UPDATED: Google, help me optimize my website for voice search
Voice search continues to rise in popularity from finding a recipe for dinner or finding a local favorite spot while on the way home from work. TechCrunch states that “one in five adults in the United States have access to a smart speaker and 20 percent of the population is using one on a consistent basis.”
While voice search did not hit the mark of “50 percent of all search traffic”, it is still an imperative part of the overall SEO strategy because it is continuing to rise in popularity.
This is because two out of five say voice-activated devices are essential to their everyday lives. It is quick, intuitive and informal to use any place within the home or vehicle.
As smart speakers continue to rise in popularity, does this change the landscape for SEO and voice search SEO tips!
What is Voice Search SEO?
Voice Search is when a consumer is using their Alexa or Google Home to search the internet. A great example is the Google Home Hub. One of our employees has one in their kitchen and often uses it to find the best recipes and ask questions about cooking.
The search results that are populated are the same ones that rank on desktop first, coincidence? No coincidences with Google.
WordStream, SearchEngineWatch, Neil Patel and other SEO consultants and professionals in the industry credit the Hummingbird Google Update with starting the process of voice search.
The Hummingbird Update circa 2013 was one of the largest core algorithm updates. While other major updates affected ranking and traffic- it appeared as if the Hummingbird update did not affect rankings and traffic negatively.
The Hummingbird Update led the way to the Google SERP pages that consumers are noticing and using to this day. This is because this update provides searchers with quick information underneath a website’s URL aka the knowledge graph.
This is where the update is important for voice search. A website that is ranking will want to make sure their “knowledge graph” is filled out to the best of their ability.
When someone searches for the best “Italian restaurant” or “best pizza shop in Austin, Texas” a plethora of local (or should be local) results show thanks to several SEO strategies set in place by an SEO expert.
Voice search SEO tips
Check out the URL on your desktop right now. This is important for SEO as a whole, but for voice search, it will show https://www.omgaustin.com/blog/article/google-help-me-optimize-my-website-for-voice-search in the search bar. This means our website is compatible with the https:// framework. This is to protect search engines and consumers, but at the same time, this shows an updated website.
Neil Patel has noticed that a website which was using this framework tends to be used in voice search results before other ranking websites. Check out his YouTube video explaining this:
It has been estimated that a website has two seconds to load before a consumer leaves. A page that loads faster has the opportunity for more search inquiries.
Imagine your parents using their Google Home Hub. Is your mother going to scroll on the screen (she might not know how to) or will she check out the first three results? From there, the website that takes forever is not the website she wants. She has biscuits to bake right now.
While website speed is critical, make sure your website is loading just as quickly on mobile.
No longer can a website quickly load for just desktop searches. With the release of the mobile-indexing update, a website that is optimized for mobile and loads quickly will outrank a website that is only optimized for desktops.
Now a website needs to load in two seconds for mobile, desktop and voice searches. We’ve got our work cut out for us.
How do you ask Alexa or Google a question? It is as straight-forward as possible. This is where content comes into the mix.
This is because voice search is also a bit different from traditional search queries. The queries that are being searched for have more words within the phrase than a traditional search query on a desktop. This is known as long-tail keywords. A great suggestion is to implement an optimized FAQ page within your website if need be. This is the content that can be pulled from voice search devices and populate quickly.
This means writing content in a conversational manner while posing questions with answers inside of the content. It is important to write content based on answering the five W’s and the how.
“Near Me” is one of the largest search results for voice search and one of the biggest voice search SEO tips to implement. What is coming up when someone is asking “Italian restaurants near me.” If SEO is optimized for local SEO then your website should be!
It is estimated that 22 percent of people use voice search to find local information. This makes local search more important than ever.
The next step for showing up in local search? Google My Business profiles. No not Google Plus profiles, but an actual Google My Business account. If this content is relevant, updated and optimized this could be one of the first results that show up for “Italian restaurants near me.”
Now is the time to optimize for voice search. For more information on what is voice search SEO or any voice search SEO tips, contact our experts today!
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