“Hey, Siri… What is ‘voice search SEO?”

The voice search trend started all the way back in 2011 when Siri was first introduced to our phones and lives. This means that if you haven’t yet updated your site for voice SEO, you could be missing out on a chunk of organic traffic coming through to your site from voice assistant queries. 

In today’s world, 77 million users in America are using phones and smart home speakers to search for all kinds of information. Everything from “what are the lyrics to that song” to “where’s the nearest plumber?” is being searched by using the voice assistants such as Apple's Siri, Google Assistant for Androids, Cortana for Microsoft, and Amazon’s Alexa, to name a few. 

As a result of this shift in the tide, keyword strategies and short-phrases cannot compare to the lasting effects of long-tail keywords, and the question-and-answer content strategies needed for today’s world of SEO. 

 

Why Voice Search Matters

While voice search isn’t as popular as a Google search (yet!), users conduct all kinds of voice searches daily to aid in their decision making. Some of the most popular include: 

  1. Information about deals, sales, and promotions.

  2. Personalized tips and information. 

  3. Finding a business location, hours, directions, and other information.

  4. Customer service and support numbers.

If you’re a local business, it’s time to jump on board and include voice search in your SEO strategies. Why? Your large-scale competitors aren’t yet focusing on the bigger changes needed to really make a difference in your search ranking!

Are you ready to get ahead of the curve and make a difference? Optimize your content for voice search in 2020 and beyond with these five great tips from the SEO experts at D3. 

 

Improving Your Voice SEO 

1. Research Keywords for Voice Search Separately

Users ask a question out loud differently than they type a question, which is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle to consider when considering voice SEO content. For example; if someone is looking for the best pizza in a particular area, they might type in something like “best pizza in Ocean City, Maryland.” However, when they’re asking their virtual assistant using voice search, they will most likely speak in a conversational tone, something like “Alexa, where’s the best place to get pizza near me?” This formula remains true to any search scenario. A text search contains short written snippets, and a voice search will be a full, conversational question.

2. Set Up Your Structured Markup

When you have relevant content, a structured markup can help you rank higher for search queries. What is a structured markup? This means that you show Google just how relevant your content is by using a sitemap, and structured data markup. Structured data markup is a way that your code and content are formatted so you can tell Google exactly what is on each page of your website. When you identify all of your content, you help Google bots understand how relevant your content is, helping you rank higher on the search engine results page. 

3. Enhanced Sitemaps

Is your site content structured so that it answers important questions about your products, industry, or services? Your sitemap should include FAQ pages that incorporate the most keywords for your product or business as possible. After you create a sitemap, it’s important that it’s submitted to Google, so the search engine will know which pages should be crawled! Make sure that your site map is visible and linked out on your site, with descriptions that answer questions. 

4. Create Google Actions and Alexa Skills

Did you know that you can build out actions for Google Home, or create custom skills for Alexa to interact with your content? With actions, you can set up a program to have conversations with the app and your customers, making it more valuable when users initiate a voice command. 

For example, you can allow customers to place an online order, schedule a service, and so much more using your device. Check out these complete lists of Alexa Skills and Google Assistant Actions to find inspiration! 

Yes, it is as cool as it sounds, however, remember that you should only do this if your actions and skills are part of a larger sales funnel. Actions and skills should be useful for the user and optimized for what they’re searching for through the device!

5. Add Question and Answer Content! 

When was the last time that the content on your site was updated? Is it still relevant? Or has it been neglected? If you haven’t updated or added anything to your site in the past two years, then you have a bit of catching up to do! Run, don’t walk, and consider adding the following content to your website immediately: 

  1. Frequently Asked Question Pages

  2. Add Popular Questions to Each Product Page or Landing Pages

  3. Create Video Tutorials for Popular Questions

  4. Claim Your Google My Business Listing

 

Unsure of where your site truly lies in terms of SEO and organic visibility? Contact D3 for an SEO audit and review of your website! Our experts will provide actionable tips and tricks to increase your website’s visibility where it matters!