How to Optimize Your Business for Voice Search
You’re in the middle of an impressively deep Friends binge when you spot a familiar actor. “How do I know that guy?” It’s driving you crazy, but you finally consult the expert.
“Hey, Siri, who is the agency worker in season 10 episode 9 of Friends?”
Siri responds with the IMDb (Internet Movie Database) link to “The One with the Birth Mother.” You scroll to the cast list and learn it’s Jim O’Heir, of Parks and Recreation fame.
OK, you probably didn’t experience that exact scenario. But you’ve likely used your mobile assistant, whether it’s Siri or Google Assistant, to find some answer while you were driving, watching TV or cooking in the last few weeks. And you’re certainly not alone.
Voice Search is Only Getting More Popular
In its 2017 Internet Trends Report, KPCB unveiled these crazy numbers:
- Google’s word accuracy has jumped from around 85 percent in 2013 to above 95 percent in 2017; higher than human accuracy
- 20 percent of mobile search queries were voice searches
The takeaway here is obvious: you need to optimize your site for voice search. If you don’t, you’re losing customers.
Optimizing Your Site for Voice Searchers
So now that you understand the importance of optimizing for voice search, let’s cover how you do it.
How Do We Search?
Think about how you might search through Google Assistant versus a keyboard. You might say, “OK Google, what times is Rocketman playing at the AMC Lennox,” whereas if you’re on your computer, you’re going to save yourself the effort and type, “Rocketman times AMC Lennox.”
Google has seen a jump in queries that include words like “how,” “where” and “what” in recent years, which we can attribute directly to voice search. When you’re optimizing your website, keep these longer form questions in mind, rather than the short, choppy keywords you’ve likely gotten used to using.
Think About the Answers We Want
If someone is using voice search to save time, they’re also going to want to save time by finding the site with the quickest answer. According to Backlinko, the average voice search answer is 29 words. Of course, that doesn’t mean you want every page – or every blog – to be just 30 words, but you do want some place where users can find the information they’re looking for in 30 words. Either use a FAQ page, or include a simple question and answer format in your blog before breaking it down for the users who want a more detailed answer.
Put the Answers Directly into Your Content
What questions are you answering? Put those verbatim long-form questions somewhere on your website. If you know potential customers are wondering whether your beauty brand is cruelty free, rather than including a bullet point on a product page that just reads “cruelty free,” incorporate the text as a sentence on your about page: “Yes, we are an 100 percent cruelty free brand, and have been since we were founded in 2014!” If your customers are wondering about shipping time and fees, incorporate something like, “‘Company name’ offers free two-day shipping on orders over $100 through FedEX” in a long-form blog.
5 Takeaways from Voice Search Optimization
Now that you’ve got the basics of optimizing your website for voice search down, here are a few key pro tips to make sure your site is truly equipped for the assistant-loving searchers.
1. Use filler language.
The, on, to. We were told to get rid of these words when optimizing, but with voice search on the incline and more searchers finding content using complete sentences, don’t leave these filler words out of your content or keywords.
2. Write like you talk.
This isn’t a new tip, but it’s important now more than ever. Avoid big words. Think about how you ask your best friend a question; if the word sounds too fancy for that, it’s probably too fancy for voice searchers. Keep it casual.
3. Location, location, location.
Many users are searching for things “near me,” so use that to your advantage in your content. There should be no question of where your business is located down to the street number.
4. Is your site mobile friendly?
It better be! The grand majority of voice searchers are on their mobile devices, so having a website poorly optimized for phones and tablets is a fast way to lose a potential conversion.
5. Should I ask – then answer – lots of questions on my site?
You know you should. With the number of people asking their mobile assistants full questions, you should have those questions, with a short but complete answer, somewhere on your site. FAQ pages are a great way to knock a bunch of question-and-answers out on one page without ruining user experience. Or, go the blog route. Use frequently asked questions as topics for your blog posts, then answer concisely before giving that long and informative answer.
If you have additional questions about voice search, Blue Laser Digital can surely help you out. Call us today at (614) 453-5702, or contact us to get started.