If your small business website is not optimized for voice search, you are missing out on a ton of potential clients. According to AdWeek, 67 million voice-assisted devices will be in use in the U.S. by 2019. This changes the way that digital content is managed. That means Internet searchers will be using digital search assistants like Cortana, Alexa, and Siri to search for what they need.
Let’s perform a test. Someone near you likely has an iPhone with Siri enabled. Have them ask for information about your business, like your location or what you have to offer? Are there any usable results? If not, that’s because your website and SEO efforts are not positioned to be located through voice search.
Considering that 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the last year alone, here are some tips for how to optimize your website for localized voice search. If you need more help after reading this article, I’d be glad to have a conversation about how I can help you.
Think About Conversations
Think about the last conversation you had today. How do you speak when talking with someone in everyday conversation? Does the way you speak in any way resemble a typed Google search entry? Probably not. But when we use voice assistants to perform Internet searches, how to we do it? “Alexa, what is the closest pizza place to my home?” “Siri, find the best takeout Chinese food near me.”
We typically speak to the digital assistant as if we are speaking to another person. The key to voice search SEO is human conversation. Voice search queries contain conversational words and are typically longer. Voice search is more likely to contain question phrases.
How do you prepare for voice search queries? First, start thinking about questions a consumer might ask to locate your business. A great online tool for this is Answer the Public. Enter any keyword and it returns loads of questions. From that list of questions related to your search term, you can get an idea of what questions you should include in your content, and how.
- Build a FAQ page on your website and include as many of the popular questions that searchers can ask relating to your business and its products or services as possible.
- Optimize your company website’s meta data with the most popular voice search queries. Use questions that your page content will answer in the meta titles and descriptions of your pages.
- Create blog posts answering consumers’ most popular questions. Deal with one question per blog post.
Think About Your Location
About 20% of all voice search queries are for local content. This makes perfect sense, because people use their mobile phones on the go to locate information. And since 50% of local mobile searches lead to a physical visit to a nearby store location, if you have a physical store, you need to be optimized for local voice search.
Incorporate these local-focused keywords and phrases into your website SEO:
- Add “Near me” into your title tags, meta description, internal links, and anchor text (flower store near me, content writer near me, etc.)
- Add the phrases people use to describe the neighborhood around your location (upper east side, near Middleton park, etc.)
- Add the names of prominent landmarks around your business location (near Stone Mountain, GA, across from the Washington Mall, etc.)
- Add the titles of local institutions that are relevant to your business (near Academy of Art University, beside the Federal Reserve Bank in Raleigh, NC, etc.)
Think About Search Listings
It’s important to understand how digital assistants work. A primary source of information for them is Google My Business listings. So, when a consumer performs a voice search, they will be pointed to you in the following ways:
- “Food delivery in Memphis” — If you have optimized your site for local keywords like Memphis, then you will likely appear high in this search result.
- “Food delivery near me” — For these questions, Google tracks your mobile device location and compares it to local Google My Business listings.
If your haven’t claimed your Google My Business listing, do so and ensure that is includes your correct business name, address, and phone number with area code. The introduction field to your Google My Business listing needs to contain a well-written 400-word pitch to describe your products and services.
This is the listing Google will use when consumers search for your products or services “near me.” The most accurate listing will be returned high in search listings.
Remember that Google still evaluates content and other factors as well. Don’t throw other sound SEO practices out the window and focus only on voice search. These suggestions should be incorporated into your SEO strategy along with other good practices.
What are some of your best voice search SEO suggestions and tips? We’d love to share them with our readers. Leave them in the comments below.