Despite being introduced over a decade ago to users, voice search is still an impactful part of every marketing strategy. Voice search has seen incredible growth and development over the years. With machine learning algorithms, you can now optimise your site for voice search with relative ease. 

Data from search engines has also encouraged the growth of the voice search empire with the market expanding into a billion dollar industry. Companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple all have their own voice search machines that compete for sales and audience globally. 

Why You Should Use Voice Search for Your Business

Voice search can be transformative for your business. Statistics show that around 3.25 billion people currently use voice-activated search and assistants worldwide. Voice search has already become the fastest growing search type, and the trend’s trajectory doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon in the foreseeable future.

Google reports that 27% of the online global population is using voice search on mobile.While people can only type about 40 words per minute, they can speak 150 in the same amount of time.

Additionally, the NLP (natural language processing) prowess of voice recognition software has been enhanced multi-fold. Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning have made a huge impact on how we interact with our smart devices and search the internet. 

image for the how to optimise your site for voice search blog

Google’s RankBrain is a prime example, designed to recognise words and phrases in order to learn and better predict outcomes. As a web professional, voice search adaptability is a necessary accessory for your toolkit as you prepare to take on 2021. 

58% of consumers are already utilising voice search features to find information on local businesses. As the number of voice searches increases, businesses need to implement sound SEO techniques to reap the benefits such as increased organic traffic.

voice search statistics infographic
(Image Credit: Vye)

The smart speaker market will hit $35.5 billion by 2025. The increasing prevalence of AI-powered devices means search algorithms must evolve to not only accommodate machine learning, but also the unique use cases stemming from how we use these devices in our everyday lives.

With these devices being in many people’s homes, you want your website to feature higher through voice search when queries are made. Optimising your site is key to this. Here are some of our top tips to ensure that you optimise your website for voice search.

Make Sure Your Page Loads Fast

The reason why people use voice search is a convenience, and what convenience does a slow loading speed provide?

Not only does Google’s algorithm tilt towards websites that load faster, and as a result, ensure optimal user satisfaction and reduced bounce rates; it also benefits the consumer.

This is basic on-site SEO in action, with a special emphasis on mobile responsiveness. With Google Mobilegeddon causing mobile-responsive sites to rank higher, it is vital that your website is compatible with smartphones as well.

Faster page-load speeds are achieved through the utilisation of images that are optimised, compressed files, and website caching, to name a few. People already use voice search widely, and its acceptance will only grow dramatically in the future.

person using voice search on apple iphone
(Image Credit: Search Engine Journal)

Include Long-Tail Keywords Using Conversational Tone

When optimizing your site for voice searches, it is imperative to keep in mind that the way we speak is inherently different from the way we write.

While typed queries are very short and concise, conversational search queries make use of more words. This translates to the emphasis placed on long-tail keywords, which sound natural, and are more likely to be used in voice searches.

This helps in traditional SEO, and keywords that contain multiple words face less competition and hold a higher chance to top the SERP rankings. It might require additional and extensive keyword research, but is well worth it.

Additionally, the easier your sentence reads – the better it is for your SEO. We speak less formally than we type, and that means reduced wordiness. In fact, a majority of the voice search software conform to 9Th-grade reading levels. You could be writing about genetic engineering, but it should be written in a way that makes it easier to comprehend.

infographic for global search on mobile markets
(Image Credit: WordStream)

Appearing at the top of SERPs, featured snippets aim to present a concise answer to a user query. With this feature, Google aims to present the most relevant content at the very top of the user’s search result for a smoother experience.

In addition to ensuring high-quality content that justifies its relevance and quality to the search engine, you can go a step further and include a brief summary of the crux of your content above the fold.

