By Stephanie Wells, founder of Formidable Forms, a drag-and-drop form builder for WordPress that empowers freelancers to create form-based solutions.
If you run a website, you know just how much search engine optimization (SEO) plays a role in its growth and success. Many marketers hire SEO specialists specifically so their content can rank high on Google and get in front of the right audience. However, now that voice search is on the rise and gaining more popularity, there’s a whole new dynamic to consider when implementing SEO tactics.
Over the last decade, voice search has grown tremendously in use and popularity, and a huge part of this is because its accuracy has improved. Even those who aren’t familiar with using voice search regularly are likely to turn to it once realizing it can provide exact information within seconds. It provides endless value to users, specifically those who can’t always be hands-on with their devices or find it easier to simply speak into their microphones.
There are ways to use voice search that can drastically improve the user experience of your customers. Let’s look at different ways you can use voice search in your marketing strategy so you see higher conversion rates and increased engagement.
1. Research Voice Search Keywords
In any content marketing strategy, you need to conduct keyword research in order to know what your audience wants to see more of and what will cater to their needs best. The point of your business is to solve their problems and offer valuable solutions that make their life easier.
By using keywords relevant to what users in your target audience are searching, you increase the chances of driving organic traffic to your website and increasing your conversions. This is why you need to choose the right keywords for voice search.
When users want to search for something in the Google search bar, those keywords differ from how they search using voice recognition software. This is because the way we type and speak are two completely different things. Someone might type “Mexican fast food” into Google, but when using voice search, they’d say something like, “What are some Mexican fast-food restaurants near me?”
Being able to speak their need aloud means using longer phrases that are more specific and detailed. When creating keywords for your strategy, remember that people have different ways of asking for things when using voice search.
2. Optimize For Featured Snippets
When you search for something specific in Google, you might have noticed that sometimes a box appears at the top of the page that gives you an exact answer to your question. It is direct, forward and gives you access to further information. This is called a featured snippet and is one of the best ways to drive traffic back to your website and intrigue new visitors to lurk your content.
Featured snippets are great for voice search because they offer detailed information straight off the bat without any bells or whistles. Because those using voice search are often looking for specific answers, snippets are the perfect tool to pair it with. It’s guaranteed to be seen by all users because it’s at the top of the page and ranks highest on Google’s search engine results pages.
Consider how you can create and optimize your content so it appears as a featured snippet. As time goes on, you’ll garner more viewers and visitors from voice search, so it’s important to cater to their needs. Incorporate more long-tail keywords into your content marketing, and try to be as concise and to the point as possible. Answer questions directly and follow them up with more information afterward.
3. Focus On Local Search
Unlike text, voice search is ultimately more location-related. Most people use their mobile phones to conduct searches this way and, a lot of the time, they’re looking for places or businesses near them. According to Google, searches for local stores without the qualifier “near me” have grown 150% over the last two years, so it’s important to incorporate this into your strategy.
You need to ensure that you provide accurate contact and location information regarding your business so users near you have access to it when needed. It’s also important to include other information, such as reviews, ratings, business hours and payment options. Providing up-to-date, relevant information makes it easier for Google to index your business based on location so your result gets bumped to the top and receives more click-throughs.
Over To You
If your business has yet to be optimized for voice search, it’s time to accept the trend and add it to your current SEO strategy. Optimizing for voice is one of the best things you can do for your brand because its popularity and usage continue to grow and increase over time. More people are using voice search assistants to get quick, easy access to information without having to use their hands. How will you implement voice search into your strategy this year?