How to Optimize Content for Voice Search

How to Optimize Content for Voice Search

“Hey Alexa, add candy — lots of candy — to the grocery list.” 

This was an actual request from my 5 year old last week. We have a few different voice assistant devices around our house and use them for various tasks. I quite often will add things to the grocery list (as my daughter has picked up on), check in on the weather forecast for the day, or ask random questions (such as “how many teaspoons are in a ¼ cup”) while baking. 

Voice search is easy — so easy, a kindergartener can do it. And because of its ease of use and convenience, it’s becoming more and more popular with consumers across the United States. 

How does that impact your business? Let’s take a look.  

Voice Search and Your Business

Since the rise of voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google’s… well… “Hey Google”, voice search usage has grown steadily. 

According to Oberlo, 50 percent of Americans use voice search at least once a day. And 70% of consumers prefer voice search over traditional typing.

To help your business become more visible (or audible) on voice search, you just need to make those answers readily available. In this post, we’ll show you exactly how to do so.

Answer Questions — Good Questions.

When we ask questions verbally, we use more words. These detailed queries are just easier to say than to type. 

The challenge for marketers is to understand which questions bring people to their websites, and to know how to serve those answers clearly.

Hubspot has some fantastic advice for this task:

To find question keywords, think of “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “how” questions that users are most interested in. Include these in the copy on your pages (like in an H2) and give them a concise, satisfying answer afterward. You can also go into more detail in the body of your content after your initial answer.

To discover more questions, head over to Google and type in a typical known search that leads to your website. Then scroll to the “related searches” or “people also ask” sections of the search results page to find more long-tail keyword questions. 

Now, build website content inspired by these queries. This will allow you to be seen as the trusted resource for those questions.

When it comes to optimizing your website for voice search, all you have to do is answer the right questions.

Go Local With Your SEO

Voice searches often happen on the move. Many voice searches happen in cars, and most of those queries are for directions. 

For example, people might be out on a shopping trip, and they’re looking for the hours or location of your store. All of this information should be readily available on your Google Business Profile so that Siri and the gang can find and serve those answers. 

Make sure to keep your business name, address, phone number and hours as up to date as possible. Tools like Birdeye or Moz Local can help you sync this information across multiple search engines and listing sites. 

Another important aspect of local SEO is the “near me” search, which has grown by more than 900% since 2015.  

First, to help your business show up for “near me” queries, anticipate the moments when your potential customers desire your services or products. These “micro moments” are extremely important for on-the-go clients. 

Second, make those answers as fast and easy as possible to find. If the answers aren’t relevant to the search keywords, they’re not relevant to your customers. 

To improve this experience, think about the pieces of information your clientele needs to process a transaction with your business, and make those pieces of information readily available.

Optimize For Mobile

As we discussed above, most voice searches happen on the go. For this reason, it is imperative that your content is optimized for mobile devices. 

What is the best way to do that? 

  1. Choose a mobile-friendly configuration, with dynamic and responsive design. 
  2. Pay attention to page speed. Try to reduce code and redirects, and add browser caching. Even just minimizing the size of the photos added to your blog or website can make a difference. 
  3. Eliminate intrusive pop ups, PDFs, etc.

While these steps might seem overwhelming, the benefits you reap from mobile optimization are game changing for your website. Mobile optimization is not only worth your time, but vital to your overall strategy. 

(Talk to your web developer for help with this, and if you need an outside perspective to help you identify where you can improve, talk to us about search engine optimization.)

Turn to the SEO Experts

Voice search has evolved a lot in the past few years, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Instead, it’s growing and becoming even more relevant. 

If you’re concerned that you are not capitalizing on voice search capabilities in your business, let the experts at 9 Clouds help you

Get Your Digital Marketing Assessment »

John Nelson contributed to this post.