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7 Voice Search Optimization Strategies – and Why Your Clients Need Them

By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on Sep 8, 2023

The number of voice searches and the number of people using voice search are increasing every year. This is an area where those businesses that are paying attention to how Internet searches are evolving will grab more market share, and those who don’t will fall behind.

Digital assistants and devices such as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant have made it easier than ever for people to search the Internet for the information they need, and even use that information to complete purchases.

Marketers need to know that

Voice search is only going to increase, so expect these numbers to rise even by next year. Voice search represents an important change in how people use the Internet. If your clients are going to continue to compete, it is critical that they optimize their websites and other online information such as local directories for voice search.

But before we get into how to optimize for voice search, let’s talk more about what it is and why it’s important.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search is pretty much self-explanatory. It’s simply verbally asking a device to perform an Internet search rather than typing a search. Of course, this requires using technology that recognizes voice. This can reside on computers, smart phones, smart speakers, smart TV or systems installed in automobiles.

People tend to search differently by voice, just as people tend to speak differently from how they write. Voice searches tend to be more conversational and longer. Instead of typing “weather in Cincinnati,” someone living in Cincinnati and doing a voice search might say something like, “Hi, Alexa, can you tell me what to expect for the weather here today?”

Why Should Your Client Care About Voice Search Optimization?

There are many reasons why users and businesses alike love voice search.

  • Increase traffic to business website: When it comes to appearing in search results, more is always better. And your client is going to appear in search results substantially more if you optimize for voice search. Of course, in addition to increasing traffic, better search results rankings also mean increased brand awareness.
  • Build credibility: When your client’s audience can easily find your client’s site and the information they need, that builds credibility and positive feelings.
  • Improve the user experience overall: Optimizing for voice search includes upping your client’s technical SEO game. That leads to al better user experience overall.
  • Provide Accessibility: Businesses today want their websites to be accessible to everyone and website accessibility is more at the forefront than ever before. For people with motor or visual disabilities, voice search is a godsend.
  • Enjoy Speed & Convenience: Voice search is fast and it’s hands-free. It’s easier to talk than to type, particularly when you are walking around town or driving. That means people can find your client’s business no matter what else they are doing.
  • Drive Safely: Texting (and therefore doing searches) while driving is extremely dangerous and illegal in most places. But with in-car systems, drivers can perform Internet searches just as easily as they can talk with a person sitting next to them. They can check on an address, find out where the nearest Thai restaurant is or any one of a million other kinds of searches. And when people can search wherever they are, they are more likely to find your client’s business.

The Steps You Must Know for Voice Search Optimization

If you’re looking to tap into the potential of voice search, here are some effective ways to optimize your client’s website:

Use Conversational Language

As we’ve already mentioned, voice searches are more conversational than typed searches. That means you must use language in a natural way on your clients’ websites.

But sounding like a human in website content goes beyond appealing to voice searches. Google has made it very clear that the user experience is everything. Google will penalize your client for content that sounds like it was written by AI. Be authentic. Be human.

Use Keywords Tailored for Voice Search

Since voice search tends to be more conversational than text searches, you will want to research keywords that fit that style of search. Using these kinds of keywords can help:

  • Keywords that reflect natural conversation: These are keywords that are similar to how people actually speak such as “How can I make pizza at home?” as opposed to typing “pizza recipes.”
  • Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are usually made up of three to five words. Because they are specific rather than general, there are typically fewer searches on long-tail keywords, but they tend to be much more on point. In other words, they are more likely to attract your client’s ideal audience. And they are more likely to match how people frame their voice searches.
  • Keywords that begin with question words: These are keywords that include words like “how” or “what.” For example, “How to write email subject lines” or “how can I write an email subject line?”

Needless to say, keywords can fall into more than one of the above categories.

Include FAQs

Including FAQs on every page that makes sense such as product and services pages is a good way to be picked up by search engines.  When people use voice search, they tend to ask questions. So, including commonly asked questions and their answers is only going to boost your search engine rankings and particularly appeals to voice searches. And of course, FAQs are also a great resource for customers.

Optimize for Local Searches

Many more voice searches than text searches seek local information such as “Where’s the closest drug store?” In fact, voice searches are about three times more likely to be local searches than text searches. People often search locally when they are ready to buy. They may be out shopping and looking for something specific, ready to drive there immediately. You don’t want your clients to miss that business.

Be sure that your website contains content and keywords that reference your local area. And don’t forget to list your business on Google Business Profiles as well as other local business directories, and keep those listings updated.

Optimize for Mobile

A lot of people perform voice searches on mobile devices. When people are out and about, a voice search is often just easier. Also, a lot of people use their phones for everything these days.

That means if your clients are serious about getting voice search traffic, their website better be optimized for mobile. And as we often remind our readers, Google ranks for search engine results using mobile websites. It’s become the default. So be sure your client’s mobile website is easy to read, easy to navigate and fast loading.

Use Structured Data

Structure your data to help search engines find your client’s website and understand it. Structured data (or schema markup) helps accomplish this. This is particularly important for voice search, because even though your client’s users don’t’ see metadata, it’s important to tell search engines about the context and content of your client’s site. Google can help you test your structured data.

Google very often pulls voice search results from featured snippets. A featured snippet is a short bit of text from a page. You know, those short snippets of text that are above Google search results. Their purpose is to provide quick answers mostly to informational searches. Featured snippets rely heavily on structured data to decide what to show. Featured snippets could include lot of different things, but they would often include addresses, hours and other contact information.

Check Your Page Speed

People aren’t willing to wait for pages to load these days. That time is long gone. This is particularly true if they are on the go and using a mobile device.  Since voice searches are often done while on the go, fast-loading pages are particularly critical for voice search.

Are Your Clients Ready for Voice Search Optimization?

If your clients’ websites aren’t optimized for voice search, it’s past time. You don’t need to be an expert in voice search optimization yourself, because Umbrella’s experts can provide white label voice search optimization services to your clients.

To schedule a free consultation, complete the form here or call us at (866) 760-2638.

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