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Hey Google, How do I Optimize for Voice Search?

voice search

Voice search has solidified itself as the next big thing in search engine optimization. Siri, Google Now, Amazon and Cortana all offer voice search platforms that are changing the SEO game.

Google claims that fifty percent of all searches will be carried out using voice search by 2020, that’s an awful lot of traffic to miss out on if you have not optimized for voice search.

SEO is used to enable potential customers to find, view and purchase your goods or services. If Google is right in its prediction of voice search, then it makes sense to be thinking about how you can get a better rank.

Keep reading below to find out how you can optimize your website for voice search.

Be Natural

Wave goodbye to the days of littering your website with keywords in hopes that an algorithmic bot picks up on it.

Instead of focusing on fragmented keywords to base your content around, focus on what a person would say when using voice search.

Targeting phases that a person would naturally say when trying to search something is a great place to start.

For example, if you are targeting 1-3 keywords such as:

  • New York vacation
  • New York accommodation
  • New York travel

Change things up to adhere to voice search, use longer keywords that are not disjointed, exactly how someone would use voice search.

  • What should I do when on vacation in New York
  • Cheapest New York accommodation
  • New York travel guide

The biggest tip for voice search optimization is to humanize your keywords. Think about the sentence people will say into the voice search when using your keywords.

Question Time

When you use voice search, how do you phase your question?

Usually, searches will start with who, what, where, when and how. For example, “Where is the cheapest hotel.”

However, over the years humans have adapted to use search language. For example; “New York cheap hotels.”

With voice search, you use “question phrases” in your own language like “What is the cheapest New York hotel tonight.”

There’s been a massive increase in the adverbs just mentioned, or “question phrases.” Search engine watch conducted a study that concluded “question phrases” had experienced a 61% growth increase in the last year.

Out of all the question phrases, it was reported “who” was the most popular, growing by a massive 134%.

As mentioned previously, try to get into the mind of your targeted consumer. What question phrases might they use when asking about your product or service?

Experiment with using question keyword phrases and see what works best for your website/company. As a strategy, target each of the adverbs mentioned above, continuing with the new york accommodation theme, they could look like this:

  • What is the cost of a New York Hotel?
  • Where can I find information on New York hotels?
  • When is the best time to book accommodation in New York?

Mobile Usability

Optimizing your site to cater to mobile users is vital.

Smart devices are the primary device used to engage in voice search, so it makes sense that your site will cater to mobile searchers. If you haven’t already, read back on SnapInspect’s 2018 SEO guide. Pay particular attention to our points covering mobile theme optimization.

Not sure where to start? Use Googles Mobile site tester to see where you stand.

Keep it Local!

Voice searches are much more likely to be aimed at a local level than text search. This is because smart devices search for local listing results.

Smart devices are aware of your exact location, local news headlines, traffic levels, temperature, etc. All of these factors assist in cutting down your search results for the most accurate outcome/ search results.

An example of a search like this would be “Where is the closest hotel to me?” or “What good restaurants are near me right now?”.

Local searches are specific and usually begin with “where” as people want to quickly find a place to eat, a last minute hotel, etc.

How do you appeal to local SEO voice searches? Shake your approach up to suit voice searches. In the beginning, its as easy as targeting phases and keywords that begin with who, what, where, when and why.

What’s next?

Voice search is definitely past the “fad” stage. Companies all around the world are ramping their efforts up to target phrases and keywords associated with voice search.

This is in the hope that later down the track they are the number one ranking voice search result for their targetted word.

Remember, instead of the first-page placement on googles SERP, voice search only yields one result, getting into that #1 spot could be the difference between a multi-million dollar company and one that is just getting by month to month.

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