Smart devices such as Alexa and Echo and assistants like Siri or Google’s own have taken the world by storm. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see someone talking to their phone, asking for directions, translations or any other conceivable piece of information.
What this means for websites is that you can’t base your optimization on text alone. Any website that wants to be on top of the SERP needs to reevaluate their strategy and incorporate voice search into their optimization process.
So what does this actually mean? Well, due to the nature of the voice search, keywords tend to be longer and more conversational. Optimizing for voice search also means being able to predict what specific type of information the user is after.
Some users speak to the assistant directly, while others convert speech to text and do more of a traditional search. Users who speak to the assistant usually formulate their searches as questions, and as a result the search engine is going to look for the specific answer and tell it out loud, without ever displaying any websites in the search. This means that you’ll either be a top pick or won’t get any attention at all.
Users who convert speech to text will see the results the same as anyone doing a traditional typing search will do. However, Google does try to single out the most relevant results in the form of a featured snippet.
In this article, we’ll give you a few tips on how to get your website ready for this new trend and how it can benefit you in the long run.
Organize Your Content Conversationally
You can use structured data and schema markups to get your content in line with voice search parameters. This data basically represents a table of contents and is nested in the source code of the website. It only serves to organize the data on your pages for search engines and make sure voice searches display more relevant results by being able to interpret the type of data on your website. Making search engines understand what your website contains is key in optimizing it for voice searches.
Make Sure Your Website Is Fast Enough
Page speed is another crucial component of optimizing for voice searches. To make sure your website is up to speed (literally) you can use tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights to determine how fast your website loads. Not only will it determine your website speed, it will also give you suggestions on how to improve your results.
These suggestons include compressing and resizing images, getting rid of excess code, removing any plugins you’re not using, fixing broken links and pages, etc. Last but not least, make sure you are using a reliable hosting provider that can support the weight of your website. Once you’ve checked all of these from the list, test your website again and be prepared to get surprised.
Use A FAQ Format
While voice recognition keeps improving, so far it works best with question-and-answer type of content. According to recent reports, 70% of all voice searches are made in the form of a conversation or questions. Formatting your content this way will ensure that your website is appropriately structured to fit this pattern. Think about how you interact with devices like these, if you ever have. Have that in mind when planning and writing your content.
Create Long-Form Articles With 2000+ Words
The content you are working on optimizing using traditional SEO methods should also follow voice search optimization guidelines. Search engines reward long, high-quality content with better ranking, and the same goes for voice search.
Most platforms are likely to suggest a page that already ranks well in search engines. According to Backlinko, nearly 75% of all suggested results come from pages that already rank in the first three positions for a particular keyword. This is why it’s important to have your voice search optimization practices compliment your traditional SEO strategies.
With more and more assistants like these on the horizon, optimizing your website for voice search is only going to gain more significance. If you get an early start, you will stand out from the competition and gain momentum that will push you to the top of future voice searches, which competition that has joined the party later will have a tough time moving you from.