It is no secret that voice search is growing, and quite rapidly too. Almost every home has a smart speaker, and 55% of homes are expected to own one by 2020.
People are talking to their phones and smart speakers now more than ever, which is understandable because we’re only getting busier. Google said that 20% of all searches are by voice, and statistics are predicting that 50% of all online searches will be voice-based by 2020.
To me, these stats say a lot about how important voice search will be in 2020, so it will be important for websites to be optimized for voice searches. If you want to learn how, you’re in luck, because that is exactly what we will be talking about today.
1. Optimize your website for mobile devices
Yes, many homes own smart speakers, but even more, people own smartphones. Therefore, most of the voice searches happen there. Make sure to optimize your website for mobile so Google sees how mobile-friendly it is and displays it in the search results.
When people visit your website on their phone, you want them to be greeted with a simple design so they don’t get confused. What you can do is make your homepage simple and concise, and have all the important elements where people can see them. Always include a search bar and all the menu options, and don’t include anything that is not necessary to the visitors, because you want your website to be as fast as possible.
But this is not all.
You want people to also be able to read your website’s content, so make sure the font you picked is the right size. If you want to learn more about ideal font sizes for websites <- click here.
2. Don’t use complicated language
When people are both typing and using voice search, they’re keeping it as simple as possible. No one’s typing essays, and most people are making mistakes while typing.
As sophisticated and professional you want to sound, overdoing it can be bad for your voice search optimization. When talking to Google Voice or Alexa, people speak as if they’re making conversation, so complicated phrases aren’t being used. There’s a reason people use simple language when they are writing content, they want everyone to be able to understand and absorb the information.
The same goes for all the other content on a website.
3. Question-based keywords
Not only are people speaking in a conversational manner when talking to their voice assistants, but they are also them asking questions. Think about it, it makes perfect sense.
Imagine someone walking around their house and saying: ‘Alexa, clean carpet best solutions’. It is just not a natural way of speaking. Instead, people say: ‘Alexa, what are the best solutions for cleaning a carpet?’.
For this very reason, questions are an important part of voice search. Knowing your audience is everything if you want to increase traffic and sales, and you can increase them even more if you know how they speak. Optimize for questions beginning with ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘why’, ‘where’, etc.
Research shows that almost 20% of all voice searches contain a set of 25 keywords, such as ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘best’ and ‘easy’, so make use of them.
4. Featured Snippets
Whenever you google something, sometimes on top of the search page you will get an answer. These are so-called featured snippets and they are very useful when it comes to getting clicks. Research shows that featured snippers get a 2x higher click-through rate.
But how do you optimize for them?
First, include a question in your heading or subheading and do your best to answer that question as short and informative as you can. Users are what’s most important to Google, so if you want Google to display your answer to them, you will have to make it good.
Try to answer the question in 30-40 words and when you’re writing blogs, try to focus on one problem or question per. Also, organize the post the best you can: use subheadings and if you’re writing a guide, do it step-by-step. Add images to your text, so Google displays an image in the featured snippet, which makes it look significantly better.
5. Use your Google My Business listing
Statistics show that 80% of local searches convert, so the importance of local SEO cannot be denied. Google My Business listing is an integral part of it, and as such, you want your GMB listing to be optimized.
When using GMB, there will be forms you will have to fill out, so use keywords and voice search keywords in them, as well.
6. Tips for writing content
We already mentioned the importance of simple language, so make sure you are writing in a natural and conversational tone. Avoid complicated phrases and words many people have probably never even heard of.
Regarding keywords, use them sparingly. If you try hard to include them everywhere to increase their number and make your SEO better, it will just sound artificial and keyword stuffed. The reader should be in your first place, so try to understand their intent when they’re searching for something.
This is known as semantic search, where the search engine tries to give the user accurate results as possible by trying to understand language the way a human would. Focus less on keywords, and more on what you’re writing.
In a previous blog, we wrote about long-tail and short-tail keywords, and we mentioned how significant they were. Long-tail keywords are your best friend, especially when it comes to voice search. People are asking questions, which are searches that are longer than the ones when we’re typing. They also help us get less vague answers, which is another reason why people use them so much.
Voice search will be even more important in 2020 and people are using their voice assistants more than ever. More than half of all homes are expected to own one by 2020, and 34% of people who do not own one said they were interested in getting one.
This is why optimizing your website for voice search is important and you can do so by optimizing it for mobile devices, using simple language, question-based keywords, optimizing your content regarding both the quality and featured snippets, and by fully utilizing your Google My Business listing.
We hope that this article helps you with your voice search optimization and makes it possible for you to stay on top of it throughout 2020.