The following is a guest post by Erin Feldman. Erin is an e-commerce business owner somewhere in California. Her past experience as a writer started when she was in college and her career, apart from covering technology, also includes, active lifestyle and social media.
Voice search is a growing trend that is important to be recognized by businesses engaged in online activities. According to a study by eMarketer as published on AdWeek, by next year as much as 67 million voice-assisted devices would be used just in the United States. With that in mind, optimizing your site for voice search is an integral strategy that you should start to do as early as now. Voice search is the present and the future; it’s time to take the opportunity to make your web content optimized for voice search. Otherwise, you are bound to get left behind.
As optimizing for web search will involve relatively new strategies and technologies, you should put extra effort into attempting to tap this growing trend that is bound to become a staple. Only then will you be able to ensure that you will be able to cope up with the changing times.
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Voice search has been around for a while but has not unlocked its maximum potential because of difficulty in attaining accuracy. But advances in newer smartphones have boosted this feature, leading to its increased usage. Voice search is now returning more accurate results than ever before.
With the increased usage of voice search, there is a need for sites to optimize for their sites to appear in the results, as in the goal of search engine optimization in general. Content should also be voice-friendly. Your content should concentrate on ensuring that when a user searches a relevant keyword through voice, your page should be able to provide the information that your audience seeks.
Here are five effective ways on how to achieve just that:
Tip # 1: Focus on FAQ-like content
A voice search is different from traditional web-based searches. Usually, people just use a search engine online and search for their concern using keywords or phrases relevant to their inquiry. Meanwhile, people “speak” in full sentences or even full questions while doing voice search. It is normal for us to talk in full sentences; shortening our queries similar to how we normally search feels unnatural.
If there’s a page in a site that best reflects the natural queries that your users use during the search, it is an FAQ page. The format is also in question form which is also the typical voice search format.
It is then essential that you put a lot of effort into optimizing the FAQ page. Search for long-tail, question keywords that you can use in your FAQ page. Populate your page with tightly relevant questions to reel in your target market.
Tip # 2: Use Structured Data Markup
Search engines expend effort in trying to understand the content of pages. One can only imagine how challenging this task is. It is vital for pages to do their part in helping search engines understand their page because this affects their searchability. To aid search engines in understanding your content better, use structured data markup or commonly known as Schema on your pages. It will make it easier for search engines to grasp the content of your site, which in turn makes your site more searchable.
Structured data may seem a bit vague, and to practice it, understanding it is essential. Structuring your web date involves placing key information such as your company’s name and location so that web crawlers can understand your page better. It is also important to include some more complex information related to your organization such as your products, and articles related to your line of business. The key idea then is to provide more context on to what your website is all about. Something that cannot be achieved just by latently defining your site, but by the result of all the content in your site.
Being able to understand a page thoroughly is important for voice search because it’s not just about matching keywords anymore, but understanding the full meaning of the search phrase, and matching it with the appropriate search results. If you make all your site’s elements work together to have it understood by web crawlers, then you are helping your site earn its rightful place in related searches.
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Tip # 3: Optimize for Local SEO
As in for traditional optimization, optimizing for local search is also important for voice search optimization. Voice search may be more inclined to localization than the usual search query. If you’re offering local services, it’s best to optimize your website for local SEO as well.
It is also important to localize your content and to do your part in making sure that you have a presence in mapping applications to boost your local SEO.
Don’t just optimize for voice search solely – since more users are using their mobile phones to perform a voice search, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, which is of key importance now that search engines such as Google are pushing forward mobile-centric indexing.
Use tools and practices that boost mobile-friendliness, but at the minimum, ensure the following essential mobile optimization best practices:
- Ensure that your site maximizes the use of white space. It will provide enough breathing space for your readers, and also make your site feel less cramped.
- Your paragraphs should be short, and easy to read. Longer paragraphs are more likely to be skipped and would make your audiences bored from reading it.
- Divide your content by making use of subheadings, bullets, and numberings where necessary. Organize your content with the use of headings to help the readers predict or understand where they are in your content. Headings, subheadings, bullets, and numbers help people process information efficiently than just a straight-out paragraph. Content stylized this way tend to grab the readers’ attention as well.
- Make use of high-quality and optimized content. Ensure that your content will work for you, helping you attain your optimization goals.
True enough, voice search optimization is not an isolated strategy, but one of the many strategies that you should implement for holistic optimization of your site.
Perhaps rather undiscussed is the fact that overoptimizing is a real thing. It’s a hot topic on debates in the digital marketing world as to what is the recommended length for content, but the general rule is not to have multiple pages with thin content in them.
With this in mind, make sure that you optimize in moderation, and in an effective manner, and you would get the results you want.
Final Thoughts on Voice Search
Voice search is an important trend, but something that not a lot of websites have learned to tap effectively just yet. With its rising significance in the world of search engine optimization, you should understand how to perform voice search optimization on your website. Also, don’t forget to track your success with analytics to find out what metrics you need to focus on to establish and grow your business.
The five tips above focus on very straightforward yet very effective strategies to help boost your voice search optimization initiatives, ensuring that you deal with the matter in the right manner. Follow these tips to ready your site to meet what would not just be a growing trend, but an upcoming norm. Optimize for voice search and be on top of this development.
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