Have you started thinking about how to optimize your blog for voice search? No? Me either, which is why I’m super-excited to share this guest post from Beck at MomBeach.com. Check out her simple tips for voice optimization below!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Imagine that it is the future and keyboards have become obsolete. In fact, the newest model iPhone isn’t even equipped with a touch keyboard at all. Everyone around you is speaking into their phones instead of typing in order to use voice search.
The future is closer than you think. According to Gartner, a leading business strategy site, brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search by early 2021 will increase their revenue by 30%.
What does voice search optimization mean for me?
Quite a lot! This is big news for your blog or business website since 50% of all searches are going to be through voice at that time. If you aren’t thinking about voice optimization for your site now, then your competitors may crush you.
Many people already have voice-operated assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo Dot as well as using voice on their phones and desktops.
Voice optimization plays a role in my blog’s digital media strategy so that I can stay ahead of the curve. I am currently enrolled in a UX certification course at a major university where I had taken a class on voice recently.
After learning about voice optimization and doing further research, I have come up with five simple ways that anyone can use to optimize their blog or website.
#1 Implement long-tail keyword phrases
Someone who is speaking into their phone is likely going to search for more than one or two words. This is great for you as a small business or blog owner because it means less competition if you start using long-tail keyword phrases in your content.
For instance, if you are selling candles in your Shopify store then accept that you may never rank first in Google for “candles”. That short keyword produces 829,000,000 results at the time of this posting. What a ton of competition!
You should probably specify throughout your product description that you are selling “pink soy candles”, which produces significantly lower numbers.
Someone voice searching for your handmade candles is more likely to visit your site and make a purchase. They know what they are looking for and are prepared to pay.
With so little competition, it now costs less to target that long-tail keyword phrase in paid search campaigns through Google. The benefits of voice optimization are starting to pay off quite nicely.
When you speak, you are likely to use sensory language more often than if you were to simply type. People speak faster than they type so will not omit how they are viewing the world or what’s in their head.
#2 Visually construct your text
A very important sense that you probably speak about quite often is what you see. Therefore, it is smart to use visual cues throughout your content.
With voice search, the keyword doesn’t need to be in the title tag but in the content itself. Your entire body of text in your article or product description is game.
You would not simply write “the girl wore shoes”, when “the girl wore fire engine red Manolo Blahniks” provides better assistance to voice-searchers.
Of course, directional language such as “to the right of” should be avoided since it goes against accessibility principles. Your patrons using screen readers will not know where to go.
#3 Write in a conversational tone
In case you haven’t noticed, I have been typing this article exactly how I would talk to you in person. My typing is in a conversational tone, which is important for voice optimization.
Avoid using acronyms unless you are spelling them out in parenthesis and of course, do not use anything like “LOL”. Do you know anyone that says that in person after you have cracked a funny side-splitting joke? Okay, my husband once replied “lull” to me, but I’m talking about people who aren’t crazy here.
Someone using their Google Home might talk to the device as if it were a person sitting next to them:
OK Google, how can I get more traffic to my blog?
Use lots of questions in your article that explain who, what, when, where, how, and why to optimize for voice. This brings us to the next item on our list that provides you a better way to answer questions that your customers have.
#4 Create an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page for your site
An FAQ page answers questions that your visitors ask you in email but it could also be used as a sitemap of sorts.
Remember the question above that was asked about getting more blog traffic? You could answer it on your FAQ page with a brief snippet of your article about increasing blog traffic and a “read more” button below.
This could bring your page to the forefront of Google whenever someone asks their device how to get more blog traffic. “According to -your site here-, a way to get more blog traffic is by promoting to Pinterest on a regular basis”.
Once you have provided value to your visitor, they are more likely to go to your site and learn more ways to bring traffic to their blog. They may even totally convert and subscribe to your mailing list or purchase a product from you.
Where should you place your FAQ page? I see that most sites place it either in the footer or the header menu under the “About Us” category.
It may seem old-fashioned, as FAQ pages originated in the early days of the web, but they are highly recommended to increase search optimization. The best practice for an FAQ page would be to use bullets in a list, which may grant you a featured snippet at the top of someone’s Google search.
#5 Bait a featured snippet from Google
I’m sure you have seen a paragraph of text or a bulleted list at the top of a Google search. These are called featured snippets, which Google had created for their Google Home products and to provide users with faster answers.
The featured snippet provided on affiliate marketing starts with bolded text and is accompanied by an image next to it. This snippet really stands out to someone who searched for “affiliate marketing” and is more likely to click on the link below to get more information.
It is relatively easy to create your own featured snippets on your site or blog by baiting Google with the following content display ideas:
- keyword-rich paragraphs of up to two sentences with an image aligned beside it
- ordered or unordered list
- table of information
- valuable video
- topical graph
Any one of those ideas will give you a higher chance of landing a featured snippet in a Google search. Imagine the millions of views your blog or site will receive when you are chosen for such an honor. If you recall, there was a list of topics covered at the forefront of this article. That was my snippet bait!
The future is coming soon!
Get ready for voice by implementing any or all of those strategies I have listed for you. It is highly important for you to start thinking of ways to attract potential visitors who are using voice. Get creative!
If you have already used these strategies for voice optimization or have tried any other ways, then I’d love for you to respond in the comments.
Beck Beach is a UX Specialist and Digital Marketer who has worked for several Fortune 500 companies. She currently runs an eCommerce business and her own blog, MomBeach.com, which instructs moms on how they can make money online. Beck is married, has a three-year-old son, Bryan, and lives in Dallas, Texas.
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