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How to Optimize Your Website for Voice Search

 

Talk-to-text technology still has a few kinks to work out, as anyone who uses it for hands-free mobile messaging is no doubt aware, but it’s getting better and better all the time.  In fact, it is estimated that voice recognition technology is now about 95% accurate, which is incredible considering how many social snafus it caused in early iterations.

The truth is that users love voice options, and supply is working overtime to meet demand.  Talking is a much more expedient form of communication than typing, which means users can access information with greater speed and convenience when relying on voice technology, so long as it is accurate.

As a business owner, you need to take note, because voice tech is no longer just for dictating text messages.  It’s now used for online and mobile searches, and if you want your website to be found, it’s time to consider optimizing for voice search.  What does this look like for your business?  Here are a few things to consider.

Voice Search Keywords

As you are probably well aware, keywords play a pivotal role in securing top spots for relevant searches, whether you’re catering to PC, mobile, or voice search.  However, users are going to choose different phraseology when searching by voice than when typing in text.

For example, a user seeking a local dentist might type in a search term like “dentists San Francisco, CA”.  Conservation of words is an essential time-saving tactic when manually entering search parameters.  In voice, however, a user is more likely to speak conversationally and say something like, “find dentists near me” or “where is the nearest dentist”, assuming they have a system with their location data handy.

At best, you can expect the use of long-tail keywords or keyword phrases like, “find dentists near the Nob Hill neighborhood in San Francisco”.  The point is that you’ll need to do research specific to search terms likely to be used in voice search, as opposed to text search.  This can have a major impact on your keyword strategies when catering to voice users.

Shoot for Featured Placement

When people use voice search, they’re looking for quick answers, and when you provide them, you have a chance to nab top placement with Google’s featured snippet boxes that pop up for specific and relevant search queries (voice or other).  For example, if a user did a search for “tips to improve sleep”, they might encounter a box featuring listicle format suggestions for better sleep practices like sticking to a sleep schedule, practicing a relaxing bedtime ritual, avoiding naps, and more.

With the right type of content optimized for voice search, you could get the coveted top spot and slay the competition.  Why is this important?  According to a Backlinko survey, over 40% of voice search results in a featured snippet, and it could link to your website.

Don’t Neglect Schema Markup

You may already be aware of the importance of meta data like titles, tags, and descriptions when it comes to search engine optimization, but don’t forget about schema markup, which further helps to define the content of your pages for the purposes of indexing and relevant search.  If this is a little too complex for you or you have other business concerns taking up your time, hiring professional help can ensure that you don’t overlook important resources for optimization.

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