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How to optimize your site for voice search

08 December 2021, Wednesday By Priyanka Boruah
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Let's talk about how voice search is changing the process of optimizing web pages and how to prepare for the popularization of voice queries so as not to lose position in the search results.

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Why is it necessary to optimize a site differently for voice search?

Should I do it specifically?

How to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search: 12 Tips

Instead of a conclusion

Voice Search

Why is it necessary to optimize a site differently for voice search?

Because people search differently with voice and text. The text forced people to change their habits and change the structure of sentences when making inquiries on the Internet. And voice search brings users back to more natural speech. SEO specialists will have to adapt to the "new old" rules. 

Should I do it specifically?

It is worth it because the share of voice search is growing rapidly. A 2020 Google report says that 27% of search engine users used voice, not text, to make queries on the search engine. In the same report, Google says that more than half of all users searching for organizations then reached out to them using the Click to Call feature. 

users used voice

Along with the statistics of voice search, the statistics of sales of smart speakers, the interaction with which occurs only through voice, is also growing. That is, people will search your site using speech and receive a response too. 

So optimizing for voice search will definitely have a positive effect on your website's SEO performance. An exception may be resources whose target audience does not yet use voice or does not use it actively enough (this function is especially popular among young people aged 25-35). 

How to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search: 12 Tips

Listed below are techniques offered by marketers and SEO professionals around the world, including members of the Forbes Commincation Council. They will help you to start step-by-step optimization of your site and application for new search engine realities. 

Pay attention to geolocation

SEO specialists from Ai Media Group recommend primarily focusing on queries that are somehow tied to the user's geolocation. A high percentage of requests are "What time is [the establishment] open?", "Where can I order a beer with a burger?", etc.

Therefore, sites and applications (like any other manifestation of business on the network) need to be adapted for voice requests. Webmasters recommend at least adding information to a business profile on Google Maps so that your company data appears in search engine snippets.

Pay attention to geolocation

After that, you can rethink existing content so that it responds to geolocation queries, or add new content that solves the same problems. For this, mentioning the cities in which the services are provided is suitable. It is also worth telling how long you have been working, whether there are breaks, etc. 

Use long keywords

Nowadays, in the circles of SEO specialists, it is customary to use relatively short words and phrases for which content is optimized. Longer expressions are left as an option and are rarely used. Copywriters preparing articles for a resource focus on the frequent use of short keys. This is true for classic searches because people don't like to type a lot and their searches have become shorter. Users have no time to write down all their thoughts and wishes.

Voice search makes it easier to enter queries, but people have started giving more details again, telling the search engine what they want to find. So SEO-specialists again need to rethink the TK and not throw "long-tailed" keywords into the background. 

Write in human language

People have adapted to search engines, and search engines have adapted to people. The internet has taught us to make simpler queries, and common human questions like "Configure Webpack to work with React and TailwindCSS" have become "Webpack React TailwindCSS". 

Related: Overview of the Tailwind SS framework: What is TailwindCSS used for?

This approach has become natural for the traditional (that is, through the keyboard) method of communicating with search engines, and for the voice, such a structure of speech is alien. When communicating with Alice or a Google Assistant, we use organic constructs, just like communicating with a real person. 

This implies another requirement for optimizing sites for voice search - the introduction of not just long keywords, but clear phrases instead of shortened and illogical keys adopted in an unspoken pact between search engines, users and copywriters. 

Get busy with the structure of the FAQ page

The paragraph with the FAQ conveniently follows from the previous one, because it is a direct hint on where to start optimizing content on the site for voice search queries. 

If you look at the section with frequently asked questions on any website, then almost everywhere you will find a structure that resembles a human dialogue. By creating such a page, we ask a question on behalf of the user and immediately answer it. It is highly likely that the user himself asks questions in the same way and without your help, using voice assistants and a special interface in browsers for voice control.

FAQ page

This means that if you don't have a FAQ section yet, then it's time to create and fill it with questions and answers that are digestible for a mere mortal.

Try to predict what questions the potential user will ask and in what form before you start writing the FAQ. 

Prepare answers to the questions "Who?", "What?", "How?" and where?"

Users often start voice queries with pronouns. It works both with the search for general information, and with the search for places, companies, events. 

