According to an estimate from Econsultancy, around 13 percent of Google searches in 2018 were carried out by voice, with that number only expected to rise in the future.
To help your website rank for those queries, there are some voice search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that you can implement.
Some of these voice search SEO tactics overlap with traditional SEO approaches, while others are unique to how voice search functions.
1. Optimize your site for featured snippets
Featured snippets are the curated text results that Google displays at the top of its search results pages:
There’s a significant correlation between featured snippets and voice search results, with about 80 percent of Google Home voice search results coming from featured snippets, according to Search Engine Land.
So if you want to get your website ranking for voice search queries, optimizing for featured snippets is one of the best things you can do.
Here are some tips for getting more featured snippets:
Incorporate lists and tables into your content.
Use keywords in a question format (more on this later).
Keep answers short — the most common snippet length is 40 to 50 words, according to SEMrush.
2. Focus on localization
According to a 2018 survey from BrightLocal, 58% of respondents used voice search to find local business information over the past 12 months.
To help reach these local searchers, try to include location information and keywords in your content if it fits.
For example, “What’s the best Italian restaurant in Philadelphia?”
3. Change how you approach keywords
Keywords are the phrases for which people are searching. The traditional approach to keywords is to optimize for short, typable phrases like “best wireless headphones.”
However, while searchers may type like that, it’s not how they speak. When they’re talking to a voice assistant, they’re more likely to say something like, “What are the best wireless headphones?”
Those are the types of keywords you want to include in your content to rank in voice search.
To generate these types of “question keywords,” you can use a tool like AnswerThePublic.
4. Make sure your site loads quickly
Having a fast-loading site is important for SEO and user experience but it’s doubly important for voice search SEO. The average voice search result loads 3.8 times faster than an average website, according to Backlinko.
That makes sense — voice assistants need to deliver results quickly so they can’t wait around for your site to load.
WordPress.com sites are optimized to load fast by default, and you can also employ other tactics like optimizing your site’s images.
5. Use structured data
Structured data is behind-the-scenes code that helps search engines like Google understand the context of your site’s content. For example, structured data tells Google that a certain set of numbers represent your store’s opening hours.
By making it easier for search engines to understand your content’s context, you make it easier for them to include your content in voice search results.
By implementing the tips in this post, you’ll be ranking for more voice search queries in no time. This way, you can address the increasing percentage of people using voice search and get your website in front of new audiences.