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Why Your Site Needs to Be Optimized for Voice Search

September 21, 2018 // By: Kaitlin Southron

Siri, where’s the nearest coffee shop?

Alexa, why is my car making strange noises?

Okay Google, how do I get my website to rank number one?

Voice search is quickly taking off as voice assistants like Alexa and Echo become more and more popular. In fact, experts predict 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches. It’s now more important than ever to optimize your business’ website for voice-based search queries, in addition to traditional desktop optimization techniques.

Here are some of the basics of voice-search optimization.

Embrace Long-Tail Keywords

In the past, keyword research and optimization focused on simple exact-match phrases based off queries typed into a desktop.

Examples:

  • ice cream
  • ice cream shops
  • Philadelphia ice cream

But now, these queries differ if you search for the same topics aloud. Because you’re not typing the words and instead speaking to a device, more words can easily be added into the mix.

Examples:

  • looking for ice cream near me
  • ice cream shops in Philadelphia
  • best ice cream near Philadelphia

Voice search queries also differ because they usually take place outside of the searcher’s home, where they want to find an answer quickly. There is typically no time for a searcher to sift through different results and conduct thorough research before making a buying decision. They want an immediate answer to their query, and the first SERP result that is read out loud will more than likely be their final choice.

Tailor your content so that it is conversational and incorporates your keywords in a more natural way. Also, it helps to utilize common prepositions such as “near” and “in.” This will allow for more opportunities to match for long-tail keywords and rank for local queries.

Optimize for Featured Snippets

So, how exactly do you get your listing read out loud for a voice search query? Your best bet is to optimize your content in hopes that your pages are ranked as a featured snippet. According to Backlinko, 40.7 percent of voice search answers come from the featured snippet.

A featured snippet, also sometimes referred to as a quick answer, is the block of text you’ll see highlighted in the Google SERP at the top of the page.

Optimized Google Snippets

There is no magic formula to earning your place in this coveted position, but there is a certain pattern of content structure that experts have noticed are most selected:

  • Frequently Asked Questions hub pages
  • Recipes
  • Charts, graphs, and tables
  • Numbered or bulleted lists

Again, using these structures is no guarantee your content will rank in this spot. There are of course other factors that affect your position, including domain authority and backlinks. However, it does help to keep this style in mind when creating and posting content.

Voice Search is the Future of SEO

Voice search is quickly taking over traditional based search, and it’s time to rethink your SEO strategy. Content trends and Google algorithms are constantly changing and it’s important to keep up.

Want to learn more? Let’s talk!

Topics: Voice Search Optimization, Long-tail Keywords, Featured snippets