11 tips to optimize for voice search on your website

Matt Geary in Growth hacking on 24th of Oct 2018
Voice Search SEO

Voice Search SEO

Most of us have had the pleasure of meeting at least one virtual assistant. Names like Siri, Cortana, Alexa or plain-old Google Assistant should all sound familiar — it's likely that at least one of them lives in one of your devices.

With experts predicting that by 2020 up to 50 percent of online searches will be voice-initiated, it's likely that SEO specialists will need to optimize their content for voice.

Get ahead of the voice search game using these 11 tips:

Short answers

Most people prefer answers that get straight to the point. Google does too. The most common voice search answer is roughly 30 words long. Just enough time to get the right message across.

Word choice

Google prefers to source voice search answers from pages that have longer form content. This may seem like it contradicts tip number one, but there’s a way to have your cake and eat to it too. Write your articles in long-form but keep the sentences and paragraphs short and crisp.

Exact query

When people perform a search, only a small fraction will have the exact query in the title tag. To improve voice search results for exact queries, address topics with more than one page.

Ease of reading

Readable, well-structured content performs much better when voice algorithms are looking for an answer. They also sound better when read aloud by a virtual assistant.

Desktop SEO

Don't let all the hype about mobile throw you off — desktop is still hugely important. High performing desktop content is highly-likely to perform well on voice search.

Page speed

When optimizing for voice search, ensure your page is as fast as possible. The average speed of a voice search result is 4.6 seconds — 52 percent faster than the average load. Don't be left behind.

Schema

Schema markup is incredibly useful for pointing users towards the most useful information on your page. Content that's optimized using schema tags is much more likely to be featured as a voice search answer.

Security

High-security protocols such as HTTPS are preferred by search engines. From 10,000 Google Home searches, 70 percent of results came from pages with strong security protocols.

Authority

Possessing a high domain authority gives your website a natural advantage in voice search. Ranking as high as possible on search engine pages has positive follow-through effects for voice search results.

Likes and followers

A good social media strategy paired with well-written content improves your engagement rates. And content with high engagement rates is more likely to appear in voice search results.

If your website appears in a Google featured snippet, you're also likely to appear as a highly-ranked voice search result. Even though you can't explicitly choose to be part of a featured snippet, you can increase your chances through good user experience and useful content.

Optimizing your site for voice search will help bring customers to your brand's website, rather than to your competitors. Using Autopilot, you can track website visits and retarget customers who have found you through voice search results. Learn more about Autopilot today.

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