The average voice search result is about 29 words long, so keep that in mind when devising content summaries. Additionally, long-tail keywords are a prominent feature of the “snippet” and should be included for added visibility.

infographic showing primary location for mobile assistants in the USA
(Image Credit: Neil Patel)

Unlocking the Untapped Potential: Quantifying the Benefits of Voice Search Optimization

In today’s fast-paced, hands-free world, voice search is rapidly transforming how people access information and engage with brands. Optimizing your website for this emerging technology isn’t just a fad, it’s a strategic move with the potential to unlock significant benefits, reach new audiences, and boost user engagement. Here’s why:

Reach a Massive and Growing Audience:

  • Voice search adoption is skyrocketing: Studies show that over 50% of internet users worldwide now engage in voice search, and this number is projected to reach 70% by 2023. This translates to millions of potential customers you could be missing out on if your website isn’t optimized for voice.
  • Expand your demographic: Voice search appeals to a wider range of users compared to traditional searches. Seniors, visually impaired individuals, and people on the go are more likely to use voice assistants, opening doors to previously untapped markets for your business.
  • Local search dominance: Voice search is heavily focused on local queries, making it crucial for local businesses to optimize for relevant keywords and location information. This can significantly increase your visibility in local searches and attract customers within your immediate vicinity.

Boost Engagement and Conversion Rates:

  • Higher click-through rates: Studies suggest that voice searches have a higher click-through rate than traditional text-based searches. This is because users are often ready to take action when they search by voice, making them more receptive to your offerings.
  • Increased conversions: The personalized and natural language nature of voice searches fosters deeper engagement and trust. By providing relevant information and addressing users’ needs directly, you can convert voice searchers into loyal customers.
  • Improved user experience: Voice search offers a convenient and hands-free way to access information. Optimizing your website for voice ensures a seamless experience, enhancing user satisfaction and encouraging repeat visits.

Beyond Quantifiable Benefits:

  • Future-proofing your brand: By embracing voice search now, you’ll be ahead of the curve and well-positioned to benefit from its continued growth and evolution.
  • Building brand awareness: As voice assistants become increasingly integrated into daily lives, appearing in voice search results can significantly enhance brand awareness and recognition.
  • Standing out from the competition: Optimizing for voice search gives you a competitive edge in a crowded digital landscape, attracting new customers and staying ahead of the curve.

By implementing a strategic voice search optimization plan, you’re not just optimizing for a trend, you’re investing in the future of user engagement and unlocking the potential to reach millions of new customers across diverse demographics and locations. Remember, the benefits go beyond numbers; it’s about building trust, fostering deeper connections, and ensuring your brand thrives in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Real-World Success Stories: How Brands Are Winning with Voice Search Optimization

Optimizing for voice search isn’t just theoretical; numerous brands across industries are reaping tangible benefits from embracing this technology. Here are a few inspiring case studies:

1. Domino’s Pizza: Recognizing the growing popularity of voice assistants, Domino’s implemented voice ordering through platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This resulted in a significant increase in voice-based orders, with some stores experiencing a 20% rise in sales within just a few months.

2. Sephora: This beauty retailer partnered with Google to create a voice-activated shopping experience for Google Assistant users. By simply asking their devices, customers could find product information, check store availability, and even make purchases – all through voice commands. This initiative led to a remarkable 30% increase in online traffic from voice searches.

3. The Home Depot: Recognizing the importance of local search in voice queries, The Home Depot optimized its website with relevant location information and targeted keywords. This led to a 22% increase in store visits driven by voice searches, showcasing the power of local SEO for brick-and-mortar businesses.

4. BBC: The BBC implemented voice search functionality within its mobile app, allowing users to access news content and radio programs hands-free. This resulted in a staggering 400% increase in voice-activated content consumption, highlighting the convenience and engagement benefits of voice search.

5. Ask Me Anything (AMA): This online question-and-answer platform recognized the potential of voice search for knowledge sharing and optimized its content for relevant voice queries. This led to a 25% increase in organic traffic from voice searches, demonstrating the value of providing concise and informative answers.

Key Takeaways from these Success Stories:

  • Focus on user intent: Understand what users are asking through voice search and tailor your content to provide direct and relevant answers.
  • Embrace local SEO: Optimize your website with accurate location information and target relevant local keywords to increase visibility in voice-based searches.
  • Prioritize mobile: Ensure a seamless user experience across mobile devices, as most voice searches occur on smartphones.
  • Offer a convenient experience: Make it easy for users to find information and complete actions through voice commands.
  • Partner with voice assistants: Integrate your brand with relevant voice platforms to expand your reach and accessibility.