On your part, it is required to predict which questions with pronominal adverbs at the beginning of the phrase can lead the user to your resource and optimize the content for them in advance. “Where” you can buy your products, “How” does it work, “Who” makes it, and “What” you can do with it. 

Ideally, you should prepare answers to all the most popular questions about your brand in four types at once. 

Find out which questions need to be answered first

The trend towards optimization for voice search will only grow (and the competition along with it), so you need to become a proactive SEO-specialist, anticipating the habits of customers and their manner of communication with the search engine. 

Closing all the gaps in an SEO project at once will not work, so first you need to find out the main keys that bring the most traffic. The strategy here is the same as in the case of traditional search - you need to find out which voice queries will bring people to your site more often.

There is no need to transform all content at once and adapt it to the new search paradigm. Focus on the important things, because the queries that are working now will not necessarily work for voice searches, even if you post their extended form, more like human speech, on the page. 

Do not overload the site with information

This point is important for two reasons:

  1. Users don't like too much information. To grab a person's attention, you need to correctly distribute all the text on the page, use large fonts and convey the main ideas without going into details (if this is not a manual or documentation, of course).
  2. There is a possibility of incorrect perception of lengthy sentences as keys for voice requests. To avoid overspam (voice) and erroneous keys, you should be more careful about what questions are written on the pages of the site.

We adhere to minimalism and isolate the most important from any text. We are trying to summarize this important briefly. We leave too detailed information for separate pages with extended documentation, instructions, etc. 

Make your thoughts easier

You have to hit in two directions:

  • users,
  • computers. 

In the case of the user, we return to the general pursuit of simplicity. Mobile devices, coupled with the modern Internet, have revolutionized the consumption of information and have taught people to read large texts. People need to quickly digest short data and draw conclusions from it. 

In the case of the computers, the imperfection of voice assistants interferes. Even if you adapt the content on the site for long keywords and optimize it for voice search, it is not a fact that the computer adapts to them. Some users use voice search through voice assistants in the spirit of Siri, and they sometimes make mistakes, don't recognize speech correctly and get lost in too long questions. 

voice search device

Therefore, it is better not to overdo it with the details in the keys, leaving everything within the bounds of common sense. Avoid redundant clues like "how to make an Italian lasagna using ingredients: pepper, minced meat" and focus only on the simpler and more predictable "how to make Italian lasagna." 

Consider the regional specifics of languages

For some countries, this point is less relevant than for some Western countries or China, because specific dialects are not often encountered in our country. 

But if some form of dialect is present where you do business, then it makes sense to take it into account when optimizing your site for voice queries. 

The likelihood that the user will use a dialect in text format is small, but when speaking with a smartphone or computer, he may use familiar constructions that are not typical for other regions. Competent adaptation to the linguistic characteristics of a certain group of residents can play into the hands of business. 

It is also worth considering the peculiarities of the speech of the target audience, if it differs from the generally accepted one. 

Remember idioms, euphemisms and other features of speech

If you know that your clients have a special name for certain things, it is important to consider this. Society loves to use euphemisms, especially when it comes to personal care or other intimate goods. 

Users are likely to use set expressions when forming voice searches, use words figuratively, or change the order of words to be more natural for speech rather than writing. 

Think again about brand and product names

With voice search expanding and growing in popularity, an inconvenient name can be a problem for businesses. The easier it is to pronounce and read, the better. 

Product

The name of the company, product or service should not drive the user into a stupor. The idea of ​​voice search is not to waste time thinking, and an incomprehensible name will definitely make you pause.

Don't forget about the traditional search option

It is necessary to take into account trends, but after chasing them, we must not forget that most of the search queries are still carried out by text, and completely rewriting the content on the site, adapting to voice queries, is already overkill. 

Take action gradually, step by step optimizing sites for the new generation of keywords, but don't give up on familiar and already working SEO practices. 

Instead of a conclusion

Another tip that I would like to give in the end - do not forget about the responsive layout. Most of the voice requests are still done using mobile phones. That is, the user who has found your site by voice is taken to the mobile version of the page. Therefore, it is important that the small screen version of your site works and looks the way it should. 

That's all. Adapt and experiment, otherwise you will find yourself in the margins of search results.

Related: 14 free tools to improve website security
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