Voice Search is changing SEO Optimization: Prepare your Website

Do you prefer Siri, Alexa, Amazon Echo, Cortana, or using your thumbs to type search queries onto a small mobile keyboard? Because of their convenience, more and more users, especially mobile web users, are taking advantage of voice searches. In fact, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that about 20% of Google searches are now voice searches. This number is expected to rapidly climb, so future-proofing your business means optimizing your website for voice searches. You can do this through your website’s content or platform.

On the content side, there are a few easy steps your marketers and writers can take to optimize your existing platform for voice searches.

  1. Many people use voice searches to find local businesses. You need to make sure Google knows where your business is located. Make sure you have an up-to-date address in your Google My Business account. To a lesser extent, also make sure you’re included on Bing Places. “Nearby” and “near me” aren’t useful keywords to add to your content, but an accurate address will ensure you’re getting hits from these searches.

  2. People speak differently than they type, especially when they’re typing with their thumbs. You might type “best pizza NYC” but say “Hey Siri, where’s the best pizza in New York?” As a rule, voice searches:
    1. Are longer
    2. Use natural spoken language
Make sure you are optimizing content for both voice and traditional online searches.

  1. Google likes short answers. Including 29-word snippets into your content makes it very voice friendly. These snippets have the added bonus of being very shareable on social media. In fact, highly shared content on social media does tend to perform better in voice searches even though Google doesn’t factor social media into its search algorithm. What makes a good Twitter post often makes a good voice search answer.

  2. KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid. This (in)famous acronym applies here. The average voice search result was written at a 9th-grade reading level, so leave the Scrabble vocabulary at home and use short, simple sentences.

All of these content changes will help improve your website’s performance in a voice search, but there are technical changes that need to be made as well.

1. Voice searches favor sites that load faster. Voice searches are almost exclusively used on mobile devices. If your site loads quickly (Everything on the screen should be visible in less than one to three seconds, max.), your website will have a huge advantage.

2. Use structured data. Don’t just use HTML to make your website attractive to human users. Use structured data to add invisible information to make your website more attractive to search engine bots.

3. Use HTTPS. The “S” stands for “secure.” Websites that use the HTTPS protocol prevent information being sent between a website and a user from being accessed by third parties. Google has been giving HTTPS websites and ranking boost since 2014, and this applies to voice searches as well.

Voice search is still a relatively new technology, and optimizing for it is not yet standard practice. That means businesses who optimize for voice search have access to a less crowded field.

At Innuy, we have experienced developers that can take your mobile app and website to the next level. Our team uses the latest modern technologies in mobile like Javascript: ReactJS & Node.js to build robust interactive apps with real-time environments. Call us at +1 252 723 5982 or contact us to learn more!


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