Recent studies indicated that by the year 2020, up to 50% of all internet queries will be made via voice search. Even as of 2018, an estimated 1 billion voice searches are performed per month. As voice-enabled “assistant” devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home become more popular, it’s clear that voice search must be taken into account within today’s digital marketing strategies.
Of course, it’s a basic principle of SEO that website content should target the keywords and search phrases that people might use to search for your business online. Heck, that’s the whole idea! A fully-optimized website has valuable, effective, and relevant keywords generously sprinkled throughout the site content. Your site might even feature pages or posts with titles and content based on the specific queries made by your customers — such as a page titled “Benefits of Dedicated Hosting” or a blog article titled “What is Dedicated Hosting?”
Titles like these target not only a specific keyword, but also a particular search phrase. Highly specific keyword phrases such as “Benefits of Dedicated Hosting” or “Hosting Provider Near Me” are referred to as “long-tail keywords,” and they’re an absolute must for voice-based search optimization. Why? Because users search differently when speaking their query out loud versus typing it into a search box, and are more likely to phrase their query as a question (e.g., “Google, where is the closest Italian restaurant?”) instead of a string of search terms (e.g., “Italian restaurant duluth mn”).
Furthermore, voice search is often used with devices that also feature location-based search functionality, such as cell phones or “smart” devices like Amazon Alexa. Queries that include terms like “near me,” “closest,” “directions to,” etc., have increased steadily over the past year as more customers perform searches while “on the go.” Targeting potential customers who make location-based voice searches like these is another “must” for your SEO strategy, as searching for a particular business nearby means they’re interested in making a purchase now.
So, we’ve covered some general concepts about the importance of optimizing for voice search. Now, here are three practical tips you can take right away to get started!
1. Incorporate Long-Tail Keywords into Your Content
Aside from being a great way to optimize your site for voice search, another benefit of long-tail keyword phrases is how they can be used to target highly specific audiences and interests. The keyword “bike shop” might attract a wide range of visitors, but many of those visitors might be looking for something different than what you offer. On the other hand, the long-tail keyword phrase “mountain bike repair shop in Duluth” targets a more specific audience, and offers much better optimization for voice search. If you’ve been focusing on short, generic keywords, work on developing a list of longer keyword phrases that highlight what sets your business apart from others.
2. Ensure Your Online Geographic Presence is Up-To-Date
As mentioned, voice search often works in tandem with location-based services to help users find a business in their geographic area. This means it’s especially important to ensure that your business’s overall online presence makes it very clear where your business is located! Review your listing on platforms such as Google Maps, Bing Places, and Facebook for accuracy, as well as the contact information provided on your website itself. Also keep in mind that search results for specific locations tend to highlight reviews other users have provided for each business. There is no such thing as too many good reviews, so encouraging your customers to offer some feedback online can do wonders for your overall online presence.
3. Incorporate Voice Search Into Your Own Website
It’s clear that more and more users are becoming comfortable with performing searches by using their voice. By incorporating voice search functionality into your own website, you can offer your customers the same convenience. Plus, by tracking the voice search queries your customers make on your website, you can gain some insight into how they might be using voice search to find your business in the first place, and use that information to further optimize your website.
Whether you’re a current marketing client or are simply interested in learning more about optimizing your website for voice search, Faster Solutions would love to chat with you! Contact our marketing team today to get the conversation started.