Business AdviceStrategy

How to Effectively Optimize Your Website for Voice Search in 2018

It’s 2018 and people are speaking into their phones  — but is your website primed and ready for the voice search revolution?

If it isn’t, you’ll fall behind your rivals who are ready.

Not just this, but you’ll miss out on 50% of search traffic in 2020.

We take it you don’t want to lose out on any of that, which is why our article is going to show you how to effectively optimize your website for voice search in 2018.


Go Local

As we transition into voice search, local SEO is going to matter more and more.

How so?

39% of voice search users are on the hunt for a businesses info. Be it a local pizza parlor or a plumber, they want to know who the best businesses near them are.

Think about it: When we’re on our way home, hungry and tired, we’re going to open our phone and ask Google for “the best pizza place near me.”

Local SEO is itself a bit of an art, and there are a few things you need to do. The first  — and easiest — thing to do is to get your Google My Business account all set up.

Then, add reviews to your site. Google uses reviews as a ranking factor, so this is important. The more reviews you have, the better you will rank.

Optimize your meta and title tags, too. Make them informative enough so that Google and search users know what service you provide, but also compelling enough so that people actually want to click through.

When optimizing your tags, make it clear what it is your business does and where it’s located.


Pick Conversational Keywords

Voice search queries tend to contain far more long tail keywords than short tail ones. Why? Simply because of the nature of the device.

A good keyword strategy is all about knowing the language your customers use when they’re looking for your service.

For example, while we might type “men’s leather jacket” into Google, we wouldn’t be so dry when searching for the same thing via our phone. Instead, we would say something like “Google, show me the best deals on men’s leather jackets.”

At the moment, how you refine your keyword strategy from the start will be a bit of a guessing game, but you need to get into the heads of real humans and think about how we’d talk into our phones.

Just be a human and not a computer, and use a tool like Answer the Public to help you generate more topic and keyword ideas.


Answer Questions

Answering questions really serves two purposes:

1) 49% of voice searches are questions

2) Answering a question with an in-depth, high quality piece of content can see you rank on position 0.

Position 0  — otherwise known as a featured snippet  — is a pretty cool place to be. It puts your content at the top of the SERPs, which boosts your visibility and can increase traffic, conversions, and sales.

Since almost half of voice search users are asking questions, you can build content around a question related to your niche. Any content must provide lots of value, and it should ideally answer the question as soon as possible. Any answer you provide must be concise and in simple language so that Google itself can digest it.

List-based answers have traditionally been chosen by Google as featured snippets.

Again, you can use Answer the Public (see above) to help you find out what question your customers are asking.


Boost Site Speed

Site speed is a good marker as to how well your website will rank.

The problem is that many marketers have a website that loads quickly on the desktop  — but which is a bit of a slow coach on mobile.

Mobile overwhelmingly dominates desktop when it comes to voice search usage. In fact, 23% of Google searches on mobile are now voice searches. This means that if your website takes too long to load on mobile devices, your bounce rate will be high and your conversions will be low.

How fast should it load? More than 50% of us will bail out if a site takes 3.0 seconds or longer to load.

If you don’t know how fast (or slow) your pages are taking to load, run your website through a mobile site speed tester.

If you find that you have a slow loading website, here are some suggestions:

1) Double check your images  — Google doesn’t like TIFF and BMP files but welcomes JPEG, PNG, and GIF. And if an image is too big, it’s going to slow your page right down.

2) Check the code density. If the backend of your site is clogged with lots of coding and javascript, it’s going to take a while to load.

3) If you have lots of text images, consider replacing them with plain text.

These are ways to effectively optimize your website for voice search. Because we are quite literally in the thrall of the voice search revolution, the time to start is now. Work on your local SEO, pick conversational keywords, answer questions with top-notch content, and optimize your site for mobiles.

Have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comment section below!


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