Remember: These are just a few examples, and the possibilities for voice search optimization are constantly evolving. By staying informed, adapting your strategies, and learning from industry leaders, you too can leverage the power of voice search to reach new audiences, boost engagement, and achieve your marketing goals.

Avoiding the Pitfalls: Common Mistakes in Voice Search Optimization and Best Practices to Overcome Them

While the potential of voice search optimization is undeniable, navigating this new territory can be tricky. Here are some common mistakes to avoid and best practices to follow for a successful voice search strategy:

Mistake 1: Keyword Stuffing:

  • Pitfall: Cramming your content with unnatural keyword repetitions will sound robotic and hurt user experience. Google can also penalize such tactics.
  • Best Practice: Conduct thorough keyword research to understand natural language queries users ask by voice. Integrate relevant keywords organically within your content, focusing on long-tail phrases and conversational language.

Mistake 2: Ignoring Local SEO:

  • Pitfall: Neglecting local optimization means missing out on valuable voice search opportunities, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses.
  • Best Practice: Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, ensure consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information across directories, and target relevant local keywords.

Mistake 3: Long and Complex Content:

  • Pitfall: Dense and verbose content is difficult to understand through voice assistants, leading to user frustration and abandonment.
  • Best Practice: Focus on concise and clear answers that directly address user intent. Use bullet points, short paragraphs, and headings for improved readability and listening comprehension.

Mistake 4: Overlooking Mobile Optimization:

  • Pitfall: A website not optimized for mobile devices will create a poor user experience for voice search users, who primarily use smartphones.
  • Best Practice: Ensure your website has a responsive design that adapts seamlessly across all devices, including mobile and tablets. Prioritize fast loading speeds for optimal performance.

Mistake 5: Neglecting Structured Data:

  • Pitfall: Without structured data markup, search engines might struggle to understand your content’s context, hindering your visibility in voice search results.
  • Best Practice: Implement schema markup on your website to provide clear information about your content type, author, location, and other relevant details.

Mistake 6: Forgetting Conversational Language:

  • Pitfall: Using formal writing style in your content can sound unnatural and off-putting in voice search, where users expect a more conversational tone.
  • Best Practice: Write in a natural and engaging way, as if you’re having a conversation with the user. Use contractions, answer questions directly, and avoid overly technical jargon.

Mistake 7: Ignoring Mobile-First Indexing:

  • Pitfall: Google prioritizes mobile-first indexing, and if your mobile site doesn’t offer a good experience, it can negatively impact your voice search visibility.
  • Best Practice: Ensure your mobile site has the same content and functionality as your desktop site, with fast loading speeds and optimized for touch interactions.

Remember: Voice search optimization is an ongoing process. Regularly audit your website, track performance metrics, and adapt your strategies based on new trends and user behavior shifts. By avoiding common pitfalls and implementing these best practices, you can ensure your website is well-positioned to win the voice search race and reach your target audience in this dynamic and ever-evolving landscape.

Equipping Yourself for Success: Tools and Resources for Voice Search Optimization

Optimizing your website for voice search can feel overwhelming, but there’s an abundance of helpful tools and resources available to smooth the journey. Here are some key categories and recommendations to consider:

1. Keyword Research and Planning:

  • Google Keyword Planner: Identify relevant keywords and search volume data, considering long-tail phrases and natural language queries.
  • AnswerThePublic: Discover user questions and insights based on actual search queries.
  • SEMrush: Analyze competitor strategies and identify keyword gaps for comprehensive planning.
  • Moz Keyword Explorer: Get keyword suggestions and track search volume trends over time.

2. Technical SEO and Mobile Optimization:

  • Google Search Console: Monitor website performance, identify technical issues, and track mobile usability.
  • PageSpeed Insights: Analyze website loading speed and receive recommendations for improvement.
  • GTmetrix: Get detailed performance insights and identify areas for optimization.
  • Pingdom Website Speed Test: Quickly assess website loading speed and pinpoint bottlenecks.

