3 Ways to Optimize for Voice Search

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a difficult but vital part of any website. If your website has solid SEO, you will appear at the top of searches and the traffic to your website will increase. With the insurgence of voice search, SEO is becoming even more challenging. Voice search is changing the way people search online, and it is important you optimize your site for it.

Focus on Local Users

For any type of SEO, focusing on local users is vital. Statistics show that 39% of people who use voice search are looking for local spots. Make sure your website is clear about the location of your business. Update your address and mention your location multiple times in web content. When a user searches for a type of business in your location, you want your business to be one of the first on the list.

Additionally, you must claim your Google My Business listing. When users search for certain businesses “near me,” Google sorts the responses by using the My Business listings. If you are not on the list, you will not appear on the list of businesses that Google produces for the user. Upload pictures, categorize your business carefully, and include a concise and persuasive introduction field that can act as your business pitch.

Try to Get Featured Snippets

Google voice search software will read out a featured snippet from a website as an answer to any question asked. Unfortunately, there is no step-by-step process to ensure you will have a featured answer. However, there are certain things you can do on your website to increase your chances.

The first thing you should do is determine some common questions that people have about your field or subject. These are the things they will most likely ask over voice search. Answer the questions specifically somewhere in your website. You are more likely to have a featured answer if you have a direct response to the question the user asks.

When you are answering the specific questions, be sure to keep the answers short. Google will not read out a long, rambling answer as a feature. Phrase everything clearly and concisely.

Overall, the more popular your website is, the higher chances you have of being featured. Almost 100% of the featured snippets that voice search uses come from websites that are in the top 10.

Make Sure Your Website is Optimized for Mobile Use

Almost every single voice search occurs on a mobile device, meaning the user will be visiting your mobile site if they find you through a voice search. If your website does not function well on a mobile device, you will likely lose many of the people using voice search, and any alternate things you do to improve your voice search optimization will be irrelevant.

RELATED ARTICLE: Get to Know Google’s Mobile-First Indexing

One of the most important things for mobile websites is speed. Speed on a mobile device is even more important than on a desktop computer. Bounce rates on mobile devices are almost 10% higher, as mobile users are becoming increasingly impatient. Most of them are not willing to wait around for more than a few seconds for a page. Studies have shown that if your website takes five seconds to load as opposed to one second, you are 90% more likely to lose users.

To check the speed of your mobile site, Google has a few tools you can use. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test will tell you whether your mobile website is adequate for users. Google’s PageSpeed Insights will tell you exactly what is wrong and offer advice on how to fix it.

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