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Optimise your site for search

By RITU SHARMA, Content Manager at SEO Company PageTraffic

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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. 

In conclusion 

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.

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New measures as video production comes to a halt

MultiChoice has announced a range of measures to safeguard the incomes of cast, crew, and creatives, as well as the sustainability of production houses.

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MutliChoice Group has confirmed that production of video entertainment has come to a complete halt in South Africa, as the industry adheres to the national lockdown.

Many sectors across the African continent are adjusting and finding ways to deal with challenges brought about by the current coronavirus pandemic. Among these, MultiChoice Group is one of the best-known brands across Africa, due to its dominance of the video entertainment sector. As a result, it says, it is acutely aware of the challenges its partners in the industry are facing. 

“For many years MultiChoice has been a leader in the sector and are a leading investor in local content production,” it said in a statement on Friday. “The group has deep rooted partnerships and long-standing commitments that have grown the industry for the benefit of many, both in front and behind the camera.”

For this reason, says MultiChoice, it has decided to implement several measures aimed at safeguarding the incomes of cast, crew, and creatives as well as the sustainability of production houses. 

“With these measures the group can hopefully steer the industry through this tumultuous time.”

MultiChoice announced the following measures:

  • “MultiChoice has set aside R80 million to ensure that current productions are able to pay full salaries of cast, crew, and creatives for the months of March and April, by when hopefully we will have the worst of the disruptions behind us. The need to secure salaries of our creatives goes a long way in creating income stability for them and their families. We believe this to be critical for the industry and in our view simply the right thing to do.
  • “Through the MultiChoice Talent Factory we will be launching an online learning portal that will support over 40 000 members of the industry to gain access to courses and online master classes, so they can continue to hone their craft whilst adhering to the public health measures of social distancing and isolation. 
  • “Furthermore, we have committed to guarantee the incomes of freelancers in our SuperSport Productions, who are currently unable to work due to the suspension of sport and the national lockdown. This extends to guaranteeing the income of freelancers in our broadcast technology environment.”

MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela said: “Our main concern is to ensure as much as possible that we secure the incomes of creatives, cast and crew over this period. We want to ensure that they and their families are not negatively impacted as work has come to a standstill.

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Nintendo South Africa launches online gameathon

Nintendo’s South African distributor has set up live events for virtual participation during lockdown.

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Being stuck inside doesn’t mean not being with the game. Players now have the chance to meet up virtually to play Nintendo Switch Online games like Ring Fit AdventureAnimal Crossing: New Horizons, and Pokémon Sword and Shield

A daily schedule is available for each game. For example, Ring Fit Adventure has a kids challenge at 9am from Monday to Friday, while adults can join in at 2pm. The challenges are co-ordinated by a dedicated Ring Fit coach. 

The challenge instructions will be available via the Discord channel. Join the channel via the invite here

Players of all skill levels are encouraged to join. Plenty tips and tricks will be shared about the games. 

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