000+ words for your business blog. Make them informative, comprehensive, and answering at least some questions of your target audience.
Plus, you may want to optimize content for Google snippets.
Most voice search results come in answers to questions or step-by-step tips from a position zero. So why not structure the content accordingly?
- Write questions in content headings.
- Provide short, clear, step-by-step answers.
- Use how-to sections in content.
- Add high-quality images, videos
- Consider <featured-snippet> tags when formatting your content assets in WordPress or any other CRM you use for website management.
4) Optimize content language
As already mentioned, voice search is about natural language. And while users may formulate their queries with long sentences, they expect to get short and precise answers.
According to the voice search SEO study by Brian Dean, “the typical voice search result is only 29 words in length.” So it means that the shorter your answer, the more likely users will see and read it first.
How to optimize content here?
- Use short sentences and paragraphs.
- Write with words everybody knows. (Avoid jargon and fancy terms that hurt your content’s readability.)
- Consider active verbs, especially when describing step-by-step instructions for readers.
- Include questions in content, mention them in titles and texts.
- Use many subheads, bullet points, and plenty of white space: It makes your content mobile-friendly.
Take, for example, the WhoGoHost blog. The articles here are about short paragraphs, numbered or bullet lists, active verbs, and step-by-step instructions. As a result, they are easy to read and understand for both users and search engines.
Long story short, here goes your checklist on optimizing website content for voice search:
- Use the SSL protocol.
- Optimize for page speed.
- Revise your target keywords (remember about long-tail and low-volume ones).
- Consider Q&A keywords too.
- Create long-form content (2,000+ words), ensure it’s informative and valuable for your target audience.
- Format your content for Google snippets.
- Make sure all the content is mobile-friendly.
- Optimize images and videos.
- Update your content from time to time.
- Do your website SEO audit regularly and correct all the critical errors.
Voice search optimization is a must for web admins in 2021. It may take time and energy, but that’s what people use to find information online today. With AI and search engine updates on their rise, you can’t trail behind and let competitors overtake you, can you?