How to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search

With voice recognition software getting better by the day, voice-based searches are on the rise.

ComScore predicts that by 2020 50% of searches will be performed by voice

Not only does that mean there will be more opportunity for voice searches, but – equally important – there will be less opportunity for written searchers. Not just that, but the search engines are getting ever more geared towards it.

Google has, in effect, been working towards voice-based searches from 2013 when it installed its Hummingbird update.

And more changes are in the pipeline to make such searches better at understanding human speech and understanding what we mean, not just what we say.

All this will contribute to it becoming quicker and easier to search by voice. And that means that it’s vital to start jumping across now and optimizing your sites for voice searches.

After all, it’s going to take a bit of time for you to figure out how it all works and what is the most important – so really you want to get that out of the way before you’re missing out on the lion’s share of the searches out there.

Voice Searches vs. Typed Ones

One of the significant differences is that when most people type queries, they don’t use complete sentences (though, of course, by now they can) while if they speak, they will use natural language.

This means that if you want to get people to come to your website, you can once again go back to using normal language and not insert oddly framed constructions.

Apparently, this makes the language more understandable. It doesn’t end there, however. It also means that it now pays to give articles headlines that are close to the natural language query that people will ask.

So, if you were to sell sports shoes in Nigeria, then the headline could read ‘where to find cheap sports shoes in Nigeria’ (hey, somebody has to).

Thereby landing all the traffic which would ask questions like ‘Where can I find cheap sports shoes in Nigeria?’ or ‘What is the best way to find cheap sports shoes in Nigeria?

Long-tail Keywords

This shows another underlying pattern, which is known as long-tail keyword searches. Are you familiar with that phrase?

It means ‘search phrases instead of search words.’ But I guess that didn’t sound as cool. Both the above questions about sports shoes would be defined as long-tail keywords.

The advantage of gearing your site towards long-tail keywords is that there are a lot more of them and many of them have yet to be cornered by your competitors. Another advantage is that longer tailed keywords are more specific.

The Keyword ‘shoes’, for example, can mean a lot of things. Maybe I want to buy some. Or perhaps I just want to fix the ones I have, look at runway models wearing them, or even have a sexual fetish for them.

If you’re selling shoes, then all that traffic looking for those alternative keywords won’t convert into customers. With longtail keywords, you might get less traffic, but the percentage that converts is likely to be a lot higher.

In that way, gearing your site towards long-tail keywords, mainly by aiming pages at answering those specific queries, is going to advantageous whether you’re going for voice searches or not.
Of course, then you will need to create a lot more pages and make sure they follow natural speech patterns.

That’s a lot of work. Fortunately, best sites for writing help have been getting cheaper, so you might consider turning to them if the workload is too high for all those individual queries.

Where What and How?

Voice searches are more likely to be location-based than typed queries. In other words, they’re about finding something in the location that the person is in.

These queries are also known as the ‘where what and how’ searches. Where is the nearest supermarket, what is the best place to get coffee, how do I get to the train station?

To best take advantage of that, make sure you structure your headlines and the text on your pages so that it answers what questions you may have.

Again, to use the headline mentioned above, ‘where to find cheap sports shoes in Nigeria’ is a great example.

But don’t stop there. Also, include a map entitled ‘how to get to my cheap shoe shop’ and perhaps even ‘what public transport to take to get to my cheap shoe shop.’

You may consider using blog topics idea generator tool to get a catchy headline.

In that way, every time somebody asks google something along those lines, your shop is likely to be mentioned.

Check the Statistics

The next part is to see how well things are doing. With Google Analytics you can search to see what keywords are getting people to your page.

Once you know that, you know what you can then figure out what to do to draw more people to your site. Note, if you’ve got a page that’s attracting people to your website, don’t pat yourself on the back and move on.

Instead, make that page even better. You see, often it’s far easier to push a page that’s ranking well up the rankings than to get a page that’s new to rank at all.

Just as importantly, moving from rank two to one will earn you much more traffic than going from position 54 to 53.

So that’s what you should aim at doing.

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