Close to 50% of searches are now being conducted using voice search – and it’s a trend among users of all ages. That means even small business can benefit a great deal from voice search, as technology has made it easier for anyone to give voice commands and receive accurate responses.
But before you start optimising for voice search, you need to answer the following questions:
- Who is likely to search for your business using a voice search?
- What device are they likely to use?
- What would they be searching for mostly?
- What action are they likely to take after a voice search?
The answers to these questions are likely to guide you in an attempt to optimise your small business website for voice search.
Now, how to optimise:
Use conversational tone
The top-ranked search results from voice searches are usually the ones that employ a conversational tone. It is also a good idea to keep the content simple. The simplest content should have short sentences and should get to the point as quickly as possible. In most cases, searchers are looking for quick answers, so get to the point. You might be trying to be conversational, but that is not an excuse to keep going on with irrelevant chit-chat.
Target “long-tail keywords”
Remember that voice search is usually done the way we speak, so keywords used are going to be longer than usual. Voice searches will include conjunctions and may be more descriptive. Long-tail keywords are usually phrases that would be used in ordinary conversations. Some FAQs can provide good inspiration for long-tail keywords. Think of how your keywords fit into a question a user is likely to ask.
Optimise for Mobile
Your website is most likely going to get traffic from people using mobile phones. If you also look at what people search for using voice search, you will realise that most of these searches are done using mobile phones. Most people are looking for local businesses and they have their mobile phones with them as they search, which is why mobile optimisation is crucial.
At the same time, though, we cannot ignore the fact that smart devices have become common – like Alexa from Amazon – which means you may also have to optimise for these devices. Since they usually do not have screens, the content you provide should be compatible with such devices.
Optimise for Local Search
Local business form the bulk of searches on voice search. Google My Business is one of the most recommended listings to take advantage of if you would like to succeed in local search. Over 25 percent of searchers who look for a local business will eventually call the business after they visit the website. What does that mean? Well, it means that you need to have your business number appear in the search results. It also helps to have a map to your business. Include all the information a person would want to have before they contact a business, such as operating hours.
Target “Position Zero”
The featured snippet is also known as position zero. Websites that make it to position zero are those that have short and precise answers. Try to have as many questions and answers that relate to your business. It will help if you know your audience and the kind of content and questions they would ask.
It will be necessary to carry out as much research as possible on your keywords so that you can create relevant content. Of course, you need to follow SEO best practices if you are to make it to that position.
The number of people performing voice search is steadily increasing, and a prudent business owner will begin or has already begun optimising for this trend. You, however, need to remember that basic SEO practices will still apply here. There might be a difference in the kind of keywords you use, but you still have to follow SEO best practices. If smart devices become more popular, you will also have to pay just as much attention to optimising for those devices as you do for mobile.
Ritu Sharma is the Content Manager at SEO Company PageTraffic, one of Asia’s most award-winning & recognized Digital Search Marketing agency. She has been the spearhead of many successful Content Marketing Campaigns for PageTraffic where she also blogs SEO related topics.