alt="How to optimize content for voice search"

How to Optimize Content for Voice Search

In this article, we shall discuss how to optimise content for voice search.

Content optimization is pivotal when it comes to ensuring that contents rank on search engines. It is also very important if you intend to turn leads into conversions. In the same way, images in contents can be optimized to make searching for them easier, contents can also be optimized for voice search.


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Voice Search


Voice search optimization is the process of strategically ensuring that website pages appear at the top of search engine results when users conduct verbal searches using voice assistants. 


Since voice search is 3.7x faster than typing, many search engine users resort to using voice search for their search queries. Hence, it is important to optimize your content for voice search to increase traffic on your website.


Voice search vs text search – the key difference 


The major difference between voice search and text search is in how people search and what they search. This is obvious in the tabulated differences below:


Voice Search

Text Search

Search queries are made with the use of voice assistants. Search queries involve typing.
Long-tail keywords are mostly used. Short-tail keywords or long-tail keywords can be used. However, many people use short-tail keywords.
Voice search query results are usually locally based. That is, it is generally restricted to a particular location. Text search query results are usually restricted to a general audience.
Many people use natural language for voice search queries. Queries are often question-based. Text search queries usually include just keywords which are mostly incomplete sentences. This is why they are mostly short-tailed keywords.

What are the benefits of voice search optimization?


One of the benefits you stand to gain from voice search optimization is increased traffic. Many people now prefer to use voice searches than text searches because it is faster and easier. Therefore, a good way to increase traffic to your website is to optimize your content to cater for the needs of those who are going to use text searches and voice searches as well. If users can get results for their searches faster, it will reduce bounce rates and improve ranking on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). 


How do people perform voice search?


Voice searches are performed by asking questions/speaking to virtual assistants. The virtual assistants in turn crawl through websites to provide answers or results to the questions asked.


The virtual assistant separates background noises from the voice query, digitalizes the voice search query, processes the voice query, and connects to external data sources like Google to find and get results for the search query.


11 ways to optimize content for voice search


1. Write content with long-tailed keywords


The first thing to do to optimize content for voice search is to focus on writing content with long-tailed keywords and answering questions – what, who, why, how, where?

Voice searches usually contain longer words. This is because we tend to use more words and complete sentences when speaking compared to when we are typing. For most people, it takes a lot of time and effort to type out a query. Voice searches are usually less time-consuming and less cognitively demanding.


Therefore, it is necessary to provide answers to long-tailed keywords in optimizing content for voice search. Include the keywords in your heading and then, provide an exact answer to the question. Be precise in your answer. You can then go on to build on your answer in the body of your content. 


2. Be Conversational


The second is to be conversational in your writing. Many voice searches are conversational and if you want your website/blog to rank well for voice searches, you need to be conversational in your writing. Adding words like, “I”, “me”, “you”, and “we” will make your content conversational.

This does not mean you should provide content with low quality. It only needs you should adhere to a casual writing style- as one speaking.


3. Focus on Local SEO


The third is to give attention to local Search Engine Optimization (local SEO). This is to give attention to improving the visibility of local businesses on search engines.

Most voice search users are always on the go and are usually in need of something nearby like a house, a store, a restaurant, an item, etc therefore, it is reasonable to create contents that match their need.

A good way to do this is to create a Google Business Profile.

If this is done well, voice search users will be provided with your location, contact information, work hours, directions to the workplace and other necessary information when they conduct relevant searches.


4. Provide specific answers to questions


The fourth is to focus on providing specific answers to questions. This will increase the chances of your blog/website featuring in Google snippets. Google snippets usually appear on the Google results page as a paragraph, a table, or a numbered or bulleted list above organic search results. 


This is very important because when voice searches are made, virtual assistants will most likely read featured Google snippets as answers. If Google can coin snippets from your content, it will be a huge win!

5. Use schema markup


The fifth is to use Schema markup on your website. Schema markup which is also known as structured data is the language (semantic vocabulary/code) search engines employ to read and understand the content on web pages.

It is not only of great benefit in voice search SEO but also on-page SEO. 


Schema markup provides specific information about businesses like their price information, contact information, work hours, reviews and more. It is not visible to humans but it is more helpful for bots to crawl through web pages and provide visibility to websites/blogs in search results.


6. Optimise for mobile


The sixth is to optimise your website for mobiles. Mobile devices generate more than half of all global internet traffic and more than 27% of mobile users are uses voice search on their smartphones. Therefore, it is paramount you make your website mobile-friendly. 

7. Increase your site’s speed


The seventh is to increase your site’s speed. Usually, a page must load in not more than two seconds for visitors to have a good user experience.

Having a good site speed will make your site rank better on Google Search Results Page and improve your chances of appearing for voice search results.


8. Optimize for different dialects


The eighth is to consider variations in spoken dialects in various regions in optimizing the content on your website for voice search. Identify your target audience, their location and the languages they speak. Doing this will inform how your content will be crafted to meet your visitor’s needs. 


9. Consider words with ambiguous spellings 


The ninth is to consider words with ambiguous spellings or pronunciations. 

Voice query users may want to get information as regards words and businesses with creative spellings and pronunciations. That is coined words and not words rooted in English. Therefore, this must be accounted for to rank better for voice search queries of that nature.


10. Add speech patterns and idioms


The tenth is to add speech patterns and idioms to web content. Focus on adding speech patterns and idioms specific to your target audience to your content to rank better for them.


11. Simplify your content to be voice-search-friendly


The last is to simplify your content to be voice-search-friendly. Avoid the use of complex words. Many voice search query users will most likely not use complex words. Therefore, endeavour to use simple words in your content.


Key Takeaways


  • Web content should be optimized not just for text searches but also for voice searches.
  • Long-tailed keywords are used for Voice searches.
  • Contents optimized for voice searches should be conversational.
  • Optimizing content for voice searches can help to increase traffic and improve ranking on search engine result pages.


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