Voice search has been a hot topic for several years now, but digital marketers are still trying to figure out how best to take advantage of it.
While most digital marketers have a basic understanding of SEO, voice search is a more complicated affair.
First, how do we know if it is worth investing our time and resources into it?
We have seen Stats are public :
- Nearly 40 million Americans were said to own a smart speaker back in 2018, and the adoption of new technology was the source of the growth in voice search.
- By 2020, predict up to a third of web browsing time without a screen (this prediction is a few old, but we have a year to see if it holds true).
- According to Google, 10% of mobile queries are voice search back to 2016.
There are no clear numbers from Google that will tell us exactly how much voice search is being used today. What should it tell us?
That, as it happens, voice search isn’t adopting as quickly as marketers think.
Now, that doesn’t mean we should stop talking about voice search for two good reasons:
- Voice search helped us, even if we don’t know exactly to what extent. Not being prepared is short-sighted, it’s never a good marketing strategy.
- Voice search optimization is optimize your content for machine interaction, i.e. you tailor your content to make it understandable to artificial intelligence, which is also New SEO . The better your content is optimized for voice search, the better overall organic visibility . This is often a new optimization strategy that any digital publisher should adopt, regardless of its size or language.
Table of Contents
Here are 4 key steps to optimizing your website for voice search.
1. Optimized for Featured Snippets
What is featured snippet?
The featured snippet is the selected search result that appears on top of the search results page as the best answer to the query.
Google introduced featured snippets to tailor their results pages for on-the-go and voice searches.
Featured Snippet Optimization consists of two main tactics:
- Increase your organic rank : Google typically selects a page to feature from the top 5 organic rankings for the current query. This is really Basic SEO should be implemented here.
- Give quick concise answers to the questions behind the query . You need to make it easy for Google to find and interpret answers. It can be a definition, an actual answer, a number, a name, a list, etc.
Featured Snippet Tool helps you do both:
- Queries where you rank high enough to have a good chance of being referred.
- Optimizing for each opportunity, case by case, showing you what is currently highlighted for each query and how you can perform better when answering the query:
2. Optimize for “Things, Not Strings”
One of the biggest advancements of the Google algorithm is its ability to interpret each query in context, rather than just matching what was entered into indexed web documents. This update is called Hummingbird and is intended to give you a deeper understanding of each query.
For example, if you type “hiking” into your search, Google will know that:
- You may need results around your location.
- You enjoy outdoor recreation.
- You want to include results for “walking trails”, “parks”, “maps”, etc.
Text Optimizer is a semantic analysis tool that will search Google for your query and extract all related concepts and entities that Google would expect to find on a page that answers the question satisfactorily.
Text Optimizer helps you optimize your content for “things, not strings,” forcing you to include more concepts and give your content more depth. You can also target your search to a certain locality for best results:
3. Update old content
A good SEO strategy is always about a constant process of updating content. Google loves new content as much as its users, which is a good enough reason to spend the time and resources to keep your content fresh and up to date.
I’ve done a few tactical guides to updating your old content:
There are all kinds of approaches to updating content, but the main point is this: Make content updates on an ongoing basis, consistently.
In particular, I recommend including old updates in your monthly editorial calendar to make sure they happen regularly. This quest was never actually executed. I recommend allocating at least a week per month to update and re-optimize content.
To stay organized, add “old content” campaigns to ContentCal editorial calendar . For the slower months (when sales are slower and no big marketing campaign planned), plan two “stale content” campaigns per month:
ContentCal notifies your team of scheduled campaigns using the campaign ribbon. Your team members will see upcoming campaigns and can get things done efficiently:
ContentCal will not only notify your team of old content work through its campaign feature, but will also drive new marketing efforts on your old content through supported collaborative sharing. .
4. Use Structured Markup
Structured markup helps search engines better understand a web document, its content, purpose, and structure. For example, it will determine to crawlers the content type (e.g. reviews, About Us page, bio, news clipping, event announcements, etc.).
There is a lot of structured markup that Google official support including FAQs, verification of authenticity, HOW content, etc.)
But there is no reason to stop there. If it helps search engines better understand your content, then you’re good to go. This includes:
Google has a specific voice search markup called Can speak which is something content creators should definitely do.
Simplify Calls to Action in Content
Mobile and voice searchers are likely to use go. They may not have had time to make a purchase yet. If you want to market these users more effectively, evaluate and simplify your CTAs as much as possible.
Finteza is a great tool to analyze your current CTA performance. You can use it to build visual sales funnels and identify which CTAs tend to lose your customers.
Finteza also offers a retargeting algorithm allows you to reconnect with website visitors who left without converting.
When it comes to simplifying and optimize conversions in your content there are all kinds of methods here depending on your business model, for example:
- Remove distractions (sidebars, social media icons, etc.)
- Include site-wide search (and treat it as an additional CTA)
- Minimize the number of steps
- Try alternative optin plugin provide a simple user experience
- Pre-fill fie lds in optin forms (be careful with GDPR in spite of)
- Combine your CTA with article context, etc.
Voice search optimization should be a part of content strategy because it re-enforces overall organic visibility. Whether it’s a voice or keyboard query that you’re targeting, optimizing for voice search helps you create content with more depth, better structure, and higher rankings — That’s what all digital marketers want, right?