While driving, I often find myself remembering things, asking questions, or wondering where I should go for dinner. In the past, this timing was inopportune because I would have to wait until I stopped to write these thoughts down or research them. By that time, I would probably forget again. Today, it’s as simple as saying “OK Google, where is the nearest Starbucks?” and I can go on my way. Some other examples could be anything from “What dentists are near Dublin, OH?” to “Where can I buy hardwood floors in Columbus?”
As “voice-first” devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa become more popular, voice search is also becoming more prevalent outside of the car. Since voice search is three times faster than typing, it is more convenient to ask smartphones these types of questions as well. Google says, “Voice interactions with technology are becoming a key part of our lives.” Because of this, they are working to update their algorithm to produce the best results for consumers. While they are doing this, businesses need to optimize their websites to provide the best information and answers to customer queries. This way, Google’s updated voice search capabilities will bring your name straight to customer’s ears.
How Do I Optimize My Website for Voice Search?
Determine What Questions Your Audience is Asking
- It is important to determine what questions your customers or patients are asking. To do this, start by noting questions they ask you online, over the phone, or in-person. Are there common themes? If so, these are most likely the questions your whole audience has. Another way to determine popular questions is by using websites like Answer the Public. This is a simple way to gather popular search queries about your service or product.
- This is similar to doing keyword research for the things you want to pop up for when someone searches. So, if you are a dentist in Columbus, OH, you would like to show up for “Dentist in Columbus.” However, if you specialize in cosmetic dentistry or more specifically, dental implants, then you would also like to show up for those terms. Since the list of questions you have is specific and geared toward your particular audience, use it to your advantage. These longer terms are called “long tail keywords” and they are more specific and easier to rank for on a search engine. More simply, it is easier to rank for “dental implants in Columbus” than the more general “dentist in Columbus.”
Create an FAQ Page
- Once you have this list of questions, create an FAQ page. This is a great place for Google or another search engine to pull clear and concise responses to common questions. Google suggests making sure these answers are grammatically correct and the appropriate length (short enough to keep attention, but long enough to provide a detailed response). This way, Google’s voice software can detect and read this answer to the customer and provide accurate and well-written information.
Give Longer Answers Through Blogs & Boost SEO
- Blogging is a great way to increase SEO for these terms and give lengthier answers if your audience is interested. The first step in setting your blog up for success is formatting the title as the question you are answering. The second step, according to Hubspot, is to “be sure to include your keyword within the first 65 characters of your headline, which is just about where Google cuts it off on search engine results pages.” Google will pull its results from that those first 65 characters, so your keyword needs to be included in those. Finally, make sure you include your keyword several times throughout the blog and link to main service pages when relevant. Yoast says this will show Google how your website is laid out and increase your chances of showing up on a search for those harder, more common keywords (Dentist in Columbus, OH).
A study by VoiceLabs estimated that in 2017, the amount of voice-first devices in circulation jumped from 8 million to 33 million. These devices are in high-demand and are used more frequently; this means that more voice search queries are also happening.
2018 is a great time to begin optimizing and preparing your website for an onslaught of voice searches. You are more likely to show up for a voice search if you determine which questions your audience is asking, use long tail keywords to rank for more specific searches, create an FAQ page, and answer these popular questions through blog posts.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about optimizing your website for voice search in 2018.