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Voice Search: 8 Strategies to Optimize your Website SEO

“Ok Google”

“Hey Siri”

On comes the familiar notification tone of the voice search option on your mobile phone. 

The ever evolving whims and fancies of the customer have prompted companies to bring newer and more sophisticated advancements and features in mobile phones. One such feature is the voice search option. For the uninitiated, voice search is a feature on your smartphone device that enables you to search using voice commands. With this, you don’t need to type each and every word into the search bar - you can just speak after pressing the microphone button and Google/Siri automatically detects the words and completes the search for you. Here comes the need for optimisation of your website SEO for voice search.

Apart from the obvious, voice search has more to it than meets the eye. The impact of voice search on websites SEO has been a revolution of sorts. We can see that an increased number of companies have started to tweak their websites to cater to voice search optimization in addition to the normal search optimization, so as to ensure that they rank at the top of search results.

You must be thinking - does SEO optimization differ for normal search and voice search? The short answer is YES. 

Let’s take this example. To find the best cafe in Mumbai, this is how you would search for:

Normal search: “Best Cafes in Mumbai”

Voice search: “What are some of the best cafes in Mumbai?”

This is proof that while normal search is more keyword specific, that is not the case with voice search. This is just one example of the difference in website SEO optimization for voice search.

Top 8 Strategies to Optimize your Website SEO for Voice Searches

If you are a business looking to optimize your website SEO for voice searches, here are 8 strategies you can implement to help your website rank better:

1. Start Local

The thing with voice search is that people are more likely to search for locally relevant information using voice commands vis-à-vis type search. Type search is preferred when the content falls in a broader spectrum whereas local information is sought more using voice search. In such a scenario, it becomes important to optimise your website SEO to include more locally relevant keywords and content so as to rank more effectively on voice search.

2. Be Mobile Friendly

Mobile phones being more handy and verbal oriented, it is not surprising that voice search is more popular in mobile devices than desktop or any other gadget. This makes it crucial to make your website more mobile friendly by creating more mobile friendly content for starters. Here are three ways to achieve that:

Run a mobile friendly test for your website and optimise accordingly

Make your website more mobile responsive

Ensure your website is crawlable for more exposure and visibility on mobile devices.  

3. Use Conversational Language

As seen in the example above, voice search optimization requires that your content needs to be conversational in nature. Websites can leverage this by using more natural language in their content rather than factual or formal language. By conducting a data driven analysis on verbal cues most used by your target audience, you can modify the content on your website to include questions that are relevant to you and your business. 

4. Improve Website Loading Time

This is one of the most underrated strategies you can use to optimise your website SEO for voice searches. Websites that take a lot of time to load rank much lower than the ones that do. People tend to abandon websites that are slow to load and have a high bounce rate. It is important that you optimise your website to load faster to ensure better retention rates.

5. Cater to FAQs

Search in the form of questions is what is mostly resorted to by people in voice search. People respond positively to websites that provide accurate and to the point answers to their questions. If you cater to the questions that people want to know the answers to, analyse the relevant ones and modify your website’s content according to the same, you can have better rankings on search engines. 

6. Leverage Google My Business

Google My Business is an important tool that, if used correctly, can propel your business to the forefront of Google. GMB enables your business to rank in ‘near me’ searches, which are one of the most commonly searched keywords in voice search. Having accurate information on your GMB is vital to get relevant results and the most out of searches. 

7. Create Structured Content

Schema markup, or as it is more popularly known structured data, is essentially metadata or data about the content of your website. It enables your content to be “described” in such a manner that helps Google or your search engine to understand the content on your website and rank it on search accordingly. By implementing schema markup on your content, your website is assured of greater visibility and exposure.

8. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

We've already mentioned the fact that voice search requires content that is conversational in nature. Yes, people speak the more natural language when using voice search; so let's better focus on long-tail keywords.  For this, you must understand "how people would ask questions", "how people will speak naturally" etc. These kinds of questions that might bring users to our site will definitely be a kind of long-tail keyword with a real-speech tone. So, you need to know this and target as many variations of these keywords and questions as possible. 

Voice search is here for the long run. It becomes important that you change with the times and optimize your website to accommodate it. These are a few strategies you can use to optimize your website SEO for voice search and thereby increase your ranking and visibility. For improving your business ranking on search engines, be it type or voice search, connect with SpiderWorks - one of leading digital marketing and SEO experts in UAE and India. 

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