One thing that everyone who works within SEO knows, is that they can never sit back and relax, because just as they think they may have mastered the optimisation of a website for search engine results, along comes another update, algorithm change, or technological advancement that makes SEO a prime example of the “two steps forward, one step back” scenario.
Such is the pace and frequency of changes within SEO, they can often happen overnight, and there are tales of a business being wiped out in the space of 24 hours due to an overnight Google update, for example. What we are going to discuss is not so dramatic as that, however, it does have a significant impact on how SEO is done, and that is voice search.
As its name suggests, voice search is requesting a search engine search for a query by speaking it rather than typing on a keyboard. Voice search has become more widespread with the advent of mobile internet use, and the introduction of products such as Siri from Apple, Alexa from Amazon, and Google Assistant.
Given all of this, it is important to know how to conduct SEO on your website’s content so that it can rank just as highly, if not higher, for voice searches as it does for text searches. Get this right and you have a huge advantage over your competitors, most of whom will not be undertaking SEO for voice searches. We understand SEO is very complicated, and it is best left to the professionals, such as those from northland.com.au; however, here are ten ways you can optimise content for voice search to gain that aforementioned competitive advantage.
Use Natural Language
Hopefully, you are aware that when humans communicate, the language they use when writing can be considerably different from the language used when they are speaking.
Taking this a stage further, when someone searches online, what they type into Google, for example, will be different to how they would speak that search into their mobile phone. What this means is that you must take account of these differences and that to rank for voice searches, you have content that uses natural language rather than perfect written English.
Utilise Local Search Terms
Optimising using local search terms should take into account several things. The first are those voice searches that will include terms such as “near me”, or “nearest”, which is what many people will say when searching for businesses near their current location. The second is to optimise for local place names which are within the radius your business serves. In addition, optimise for any slang expressions for locations used locally that people may use when talking about them.
Ensure Your Website Is Optimised For Mobile
You will doubtless have heard this advice for some time, yet there are still some websites that do not display properly on mobile devices. This has become even more important because, when people wish to search for a business they will tend to speak into their mobile phones. If you rank well for the terms they say, but your website does not yet display properly on smaller screens, your efforts will have been wasted.
Research Conversational Keywords
Keyword research is essential if you are going to optimise your website for traditional SEO, however, you will be missing many opportunities if you do not extend your keyword research for voice search. Conversational keywords that people use when talking might never be considered with normal keyword research but bear in mind that spoken searches include conversational language that web users would never type.
Make Your Content Conversational
Now that you have researched conversational keywords and identified those that you wish to rank for, it is now time to create content that includes those conversational keywords and optimise on-page for them. Apart from including conversational language and keywords within the content itself, ensure that you fully optimise all your metadata, internal linking, page titles, and URLs. For images, it means adding your conversational keywords in the alt text.
Optimise Content For Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are a relatively new feature that Google now includes in its search results, and if you can get any of your content to appear as featured snippets when someone makes a voice search, your traffic should increase significantly. The key is to ensure that your content will answer the most likely questions that those making voice searches would ask.
Include An FAQ Page On Your Website
The most common way in which people search on Google, and especially so when the search is a voice search, is they ask a question. Google is then looking for content that best answers their question, and a great way to help your website appear first on the search results is to have a comprehensive FAQ page. If you can think of as many relevant questions that could be asked, and answer them clearly on your FAQ page, your rankings will rise.
Use Longer Content Pieces
Staying with the theme of answering questions when someone states their question verbally to Google, another way you can ensure your website ranks for those questions is to have long-form content on your website. The benefit of doing so is that longer content which is at least one thousand to two thousand words has a better chance of answering many of the questions asked via voice search, than content that is only a few paragraphs long.
Consider Multi-Lingual Content
This may only be suitable in certain locations or countries, but it is an opportunity for those businesses whose target audience is not all English speakers or at least English is not their first language. By publishing multi-lingual content, when someone who normally speaks a non-English language does a voice search, Google will look for content in that language, and if you have content in that language that answers their question, you will rank above your competitors.
Use Schema Markup
Schema markup plays an important role in SEO and helps search engines, especially Google, determine what your website should be ranking for. That will apply for voice search too, so you must check all your schema markup information is accurate. If you are unsure how to do this, then contact a local SEO agency and they will assist you.