With continuing advancements in the internet and technology in general, information is more accessible than ever before. Today, if consumers want to search for a product or service, all they have to do is talk into a device. In fact, more than 4.2 billion people use voice search devices across the world. With this increasing trend, it’s important to incorporate voice search optimisation into your website development and content creation strategies.
What are the Benefits of Voice Search?
Although voice search is a very complex technology, it makes our lives simpler. Some of the benefits of voice search include:
● Saves time: Users don’t have to pull up a web browser or wade through pages of results to find the information they’re looking for.
● Convenient: You can search for anything at any time. While you’re driving your car, carrying an armful of paperwork, or giving your kids a bath, you can use voice search to seek information.
● Simple: Some people struggle typing information on a mobile device. On most devices, you don’t even have to press a button to activate voice search features.
● Accurate results: Because you’re able to ask more in-depth questions, results are better tailored to your queries.
From searching for music and weather updates to directions and product reviews, voice search is a powerful tool and an important element to consider in website optimisation.
It is worth noting that voice search also has its cons. While it can be amazing for informational searches, it isn't so useful for purchasing or anything that requires engagement.
How Does Voice Search Differ From Traditional Search?
To understand the best ways to optimise for voice search, it’s important to recognise how it differs from traditional search. Its impact on website and content design include:
● Conversational approach: With voice search, users ask more complete questions which provide greater insight into the intent of the search. Who, what, when, where, and why queries indicate where consumers are in their purchase journey.
● Keyword use: Since voice search is more conversational, people ask questions as though they were speaking to another person rather than entering short phrases into a search bar. For this reason, keywords are longer. This is important to your keyword research during content development.
● Location is key: 58% of people using voice search are looking for places that are located near them at the time of their search. These people are ready to engage and are actively seeking a location to make that purchase.
● Vocalised responses: Voice search results are typically read back to the user as a rich snippet. This delivers an instant response, which is one of the reasons people love voice search, to begin with.
These differences all play a vital role in the importance of voice search optimisation and how you approach your website design and content creation.
5 Ways to Use Voice Search Optimisation to Set Your Content Apart
Voice search trends in 2021 continue to rise. To capture that audience, you need to be sure your content is optimised for people using voice search systems to find solutions to their problems. Here are five ways to use voice search optimisation to set your blog apart from the competition.
1. Use Simple, Long-Tail, Question-Based Keywords
Since voice searches are conversational and longer than text queries, you need to incorporate simple, long-tail keywords into your content. Long-tail keywords are more specific and help people hone in more closely to the results they’re seeking. That’s why 70% of searches are long-tail keywords. While you want to help narrow results, you also don’t want to be so specific that you wind up entering keywords that searchers would never use and software can’t identify.
For best results, keep your long-tail keywords simple. Develop content around phrases commonly used in conversation. If you get stuck, type a word into Google’s search bar and watch it populate frequently searched phrases. These answers can guide you in creating effective keywords that will help people find your blog articles.
Most people using voice search are asking their devices a question. Your keywords should answer who, what, when, where, why, and how. For extra help, you can also enter a keyword into Google and look at the bottom of the page for related searches. You’ll see suggestions on what questions might revolve around that particular keyword. This can help you create long-tail keywords to attract voice search users.
You should also check out alsoasked.com which gathers this data automatically.
2. Cater to the Locals
Since we know a big chunk of voice searches are being conducted by people looking for local solutions, it’s important to create content that caters to the locals in your area. Begin by ensuring all of your contact information online is current. Details like physical location, phone number, and opening hours can be a huge draw to attract people to your business.
One way to do this is through a Google My Business listing. This free service allows you to list your business on Google Search and Google Maps so that when people search for you online, your company’s localised information is readily available. After all, 60% of smartphone owners use this information to contact a business directly.
In optimising your blog posts for local users, be sure to include details in more than just the body of your articles. Insert location and other identifying keywords into your meta description, URL, headers, and title tags. This brings your site to the forefront of local search results and increases visibility among people who are ready to purchase and actively seeking your solutions.
3. Take a Conversational Approach
Since the queries performed by voice searchers are presented in a conversational way, your blog content should use everyday language, idioms, and speaking patterns that relate to your readers. Research your audience and the language they use so your blog articles can mirror that tone and dialect. You can also earn higher SERPs when you take the following approach:
● Tell a compelling story: As much as people value informational posts, stories can attract attention elicit action. Create content that tells a story and still provides value. Share personal experiences, lessons you’ve learned, and failures you’ve overcome. Connect with your audience on a personal level and build a deep, lasting relationship with them.
● Be authoritative: Your blog articles and your content, in general, should provide expert-level information. Answer as many questions as possible and serve as an authority on the topic at hand. People will come to trust you as a leader in your field and will look to you for answers and solutions.
● Know your readers: If you don’t provide people with the right information at the right time, they won’t convert. Identify your ideal target audience by creating personas. These hypothetical characters can help you determine the pain points and needs of your audience. With this insight, you can develop content that resonates with your readers and compels them to become loyal followers.
● Provide in-depth content: Blog posts of at least 1,500 words that are chock full of useful information can help you earn higher SERPs. Long-form content with well-strategised keywords delivers valuable material that readers want to consume and search engines want to reward.
● Appeal to your audience: Blog posts with visual elements catch the reader’s eye and hold their attention. Graphs, videos, pull-out quotes, and high-resolution images are ways to engage your reader and keep them coming back for more content. This engagement can help with your visibility from within voice search, too, because Google knows that it is being received well.
When people use voice search, they speak into their devices the way they speak to a friend. Your content should do the same.
4. Design for Mobile Devices
Mobile devices have given consumers the freedom to shop at any time and from anywhere. As a result, nearly half of all voice searches are made on a mobile device. For this reason, you must optimise your website to ensure it’s mobile-friendly. One of the most common complaints about mobile website access is slow loading times. If a page takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of visitors will bail.
Make sure all graphics are compressed or embedded to minimise page load time. Use a performance-centric hosting platform that can handle the speed you need for maximum performance. Formatting is another issue for mobile users. Make sure graphics and text are scalable so that important information isn’t cut off from view on smaller screens. A person accessing your blog on their smartphone should have the same user experience as someone accessing it from their desktop.
5. Write for the Snippet Response
When a user asks their device a question, 40% of Google’s responses use a featured snippet of your content. For this reason, it’s advantageous to write your blog content with this snippet response in mind. To do this, come up with specific questions (use these questions as the header) and then write content that directly answers those questions. By creating content this way, Google can quickly locate the question and the answer and apply it to the snippet response.
Any time you create content for your blog, watch for opportunities to write with a snippet response in mind. It can help bring your brand to the top of the search results and gain you more visibility while enabling you to provide more value to a larger audience.
The convenience and ease of voice search has led to its popularity among billions of people around the world. For a website to capitalise on this audience, you must incorporate voice search optimisation into your website and content development strategy. By following the five tips in this article, you can build a site that earns higher SERPs, increases visibility, and drives traffic that converts.