20% of mobile queries are voice searches and this is coming directly from Google. But not all webmasters would benefit from the surge in voice search in the coming years.
Except your site is properly optimized for voice queries you’ll miss out on all that action. Here are some tactics you can use:
1. Don’t Neglect Local SEO
Voice search will cater for many marketers that are implementing local SEO on their sites. There’s even a report that shows that a high percentage of voice search queries are dominated by businesses that have implemented local SEO.
So a query like “gyms near me” would produce sites that have worked on their local SEO and you want to be on the first page when such a query is performed.
Get a Google My Business (GMB) listing so your business location will be accessible when users ask for it. Add location pages to your site to direct customers who will want to visit. Make your locations very clear as search engines will crawl these pages to relay the right information to your customers.
Get reviews to your GMB page and other directory pages so others can feel confident about visiting you. Reviews serve as social proof, people would want to know about the experience of others before trying it out themselves.
Create local content, content that answers some of the pressing questions in your niche. So if you run a restaurant in Thailand, producing posts on Thai food will send a signal to Google that you’re an authority in your niche.
2. Write For Humans
Target keywords that humans would use when talking. No one’s actually going to say “restaurant England London.” But that’s something you may see in a keyword tool. But people can say “what restaurants are in South West London” or “what are the best restaurants near Wimbledon?”
Keyword research for voice search isn’t like your traditional keyword research. So while you can target the keyword “link building” in your blog post, keywords like “how to build links to your inner pages” are variations you should also target because they’re products of voice search.
So while your main keyword can be in your title or hyperlink, a lot of the keywords in your post should be long-tail keywords that a human would actually ask their voice assistant.
Try not to sound like a robot, write conversationally so your content can appeal to the emotions of your reader. That’s the kind of content that works with voice search.
2.5. More On That
Put your most important information first. Voice searchers don’t really have the time to hear about your upcoming webinar, or maybe they can at a later time, so just give them the information they want. And your succeeding sentences should only explain your initial point.
Keep everything short, just go straight to the point on the information you have to share. Use short paragraphs, use short sentences so try not to go above twelve words, edit your posts to cut out the unnecessary fluff and try not to write in the third person.
Target keywords that require short answers to get a general overview. Providing short answers to keywords will help your site show up in the snippets. For example, you can provide an outline for the keyword “how to paint your kitchen cupboard.”
A 6-item plan can provide all the info anyone needs to know about painting a kitchen cupboard and you can show up in the snippets too, raising your click-through-rate.
3. Improve On Your Mobile Friendliness Score
Most voice search queries are performed on mobile so there’s no way to get your site ranking for those keywords if the search engines don’t like your site.
Start by getting your site indexed and crawled by the major search engines, Google and Bing should be okay. To get your site indexed you need a Google account, so use that and sign up for Google Search Console, verify your site to get it included as one of your properties.
Then improve your site load time. Slow pages don’t last on the SERPs, that’s because people click to go back and get on a different page. This sends a signal to Google that your page didn’t provide a response to the query and as those downvotes accumulate, your page continually drops in the SERPs.
Use a CDN so content on your pages can be distributed across different servers and visitors would receive content from the server that’s closest to them.
3.5 More On Mobile
The next thing to look at would be your web design. And there’s just one rule, keep it simple so it’ll be easy to navigate your page.
Compress your images so they won’t be too bulky on your server and affect your load time.
Remove flash, it’s nice on a desktop and in games as it helps you introduce lots of fancy features to your page but it doesn’t deliver well on mobile.
Create mobile friendly content so people would stick around. That’s content you can scan, properly formatted with bullets and with enough white spacing. Use a heatmap on your site to look at the different areas people are clicking on, you’ll notice some clicks are going to areas that have no links.
Install an SSL certificate on your site so your website will be secure, this has become a key ranking factor recently.
Use internal linking to provide proper navigation for bots and visitors and try not to annoy visitors with pop-ups because they ruin the user experience on your site.
When you’re done with all of this, take the Google mobile-friendly test to see if your site is ready and look out for other things that may be required.
4. Have an FAQ Section On Your Most Visited Posts
Voice search queries are mostly questions, and these questions require short answers. So look into your analytics and look for the posts with enough traffic to them, answer these questions and you’ll improve your chances on the SERPs.