With the rise of smartphone assistants and smart home devices, more and more people are using their voice to search for information rather than typing a keyword query into Google.
If you want your website to be the one that voice searchers connect with, there are some special voice search optimization techniques that can increase the chances tools like Google Assistant and Alexa will choose to use content from your website.
Here’s what you need to do to optimize your site for voice search engine optimization (SEO).
1. Target natural language keywords
People speak differently than they type, which is one of the most important things to remember for voice search optimization.
For example, if someone was trying to find the average weight of an elephant, they might type something like “average elephant weight” into Google. However, when speaking to a voice assistant, a more likely phrasing would be a full question like “What is the average weight of an elephant?”
To make your content rank in voice search, you need to focus on using these types of question phrases in your content (and then answering them).
To generate these types of natural language phrases, you can use tools like AnswerThePublic. Once you enter a seed keyword, the tool will provide you with a list of natural language questions that people are likely to ask.
2. Keep your answers short and to the point
When voice assistants give answers, they’re looking to present information as simply and concisely as possible. In fact, Backlinko analyzed 10,000 Google Home voice search results and found that the average result was just 29 words in length and written at a ninth-grade reading level.
When you’re answering the types of natural language keywords discussed above, you want to keep your answers as clear and concise as possible. Focus on answering the question in just one or two sentences.
3. Make sure your site loads quickly
Voice assistants need to be able to quickly deliver results, so it’s imperative that your website loads quickly, otherwise they won’t be able to provide an answer in time.
Using WordPress.com ensures that your website has a performance-friendly base. You can also implement other performance-boosting techniques like optimizing your site’s images.
4. Aim for Google featured snippets
Google’s featured snippets are the information boxes that appear at the top of many Google search results pages. Rather than just a website link, these featured snippets try to provide an answer right on the search page.
Backlinko found that almost 41 percent of Google Home voice search results came directly from Google featured snippets, so optimizing your site for featured snippets will pay dividends for voice search, too.
All the techniques listed above will also help you rank for Google featured snippets, but to get more featured snippets, you should also consider implementing additional tactics like:
Adding structured data markup to your content
Using tables and lists to format your content whenever possible
National Public Media found that 21 percent of U.S. adults already own a smart speaker. Implementing these voice search optimization tips for your website will ensure that your site is ready to connect with the growing number of potential customers who are using voice search to find your business, products, or services.
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