3. Content Creation and Optimization:

  • ClearScope: Analyze content readability and optimize for voice search clarity.
  • Hemingway Editor: Identify complex sentences and improve content conciseness.
  • Yoast SEO: Guide content creation with SEO best practices and readability checks.
  • Surfer SEO: Analyze content against top-performing pages for keyword optimization.

4. Structured Data Markup:

  • Google Structured Data Testing Tool: Validate and troubleshoot your implemented schema markup.
  • Find the appropriate schema markup for your content type and website.
  • Hall Analysis Tool for Schema Markup: Analyze existing schema markup and identify areas for improvement.

5. Local SEO Optimization:

  • Google My Business: Claim and optimize your local business listing for increased visibility.
  • Moz Local: Manage and track your local SEO performance across various directories.
  • Yext: Manage local listings across multiple platforms and ensure NAP consistency.
  • Whitespark: Analyze local search rankings and identify competitor strategies.

6. Voice Search Analytics and Tracking:

  • Google Analytics: Track voice search traffic and user behavior on your website.
  • Searchmetrics Suite: Monitor voice search ranking changes and analyze competitor performance.
  • BrightEdge: Gain insights into voice search trends and user engagement.
  • Similarweb: Track website traffic sources and identify voice search referral trends.

7. Additional Resources and Support:

  • Moz Blog: Stay updated on the latest voice search trends and best practices.
  • Search Engine Land: Access in-depth articles and industry news related to voice search.
  • Semrush Academy: Learn valuable skills and best practices through online courses and tutorials.
  • Google Webmaster Central: Get official guidance and resources from Google on SEO best practices.

Remember: Choosing the right tools depends on your specific needs and budget. Start with a few free options and consider paid tools as you scale your voice search optimization efforts. Regularly evaluate your tools and explore new options to stay ahead of the curve and maximize your results.

By utilizing these tools and resources effectively, you can create a comprehensive voice search optimization strategy, ensuring your website is discoverable and engaging for users searching by voice. Remember, continuous learning and adaptation are key to success in this rapidly evolving landscape. So, equip yourself with the right tools, stay informed, and watch your voice search presence flourish!

Those who take voice search into account in their SEO strategy already have an edge over other players. Voice search operates by narrowing down results, only catering to the top three. Companies that capitalize on voice search integration early on will benefit from higher content visibility, which will only keep increasing.

While it may seem ominous now, the future is clear: voice search will form the core of SEO, and preparing for it now will give you a competitive edge above others as they try to catch up in the coming years. Want to advance your SEO strategy by optimising your website for voice search. Get in touch with ProfileTree today to see how we can help reimagine your site with voice search.

FAQ: Demystifying Voice Search Optimization

1. Is voice search optimization really necessary?

Absolutely! Voice search adoption is rapidly increasing, and optimizing your website can help you reach a wider audience, improve engagement, and potentially boost conversions.

2. What are the biggest challenges in voice search optimization?

Understanding user intent, creating concise and informative content, and ensuring mobile-friendliness are key challenges. However, available tools and resources can help you overcome these hurdles.

3. How can I measure the success of my voice search optimization efforts?

Track organic traffic from voice search queries, monitor user engagement metrics like time on site and bounce rate, and analyze conversions driven by voice search leads.

4. What are some future trends in voice search?

Integration with smart home devices, personalized search results, and multilingual capabilities are some trends to watch for.

5. Where can I find more information and resources?

This article provides a starting point, but numerous resources like Google Search Console, industry blogs, and online courses can offer valuable insights and guidance.

How To Optimise Your Site for Voice Search Conclusion:

The world of voice search is brimming with potential for businesses that embrace it strategically. By implementing the tips, tools, and best practices outlined in this article, you can unlock a new avenue for reaching your target audience, fostering deeper engagement, and achieving your marketing goals.

Remember, voice search optimization is an ongoing journey, so stay informed, adapt your strategies, and keep your website optimized for the voice-activated future. Start optimizing today and watch your brand’s voice resonate with users in exciting new ways!

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