Voice search is redefining the way marketers think about creating content for SEO. Currently, 65% of adults use voice search at least once a day, and that percentage is expected to increase in coming years as more voice assistant technology is developed. What does this mean for your business? It means, if you’re not prioritizing voice search optimization efforts now with your web content, then you’re already behind.
Below are six ways to get your brand ahead in voice search.
Understand the Need Behind Voice Search
Though typing out a question in a search engine doesn’t require that much effort or take that long, voice search can be a more convenient and accessible way to quickly find information—especially for those on the go. Most voice searches are conducted when a person is driving or unable to use their hands. And in many cases, the information they’re searching for relates to local directions, nearby businesses, the weather, and how-to tutorials. In these situations, users want immediate answers.
When you’re putting together a voice search strategy, it’s important to remember why, when, and how people use voice search, as it can give you some helpful insights into your customers and their needs. This makes it easier for you to build content around the questions your customers will have and the situations they’ll be in when they need to use voice search.
Answer Questions in Your Content
When people interact with voice search apps, they’re often using different phrases than the ones they’d use when typing out a search query. In fact, about 10% of voice searches begin with who, what, when, why, or how (compared to 3.7% of text searches), and they usually include some form of question.
When using text search, people will generally type short keywords out to get answers. For instance:
- governor of California
- crockpot recipes
- Avengers showtimes
But switch to voice search, and those same questions become:
- Who is the governor of California?
- How do I cook pot roast in the crockpot?
- What time is Avengers playing today?
How can you take advantage of this voice search phrasing? Write headers with relevant keywords in question form, then answer those questions in the text under that header. This can increase the likelihood that search engines will pull voice search answers from your content.
Keep Writing Short & Sweet
Consumers want quick answers to their questions, so if you’re trying to optimize your content for voice search, keep answers brief. Don’t use big blocks of text with convoluted sentences. Instead, write answers that are 30 words or fewer (if possible) to create digestible bites that work with voice search.
If you’re not sure how to simplify your content to best meet the needs of voice search technology, try utilizing tools like Hemingway App to eliminate unnecessary language and breaking up sections that are too complicated. In fact, this doesn’t just improve your content for voice search needs—it can also make your content simpler to understand and easier to read for those not using voice search.
Focus on User Intent Phrases
With search engines, a searcher might type in “Chinese restaurants in New York City” and be shown results ranging from Zagat articles to local restaurant listings on Yelp. With voice search, however, a searcher might say “Find Chinese takeout near me” and be given more specific results that lead directly to online order pages for nearby restaurants. This is because there’s user intent behind this voice search phrase (i.e., “find” and “near me”).
When optimizing content for voice search, incorporate user intent phrases and long-tail keywords that center around action and location. This helps search engines make the connection between your content and the actions users are trying to take, making it easier for you to get in front of customers.
Include Filler Words for Phrase Matching
Adding filler words like the, for, to, and I can help your content match the exact phrases used in voice searches and commands.
- Where can I get the best BBQ in Kansas City?
- What are the best BBQ restaurants in Kansas City?
- Find a BBQ restaurant near me.
- How far away is the closest BBQ restaurant?
While these words may seem insignificant for traditional searches, they can go a long way when it comes to optimizing your content for voice search.
Don’t Forget About Local Search
More than half of voice search users look for local business information. That’s why it’s important to include keywords with the name of your city, neighborhood, or street in your content.
Another way to improve your local SEO in voice search is ensuring that your Google My Business listing is complete with accurate location, website, and contact information. When someone searches for something “near me,” Google uses this information to recommend local businesses. Don’t miss out on new customers because your local business data wasn’t available for voice search.
Need help improving your brand’s voice search strategy? Contact Hurrdat today! With our content marketing and SEO services, we can help your business be prepared for the increasing use of voice search.