Google Voice Search, initially termed as Voice Action, is an advanced Google product that allows Google searchers to use the Google Search system by speaking on a computer or mobile instead of typing the search queries. The popularity and percentage of users of this Google functionality are growing at a great speed due to its ease of use. Virtual Home Assistants (VHA) and Devices with Smart Speakers are playing a huge role in promoting this awesome Google product.
With the Google Voice Search getting so popular and the amount of voice searches approaching to almost 50% by 2020 (as per a comScore prediction), you can safely say that Voice Search is the future. Therefore, you cannot overlook the importance of optimizing your content for Voice Search.
Here are 5 great tips for you to optimize your content for Google Voice Search.
- Write in a Natural and Conversational Tone
Google’s John Mueller emphasizes on natural content and encourages content marketers to create content in a natural and conversational tone. Content that can be read aloud is preferred for voice search by Google and other search engines. Natural content has a clear language to engage users and help search engines understand the context in a lot better way.
Creating natural content is kind of a general guidance, and it really has a great significance every time you talk about content optimization. There is no substitute to great natural content. Naturally written content that your users will find easy to read is great for voice search.
To achieve a better user engagement rate and conversational tone you can ask yourself some of the general questions that you think your searchers would potentially ask. Create clear and concise answers or responses to those questions to get a good idea of how you need to create and format your content. Build from there.
- Use Structured Data
John Mueller wants content owners to help them (Google guys) with some additional information about what their content or page is about. That will help them understand the page and figure out which voice queries that page matches with.
This is where Structured Data (Schema Mark-up) comes into play. Integrate structured data into your website’s backend and tell search engines what a particular page or piece of content is all about. Search engines would then understand your data better and crawl the page more efficiently. This has become an important ranking signal to power search results.
- Study Search Intent
Studying the user’s intent behind the search query is essential. This works the same when your user types the query or gives voice commands to the search engines.
If you are able to study the searcher’s intent properly and create your content accordingly, you stand a greater chance of outranking your competitors on the search results page. This is because search engines, of late, have seen giving importance to search intent rather than just search words.
You should see and examine a bunch of question-based search queries and try to include exact and accurate answers in your content. Include a good amount of relevant longer tail keyword phrases in your content to develop your outreach with greater accuracy. Sooner or later, search engines will see that and give you the reward you deserve.
Moreover, you can do a research about some of the commonly asked questions about your business niche. Make a list of those questions and provide direct, detailed and accurate answers. With that strategy you have a chance to get included in the Google’s Paragraph Answer Featured Snippet.
- Focus More on Local Content
Local content that gives information about a local business or businesses is a great candidate for voice search results.
Give a close look at how people speak or converse. You will find they prefer uttering names of locations or venues more often while performing a voice search. This means, if your content is optimized for local SEO, it can naturally be pulled by search engines for voice search results. The devices used by your users for voice search will first try to find relevant information from a Google My Business listing, so yes, your Google My Business (GMB) profile should play a significant role here.
Make sure your GMB profile is clean and complete, and it has a lot of content best optimized for immediate answers to your users and potential customers. Optimize all your local listings with local content and information to ensure appropriate answers are always available for your users.
- Provide Exact Answers Fast
Providing clear and exact answers to searchers is a killer SEO strategy for desktop search, mobile search and voice search.
Your content has to go by that rule and try to provide exact answers to some of the potential questions right in the opening paragraph without your readers having to scroll down. If you do execute that simple thing, there could be 2 possible outcomes. Either your users go on to read the rest of the copy with increased interest and curiosity, or they go back with ample satisfaction. Either way, they were happy with your content and liked it, which is why most of them will return. Search engines will notice all of that and with happy users you get happy search engines.
Since voice searchers doing voice searches on their mobile devices look for direct answers fast, creating mobile-optimized shorter content, bulleted lists, audio and video content is always going to benefit you.
Word of Caution:
- Avoid putting links into your content.
- Don’t over optimize your content for voice search. Content that has a number of questions but only single answer or very little information to support the answer are treated as doorway pages, and are flagged by Google and other search engines.
- Avoid content that has large tables full of data because that’s not the format suited for voice search. Simple reason is that no searcher likes an answer of that sort when they perform a voice search.