Have you ever wondered how consumers are searching for your business online? More than likely, many consumers are utilising voice search. In fact, Google’s CEO announced that one-fifth of all Google searches are voice queries. Click here to learn more.
If voice search hasn’t been included in your SEO strategy yet, you’re missing out on numerous opportunities for your business and content to be found online. So, how do you optimise content for voice search? Keep reading to learn about six strategies you should be using.
One of the most important parts of optimising content for voice search is understanding that voice search is a micro-moment. A micro-moment is when someone uses their mobile device or tablet to find an answer, buy a product, watch a video or discover something. Consumers instinctively use their device and the internet when they need information that’s readily available to answer their question.
According to Think With Google, a user will experience 150 micro-moments per day. Of course, not all of those micro-moments will be related to voice search and/or a business, but it does offer more opportunities than in the past to potentially reach consumers.
As a business, your website needs to be prepared for these micro-moments, especially with voice search. When looking at your site, you need to ask yourself these questions in relation to voice search:
- At what stage will a consumer need the goods or services your business provides?
- What information will consumers need to make a decision?
- What further information might consumers need if they have questions?
By creating and optimising content around these questions, consumers will be able to ask their question via voice search and receive the answer they want without needing to search further. If the consumer does not find what they are looking for, it’s likely they will try framing their voice search question differently; You will also want to keep this in mind when creating content. Not everyone will frame their questions in the exact same way.
Bonus Tip: It is important to note that because most micro-moments happen on a mobile device, it’s vital that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive. It will not matter if your content answers the question someone asked if your site is not easy to access via mobile. Most consumers will leave your site if it does not load quickly or is not mobile-friendly. Test your site with Google’s free mobile-friendly tool.
Once you understand micro-moments you will be able to create content that is relevant to the consumer while helping you rank in online searches.
Utilise Conversational Keywords
While short-tail keywords in your content can help with SEO and search ranking, voice search looks for keywords that include natural phrases and are more conversational. This is because the way we talk is different from the way we type. For example, “What’s the weather like in Newport?” is a conversational question a consumer would ask as a voice query vs. “weather Newport” when typed into Google.
There are many factors when it comes to having your business rank in searches. With voice search on the rise, you don’t want to neglect that part of optimisation for your business. When creating content, you’ll want to use long-tail keywords in your content when appropriate. But remember, you never want to keyword stuff your content!
Make sure that you are researching your keywords before inputting them into your content. Based on your industry, there are obvious short-tail keywords you will want to use. But when it comes to long-tail keywords, consider using Google’s Keyword Planner to look at the historical metrics for how these keywords compete. You want to use keywords that are low in competition, but you also need to account for the average monthly searches. There’s a fine line you want to meet.
If your business is in an extremely niche industry, you’ll want to combine a variety of strategies, such as paid advertising that targets specific individuals. Regardless of whether you are wanting to use conversational keywords in your website content or ads, make sure to do your research!
Answer Common Questions
Most times with voice search, consumers are looking for an answer to a question. If your business is in a complex industry, you’ll want to create easy-to-understand content that answers common questions. When it comes to Google, there are three categories of answers you can provide:
- Direct Answers – Often times, direct answer questions can be linked to voice searches. These questions typically begin with who, what, where, when, best, etc. An example of a direct answer question is “When was Google founded?” The intent behind the question is to quickly provide an answer without needing to look through several sources.
- Short Answers – On average, short answer questions can be answered within a short paragraph. Most times, short answer questions start with why and can.
- Long Answers – Last, but not least, are long answer questions. Typically, these answers are more complex and have several parts to them. A great example of content that returns long answers are how-to articles.
As a business, you can utilise different types of questions and answers for your content. Some answers may live directly on your webpages and some may live within your blogs or long-form content. Don’t feel like you can only use one type of answer for your content. The more variety you offer, the more likely you are to rank better in traditional searches and appear as a result in voice searches, too.
If you are not sure of what questions consumers are asking, consider using Answer the Public. This free tool allows you to type in a word or phrase to see what questions consumers are asking. If you still are not sure what’s best for your business, consider utilising a marketing agency like our team at Higher Ranking.
Create Relatable, Persona-Based Content
In general, your business should be creating content based on a variety of factors, including SEO, consumer needs and voice search, to name a few. However, when it comes to voice search, you want to make sure your content is relatable to the consumer and answers their question.
To create relatable content, you need to understand your target audience. To do this, you must create buyer personas. You will want to consider the age, location, potential problems and many other aspects to find your target audience. Keep in mind that you can have several types of buyer personas for your business. If you cater to different age groups, your content and optimisation steps may look a little different.
After you have your buyer personas created, you will want to use this information to create content that is relevant to their needs and possible voice search queries. Personalised marketing has come a long way over the past several years. Use this to your advantage and create content that directly relates to consumers in your marketing funnel.
Optimise Your Content for Local SEO
Did you know that voice search is more likely to be used in a local setting? According to Meeker’s Internet Trends Report, they found that consumers use voice search three times more to search for local businesses than in traditional searches.
With this in mind, your business should consider a local focus when optimising content for voice search. You should always make sure your business profiles and contact information is up to date across all sites. Local search is an ongoing effort, so be sure to monitor and optimise your pages and profiles on a consistent basis.
In your content, you will want to naturally add in your business location or long-tail keywords that consumers search for. For example, a coffee shop in Newport could write a blog about the different ways to make coffee. To help them appear in a voice search for “best coffee near me,” they could include a line in their blog that says “If you are looking for the best coffee in Newport, come see us at Lucky’s Coffee Shop!” This line not only adds a local aspect to the content but helps with answering a common voice search query.
Remember, blogs are not the only solution for localized content. On your webpages, make sure you mention your location as well as other important short and long-tail keywords (both are still important) related to your business. While there are many aspects of local SEO that business owners are unfamiliar with, our team at Higher Ranking is here to help you generate quality leads for your business. Learn all about our search engine optimisation service here.
Use Structured Data
While creating content for your target audience is great, you also want to consider how search engines rank your content behind the scenes. Search engines look at many factors to determine if your content is relevant for a search. As a business, you can use these factors to give your business an advantage over your competition.
One major factor is structured data, also called schema markup. Structured data is data about the information on your site (we can also call it metadata). This information goes directly into your website’s source code. While structured data can not be seen by consumers, it does help search engines organize your content for searches.
When it comes to a localised voice query, most consumers are looking for basic information about a business, such as business hours, contact information and so on. By using structured data on your site, you can ensure that search engines are classifying the information correctly.
Many businesses do not utilise this strategy because it is a little more complex than the other strategies listed. However, because it is an underutilised strategy, that means your business will reap the benefits! If you would like to test your structured data, consider using Google’s free tool.
Ready to Start Optimising for Voice Search?
Voice search has drastically grown since its implementation in 2011. When introduced, voice search was more of an extra feature rather than an everyday use function. With just over 40% of adults doing a voice search query at least once a day, it is safe to say that voice search will continue to grow with further adoption of this search method.
When optimising content for voice search, it’s crucial that you utilise a variety of strategies. Remember, just because one strategy works for one business does not mean it will work the same for others.
Voice search plays a huge role in SEO for businesses. If you have not started optimising your content for voice search, now’s the perfect time to get started. Not sure where to begin? Our team at Higher Ranking in Newport is here to help! Whether you need guidance on search engine optimisation, web design, advertising, social media or more, we have the experience and knowledge to help you find success online. Contact us today to improve your online presence.