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5 Ways to Optimize for Voice Search

May 15, 2018  /  by  Diane Callihan

Now We’re Talkin’!

I’m one of the millions of people who bought an Amazon Echo, and I find myself talking to Alexa a lot --mostly to put items on my grocery list, to remind me about something, or to play some tunes. But lots of people are talking to Alexa, Siri, or Google to search for something – whether it be a nearby pizza place or a landscaping service.

While marketers have furiously tried to keep up with changing algorithms to master SEO, we’ve suddenly entered a whole new world of search – voice search.

The good news is that we don’t need to throw out everything we’ve currently been doing and start over. If you’ve been using SEO best practices and are ranking well for your chosen keywords, voice search will likely find you just as standard search does.

But there are some things you can do that can help. (They’ll help with regular search too!)

  1. Optimize for conversational keywords. Think about how people would ask Siri a question about your product or service. For example, someone might be more likely to ask, “Where can I get a good steak near me?” as opposed to, “Where is the nearest fine dining establishment?”
    Write down all those conversational questions and create an FAQ section on your site, add those questions to your product or services pages, and/or create blog posts that address those questions. The point is to actually get those questions on your site.
  2. Get local. Make sure you’ve claimed your Google My Business listing and have pages on your site that list your locations or have dedicated landing pages for each location. Additionally, according to Google data, “near me” searches have increased 150% over the past two years, so be sure to add “near me” to your metadata, site content and location pages.
  3. Maximize for mobile. Beyond having a responsive site that is easily accessible on any device, optimizing your mobile experience will also have a positive impact on voice search and search overall. Site speed in particular is key.
  4. Utilize structured data. According to SearchEngineLand, “structured data makes certain types of web content highly accessible and understandable by search engines and other third-party programs. Because the data on the page is tagged with standardized identifying code, it’s far easier to process and interpret than a regular webpage.”
    To implement structured data, you’ll need to edit the markup on your webpages, or have the site built using structured data from the get-go. Check out Schema.org for more information on implementing the markup on your site.
  5. Create Actions on Google. This is a tool that lets developers create actions that let users accomplish things using a conversational interface – such as Google Assistant. Like using structured data, this requires some coding work, but can give you a boost in voice search.

Need help with search engine optimization? That just happens to be one of our specialties. Let’s Talk.