Did you know that almost half of all searches are now voice search. Users are asking their smartphones or digital assistants for recommendations or advice more than ever before. Voice has become a huge part of web search, and is growing all the time, so you need to make sure that your website and online presence is ready.
Optimize your site for local SEO
Approximately 70% of all voice searches are local in nature, so businesses should always ensure to keep their NAPs (name, address and phone numbers) up to date and consistent on their website and across any social media platforms. This should also include accurate opening hours, and a precise location of your physical store, if applicable.
So, when someone asks their phone, “Where is the best coffee in town?” … Google knows exactly where to send them!
Concentrate on long-tail keywords and phrases
The way we speak to digital assistants when using voice search is very different from the way we search when typing text into Google.
Generally, people using traditional text search will type 3 or 4 words such as “best cafe cork”. Whereas voice searches are usually much longer sentences and more natural conversational phrases like “Hey Siri, what is the best coffee shop near me in Cork”.
Make sure you claim your free Google My Business listing
Your free Google My Business (GMB) listing is hugely important, especially nowadays, for both SEO benefits and voice search, as this information helps Google understand who you are, what services you offer, where you are located, and it directs the Google bot directly to your website so it can crawl for more information. The more Google knows about you, the more voice searches will land on your doorstep.
Focus on question based keywords
When people speak to a smart device they are almost always asking it a question. And they will usually ask the whole question instead of only using a set of keywords.
People will use words such as ‘where’, ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘who’ or ‘when’. So, ensure that your content is optimized with question-based keywords for specific queries. You should also include a FAQs page or quality blog posts created around conversational questions.
Mobile-friendly websites rank better
Nowadays, almost everyone has a smartphone, so it is only natural that with the internet literally at our fingertips, and the convenience of voice search capabilities, they are going to be our first source of information.
Google’s mobile-first indexing means that Google uses the mobile version of your website as the primary source for indexing and ranking. And with over half of all voice searches originating from a smartphone, it’s safe to say that mobile responsive websites are getting priority at the first-page rankings in mobile searches, and will also likely be among the first smart assistant and voice search suggestions.
Voice search - Final thoughts
Voice search really isn’t just a fad or a trend. It’s here to stay, and is developing and growing all the time. Any business owner who is serious about developing and scaling their business, can’t afford to ignore the benefits of optimizing their online content for voice search. Advancements and regular updates in the technology and software, along with the ever-increasing usage by consumers means that if you don’t keep up, you will simply be left behind.