Why type out a question when you can voice search? The simple logic behind this statement is why voice searches are becoming more and more popular, particularly with younger demographics.
Technology, particularly mobile phone technology, is constantly improving, so this growth in voice searches is expected to grow dramatically in the following years. Data had already projected that voice searches would account for 50% of all searches by 2020.
So, if you want to futureproof and boost the traffic to your WordPress blog, you’ll need to optimize your blog for voice search. Quality content is always crucial, but many other aspects must be accounted for to achieve voice search optimization. Read on to find out exactly how.
- Focus on website speed optimization
If you want your WordPress blog to be optimized for voice search, it must be fast. According to Backlinko, the average voice search results page loads in 4.6 seconds, 52% faster than the average web page. Also, as of 2018, Google started to use page speed for its mobile index. Many users use voice search on their mobile devices, making web speed optimization even more critical.
But how can I make WordPress faster if I don’t own WordPress? Well, focus on the elements of your WordPress blog you can control, like themes and plugins.
Perform an inventory of the plugins you’re using. Are they essential and up to date? Are there alternatives that will do the job without affecting load time as much? Once you have removed unnecessary plugins, you should see an increase in your website speed.
Regarding themes, you will want a small theme; around 50KB is considered a small theme size. Two seconds or less is considered fast for page load time. A well-organized, clean theme is also a plus for SEO.
Astra is an example of a great theme to use. It’s only 50KB in size and will load in 0.5 seconds with the default WordPress data. A suitable theme will increase your site speed, optimize your WordPress blog for voice search, and enhance your user experience.
- Use structured data
According to the same Backlinko study, 36.4% of voice search queries come from pages that use structured data, also known as schema. Though it is worth mentioning that this isn’t significantly higher than the average, structured data is still worth using to give you an edge over close competitors.
But what is structured data? Structured data gives search engines context about the data on your site. By implementing structured data, search engines can tell the difference between unimportant numbers and phone numbers, for example.
You can use structured data on your WordPress site by using Schema Pro. The plugin automatically adds JSON-LD schema markup to the content on your site. When the data is structured adequately on your WordPress blog, your content is more likely to appear in voice search results.
- Create relevant and unique content
It doesn’t matter how fast your website is or if you use structured data if your content doesn’t add value in the first place. You need to create relevant and unique content for voice search. The purpose of a voice search, like a text search engine, is to provide the user with valuable content relevant to their query.
The best way to ensure your content is relevant and unique is to perform an inventory of your current blogs. Are they still relevant? Is the content unique? You need to use your judgment for relevancy, but you can use search engines to test for uniqueness.
Type the name of your blog post into Google and assess the results. You will need to update your content if there are many blogs with similar content.
For example, you might want to avoid blog titles that mention ‘how to cook pork.’
If you feel the quality of your content isn’t good enough, there are many resources to help.
But if you need help writing new, relevant, and unique content, here’s how. Start by picking a single, precise topic to discuss. Write to inform, entertain and demonstrate new knowledge. Analyze the top posts ranking for that topic and write much better and more comprehensive content for your site.
Perform keyword analysis and consider search intent, too. Keyword analysis involves finding the search terms your target audience uses to find your content. Proper keyword analysis allows you to optimize your content so you rank in search engine results for the queries you want.
To perform keyword analysis, you need to determine your SEO goals. Which SEO niches are you trying to target? Next, write a list of potential keywords that relate to your business. If you run an online jewelry business, the keywords might be ‘necklace’ or ‘bracelet.’
Once you’ve found your optimal keywords, you can use your SEO tool to find the long-tail keywords (more about these later) that will get you the best results.
- Add long-tail keywords in your content
The way Google works has changed a lot in recent years. Gone are the days when Google simply looked for specific keywords to provide a relevant answer. Now, Google wants to capture more of the meaning of speech and text searches using Natural Language Processing (NLP).
Natural Language Processing means Google’s voice search algorithms ‘think’ more like a human would. Also, tone, context, and phrasing are accounted for by NLP algorithms. So what does this mean for optimizing your WordPress for voice search? You need to optimize your blog posts by targeting these long-tail keyword phrases.
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keywords. An example of a long-term keyword is ‘authentic nature experience’ instead of just ‘nature.’ Long-tail keywords tend to answer queries better. That’s why long-tail keywords will increase your chances of Google extracting answers from your blog or content whenever users do a related voice search.
- Include question phrases
Unlike a regular search, a lot of voice searches are questions. Examples of voice search questions include ‘how do I make a souffle? and ‘where in Croatia is it good to go on holiday?’ So, it’s a good idea to include popular (and relevant) question keywords in your blog posts.
Using a question in the title is the best course of action, but doing this for every blog post may be too much. Therefore, include those questions in other parts of the blog.
The best way to get the right question keywords is to do a keyword search on your existing content topics. If you have a blog for a recipe, search the subject matter and see how high-ranking questions regarding the topic are phrased.
Here’s an example of how to do this:
First, search for a question related to your subject matter on your SEO tool of choice. For this example, I will use ‘how to make soup.’
The keyword suggestions and SERP analysis show that ‘how to make soup’ is an excellent way to phrase a soup receipt blog. Do this with your blog posts to optimize your SERP ranking. If you have a good search ranking position, your blog post is more likely to be used by voice searches.
Another thing to consider is the ‘people also ask’ section of Google. ‘People also ask’ is a snippet providing additional information to their initial search, often questions. For example, if you searched ‘how to plant tomatoes,’ the ‘people also ask’ snippet may suggest alternative questions like ‘when should you plant tomatoes’ or ‘how often to water tomatoes.’
Targeting these alternative question keywords within your keyword umbrella is a great way to further optimize your WordPress blog for voice search.
- Use a conversational tone
Google also looks for conversational language in their voice searches. So, robotic descriptions in blog posts are a no-no. Make sure your tone is conversational and informative.
To know what a conversational tone is, imagine you are describing your blog post to a close friend. Note the sort of language and phrases you used. Incorporate this language into your blog post. Moreover, avoid jargon or any other complex words you wouldn’t use in a real-world conversation.
Here’s a screen capture of a blog post title that uses a conversational tone:
The title also gives enough information on the blog content. Having someone else read your blog post before publication is a good idea. If they don’t have difficulty understanding it, you most likely succeeded in using a conversational tone for the post.
You want to strike the right balance between engaging and factual. It’s something we aim for when running SaaS marketing campaigns for our clients.
There are considerable advantages to optimizing your WordPress blog for voice search. Voice search is popular and will only get more popular. But you must account for all aspects of voice search optimization to get the best results.
Keywords are crucial. Google doesn’t just look for basic keywords anymore. It uses Natural Language Processing to find more meaningful results using keywords. Structured data and web speed optimization are also essential in your voice search strategy. You should also include question phrases and a conversational tone. Finally, make sure your content is unique and relevant.
If you follow these tips, your WordPress blog posts will likely be featured in Google’s voice search results. These tips are simple but will produce significant results if implemented together.