Voice search is a fast-growing trend that allows users to search for information or perform tasks using voice commands. According to a report by Juniper Research, voice-based ad revenue could reach $19 billion by 2023. This means that optimizing your website for voice search is not only a good practice, but also a necessity to stay ahead of the competition.
But how do you optimize your website for voice search? What are the best practices and strategies to follow? In this article, we will answer these questions and provide you with a complete guide on how to optimize your website for voice search in 2023.
Understand the intent and context of voice queries
One of the key differences between voice search and text search is that voice queries are more conversational and natural. Users tend to ask longer and more specific questions using voice search, rather than typing keywords or phrases. For example, a user might say “Hey Google, what are some good restaurants near me that serve vegan food?” instead of typing “vegan restaurants near me”.
This means that you need to understand the intent and context of voice queries and provide relevant and accurate answers. To do this, you need to:
- Conduct keyword research using tools like AnswerThePublic, SEMrush, or Moz to find out what questions your target audience is asking using voice search.
- Analyze the search intent behind each query and categorize them into informational, navigational, transactional, or local. For example, the query “How to make vegan cheese” is informational, while the query “Buy vegan cheese online” is transactional.
- Create content that matches the search intent and provides clear and concise answers. Use headings, bullet points, lists, and tables to structure your content and make it easy to scan. Use natural language and avoid jargon or technical terms that might confuse your audience.
- Optimize your content for featured snippets, which are the boxes that appear at the top of the search results page and provide a quick answer to a query. Featured snippets are often used by voice assistants to provide voice answers. To optimize your content for featured snippets, use question-and-answer format, include keywords in your headings and subheadings, and use schema markup to provide additional information.
Optimize your website for mobile devices
Another important factor to consider when optimizing your website for voice search is mobile-friendliness. According to Statista, 52% of global web traffic comes from mobile devices. Moreover, most voice searches are done on mobile devices, especially when users are on the go or multitasking.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your website is responsive and adapts to different screen sizes and orientations. You also need to:
- Improve your page speed by reducing the size of your images, minifying your code, enabling compression, and using a content delivery network (CDN).
- Avoid using pop-ups, interstitials, or other elements that might block the content or interfere with the user experience.
- Use a simple and intuitive navigation system that allows users to find what they are looking for easily.
- Test your website on different devices and browsers using tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or PageSpeed Insights.
Optimize your website for local searches
According to Google, 46% of all searches have a local intent. This means that users are looking for products, services, or information that are relevant to their location. For example, a user might say “Hey Siri, where can I get a haircut near me?” or “Alexa, what’s the weather like in New York today?”
To optimize your website for local searches, you need to:
- Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing by providing accurate and up-to-date information about your business name, address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, categories, services, reviews, photos, etc.
- Use local keywords in your content, title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and URLs. For example, if you are a vegan restaurant in Seattle, you might use keywords like “vegan restaurant Seattle”, “best vegan food in Seattle”, or “Seattle vegan cuisine”.
- Add schema markup to your website to provide additional information about your business location, opening hours, reviews ratings etc
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews on Google My Business Yelp Facebook etc
- Build local citations by listing your business on relevant directories websites blogs social media platforms etc
- Use geotargeting tools like Google Ads or Facebook Ads to target your local audience based on their location interests behavior etc
Optimize your website for natural language processing (NLP)
Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables machines to understand and process human language. Voice assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, and Cortana use NLP to interpret voice queries and provide relevant answers.
To optimize your website for NLP, you need to:
- Use long-tail keywords that match the way users speak. For example, instead of using “vegan cheese”, you might use “how to make vegan cheese at home” or “where to buy vegan cheese online”.
- Use synonyms, variations, and related terms to cover different ways users might express their queries. For example, instead of using only “vegan cheese”, you might also use “plant-based cheese”, “dairy-free cheese”, or “vegan cheddar”.
- Use voice of customer (VOC) data to understand the language, tone, and emotions of your target audience. You can collect VOC data from surveys, feedback forms, reviews, social media posts, etc. You can also use tools like Google’s Natural Language API or IBM Watson’s Tone Analyzer to analyze the sentiment and tone of your content.
- Use structured data and schema markup to provide context and meaning to your content. For example, you can use schema markup to indicate that your content is a recipe, a product review, an event, etc.
Voice search is a powerful and convenient way for users to find information or perform tasks using voice commands. Optimizing your website for voice search can help you improve your visibility, traffic, conversions, and customer satisfaction.
To optimize your website for voice search in 2023, you need to:
- Understand the intent and context of voice queries and provide relevant and accurate answers.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices and ensure that it is responsive, fast, and user-friendly.
- Optimize your website for local searches and provide information about your business location, hours, services, reviews, etc.
- Optimize your website for natural language processing and use keywords, synonyms, variations, and structured data that match the way users speak.
By following these best practices and strategies, you can make your website ready for voice search in 2023 and beyond.