3 Optimisation Tips for Voice Search

08 September 2017

3 Optimisation Tips for Voice Search

The overwhelming takeover of mobile devices for people using the web has obvious implications for how people use search in the real world, meaning that mobile users are far more likely to use voice search than those searchers who are sitting at desks. That being so, modern SEO is, in part, about optimising websites for voice search. Here are three tips as to how to do this.

Remember that many voice searches are made by people on the move

This may seem like stating the obvious, given the association between voice search and mobile devices, but actually mobile devices are frequently used in static environments, be that in the home for some sofa surfing or in a coffee shop while you’re waiting for your train. Static environments, however, is often suited to using the old-school approach of typing in search queries to avoid issues with background noise and/or disturbing other people who may overhear the query.

By contrast, when you’re actually moving from A to B, voice search becomes a whole lot more attractive since it leaves your eyes and hands free. For this reason, voice search is often used by people in unfamiliar locations, looking for help to find whatever they need. Where’s the nearest petrol station, supermarket or Italian restaurant? Voice search can tell you.

With this in mind, optimising your website for voice search means doing everything you can to localise your data as appropriate, especially if you are in the kind of industry that people will look for on the go or need a local connection for. As an absolute minimum, you want to claim your Google My Business listing and keep it up to date. This makes it much easier for Google to be aware of your existence, which is a prerequisite for turning up in search results.

Use FAQ pages

When users are in “comfortably browsing” mode, they have time to digest and appreciate engaging, long-form content. When users are in “I need help right now” mode (as is generally the case with users on voice search), they want succinct, clear and relevant answers to their queries and they want them without delay.

Having an effectively-written FAQ section can go a long way towards delivering this and therefore potentially delivering these customers to your door. You can answer the precise questions that people may search for when looking for your content.

Update your keywords

Users who are typing in queries will generally enter the minimum number of words needed to convey the meaning of their search. Users on voice search, however, tend to interact with their voice assistant in much the same way as they interact with real people and will phrase their search queries in a more conversational tone, using longer-form queries and hence, very probably, longer-tail keywords. They may also find themselves instinctively using more colloquial language on the assumption that the “digital person” will be more likely to understand it than an “ordinary” computer.

Use the kind of wording on your website that corresponds with the real words and phrases searchers will ask Siri or Google Voice for help with, and you will have a higher chance of showing up in the SERPs for those searches.