Voice Search SEO: Preparing Your Business for the Voice-First Future

By Digital Deluxe / November 3, 2023

As technology continues to advance, our interactions with devices are evolving, and one of the significant game-changers in this landscape is voice search. What was once considered a fancy feature on smartphones has now become a mainstream mode of online search. Whether we’re chatting with Siri, asking Alexa to play our favourite song, or directing questions at Google Assistant, we are actively engaging with voice search. And we’re not alone – voice search has gained popularity among users worldwide.

In this article, we will explore the pivotal role of voice search, its impact on businesses, and how to implement effective voice search SEO strategies. We will provide you with step-by-step guidance on optimising your website for voice search, so you can stay ahead in this rapidly growing trend.

The Rise of Voice Search

Voice search has experienced exponential growth and is predicted to continue dominating the search landscape. According to recent studies, nearly half of all online searches will be conducted through voice by the end of this year. The increasing popularity of voice search can be attributed to its convenience, natural conversational style, and integration with smart devices.

Convenience Is King

At the heart of the voice search revolution is convenience. It is much quicker and easier to say, “Hey Google, find a nearby coffee shop” than to type out the same words. This convenience is magnified when users are on the go, driving, cooking, or when their hands are occupied. Voice search allows users to find information effortlessly and efficiently.

Natural Conversations Lead the Way

Unlike traditional text-based queries, voice searches tend to be more conversational in nature. People use full sentences and ask questions like, “Where is the best Italian restaurant near me?” instead of typing “best Italian restaurant nearby.” By adapting your content to match this natural language, you can better align with the intents and desires of potential customers.

Local Searches Get a Boost

Voice search is particularly beneficial for local businesses. Many voice search users are looking for local information, such as nearby services, restaurants, or shops. They want geographically relevant answers to their queries. By optimising your website for local voice search, you can position your business to capture this highly targeted audience.

Integration with Smart Devices

With the increasing popularity of smart speakers and devices, voice commands have become the norm in many households. Whether someone is adjusting their thermostat or seeking a local service, they rely on voice search to get things done. As a business, it is crucial to be part of this conversation, quite literally. Integrating voice search optimization into your SEO strategy allows you to connect with users through their preferred mode of interaction.

Optimising for Voice Search: Steps for Success

Now that we understand the importance of voice search and its impact on businesses, let’s dive into the steps you can take to optimise your website for voice search. By following these strategies, you can ensure that your business stays visible and ahead of the competition in the voice-first future.

1. Focus on Using Natural Language

The beauty of voice search lies in its human touch. Unlike traditional keyword-focused searches, voice searches are more conversational and mimic natural speech patterns. To optimise your content for voice search, incorporate long-tail keywords and phrases that people commonly use in conversations. These extended phrases help you target voice searches while also aligning with specific user intents. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about how they would verbally ask a question or seek information. Use forums, social media, and customer feedback to gain insights into the language your audience uses. Concentrate on providing context and detail in your content.

2. Prioritise Question Phrases

Voice search queries often take the form of questions that people would naturally ask a friend. This shift in search behaviour has significant implications for businesses. By addressing the questions and concerns of your target audience, you can directly cater to their needs and increase the likelihood of them returning to your website. Use tools like Answer the Public or QuestionDB to identify commonly asked questions in your industry and create engaging content that answers those queries. This can be in the form of blog posts, FAQs, video content, or interactive tools.

3. Optimise for Local Search

Since many voice searches are location-specific, optimising your website for local search is crucial. Start by optimising your Google My Business (GMB) profile, ensuring that your business details are consistent, error-free, and up-to-date. Pay attention to your NAP (name, address, phone number), business description, services, business hours, and include recent photos. Incorporate local phrases and keywords into your content to further enhance your visibility in local voice searches. Phrases like “near me,” “in [city name],” or “close to [landmark]” anchor your business to a specific location. Avoid keyword stuffing and ensure that these phrases are used naturally within your content.

4. Cultivate Featured Snippets

Featured snippets play a crucial role in voice search. Voice assistants often rely on featured snippets to provide quick and concise answers to user queries. To increase your chances of appearing in featured snippets, understand the questions your audience is asking and tailor your content to answer those questions directly. Use clear headings, bullet points, and structured content to provide easy-to-read information. Remember to regularly update and maintain your featured snippets to ensure their relevance and accuracy.

5. Utilise Structured Data

Structured data, also known as schema markup, helps search engines understand the context of your content. By incorporating schema markup into your website’s backend, you provide search engines with a roadmap to navigate and extract relevant information. This is particularly important for voice search, as users expect precise answers to their queries. Schema markup labels different sections of your content, making it easier for search engines to identify and deliver relevant content for voice search responses.

6. Improve Site Loading Speed

In the fast-paced world of voice search, speed is essential. People using voice search expect immediate results, and a slow-loading website can result in a poor user experience. Optimise your website’s loading speed by following Google’s PageSpeed Insights recommendations. This tool analyses your site’s performance and provides actionable suggestions to improve its speed and efficiency. By optimising your site’s loading speed, you enhance the user experience and increase the chances of your website appearing in voice search results.

7. Stay Up-to-Date with Constant Updates and Tests

Voice search trends and algorithms are constantly evolving. As a business, it’s crucial to stay ahead of these changes by regularly updating your content and monitoring your website’s performance. Keep your website fresh and authoritative in the eyes of search engines by updating your content to reflect the latest trends and user preferences. Monitor your site’s performance regularly to identify and address any issues proactively. By staying up-to-date and adapting your strategies, you can maintain a competitive edge in the voice search landscape.

Conclusion

Voice search is rapidly becoming the preferred mode of online search for users worldwide. Its convenience, natural language processing capabilities, and integration with smart devices make it a game-changer for businesses. By optimising your website for voice search, you can increase your visibility, reach a larger audience, and stay ahead of the competition.

Implement the steps outlined in this article to optimise your website for voice search. Focus on using natural language, prioritise question phrases, optimise for local search, cultivate featured snippets, utilise structured data, improve site loading speed, and stay up-to-date with constant updates and tests. By doing so, you can ensure that your business is well-prepared for the voice-first future.