Voice search is the new thing. At least 41% of adults use voice search once per day and more than half of the smartphone users engage in voice search. You must optimize content for voice search to reach your target audience. The need to optimize content for voice is more than ever now.
Over 49% of Google Home and Amazon Echo users reported that voice search is their necessity. You can’t go without voice search optimization. If your content isn’t optimized for voice search, it won’t be accessible to a wide range of people who prefer voice over typing. Not to forget 4.2 billion digital voice assistants are used worldwide.
If you are new to voice search optimization and have no clue where to begin, this step-by-step guide covers all the critical details.
Voice Search vs. Traditional Search
Before you move ahead, it is important to understand how voice search works and how it is different from traditional text search.
The key differences that make voice search different are:
- Voice search is conversational
- Voice has longer search queries.
For example, if you want to search for something on Google via voice, you won’t just say “cold coffee recipe” rather you’ll say: “What is the easiest cold coffee recipe” or “How to make cold coffee”.
These are the two things you have to keep in mind when optimizing content for voice search.
How to Optimize Content for Voice Search
Optimizing content for voice search isn’t much of a big deal. If you know the basics and understand what type of queries people use on voice, it will get a lot easier for you.
Besides, you just have to tweak existing content to optimize it for voice. You don’t have to create a separate strategy or content. A single piece of content can be optimized for both text and voice at the same time.
Here is how:
1. Target Long-Tail Keywords
The search queries on voice search are quite different from text queries. Voice keywords are conversational, natural, and long. This is because searchers talk in their natural tone when they’re using voice.
So, if you are targeting specific short-tail or money keywords, you won’t be able to reach your audience via voice search. This isn’t how voice search works.
Here are the types of search queries and keywords that you must target for voice search optimization:
- Target natural and conversational keywords such as “Show me how to cut mangoes”
- Long-tail keywords that are exceptionally long are your best bet. For example, “Show me how to cut mangoes when you don’t have a knife”
- Question keywords are pretty common on voice search. Incorporate them into your content naturally.
This shows the types of queries people use on voice are much different than text queries. You must find and target appropriate keywords for voice optimization.
2. Write Conversational Content
Not just keywords, but your content must be conversational.
Because voice search is all about conversations. You need to write content in natural language so that it starts ranking for voice search.
Research shows that voice search results are short. The average voice search answer is mere 29 words:
Here is an example:
This means you have to write content that is short without any fluff. This doesn’t mean your content has to be short-form. No, you need to write long-form content as the average word count of Google Home searches is 2,312 words.
You need to write content smartly.
Here is how:
- Format content properly
- Add lots of headings, subheadings, bullets, and lists
- The first sentence or para of every heading must be a short description of the heading
- Add any explanation after the first paragraph.
Here is an example:
The first sentence after the heading has the answer. The explanation is added in the next paragraphs. This is a reason why this piece of content has been picked by Featured Snippets and is most likely to rank for voice search:
Also, you need to add lots of questions as headings in your content and then write a short answer in the first sentence for voice search.
3. Target Featured Snippets
As much as 41% of voice search results are generated from the Google Featured Snippets. Another study found that 70% of answers from voice searches had a SERP feature:
This is because the content is already filtered by Google for its search engine users. And this answer gets preferences for similar queries from voice search over both mobile and desktop.
So, you need to target and optimize your content for featured snippets to boost its visibility in voice search.
The following type of content is used for featured snippets:
Read this article to find out more about featured snippets and how to target it.
4. Improve Site Load Time
This shouldn’t be surprising. The average voice search result page loads in as low as 4.6 seconds which is 52% faster than the average webpage:
And this is mainly due to the fact that smart devices need answers quickly within a few seconds. It doesn’t make sense to keep looking at Amazon Alexa for an answer to your query while it is busy waiting to find one.
Besides, Google has also explicitly stated that:
“People want to be able to find answers to their questions as fast as possible…”
You have to make sure your website loads quickly. Here are a few tips to increase your site load time:
- Switch to a content delivery network
- Optimize images
- Use browser caching
- Switch to a better hosting company to improve server load time
- Use Google PageSpeed Insights and follow instructions to improve speed.
Voice Search is the Future
And the future is here.
It is estimated that there will be more than 38 billion smart devices in the world by 2025 and more than 50 billion by 2030. It is the best time to start optimizing content for voice search and prepare your business and content for the future.
You know how to optimize content for voice search, right?
Get started now.
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