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April 2019 | by Corinne Clark
“Alexa, what’s the weather?”
Voice search is on the rise – and it’s no wonder. It takes zero effort, and users get the answer they are looking for without having to dig through 10 pages of results on Google.
But optimization for voice search doesn’t follow the same rules as traditional SEO optimization. Here are four important things to remember to maximize SEO strategy in the era of voice search.
Artificial intelligence is getting smarter. In the early days of search engine use, searchers used simple phrases because it was easier for search engines to process. Now that search engines can understand the way we talk and ask questions, searches are a lot less rigid. Think conversationally with your keywords:
One benefit to a conversational search is being able to determine your audience’s goal. Is this user looking to buy a product? Are they trying to learn how to do something? Framing content for your audience’s search intent will help you reach them faster.
People use voice search when they want a quick, direct answer, not a long explanation. A user may ask “Alexa, what is the incarceration rate in the United States?” Be brief. Give direct answers in your content to improve your placement in voice search results. Consider optimizing for instant answers when you create content for your brand.
This is not to say that you need to change all your content to match the voice search trend. In fact, refreshing your current content to be more direct will usually do the trick. Try using bulleted lists or add an “FAQ” page to your website to help search engines find and share your content.
To check if content is listener-friendly, marketers should listen to it instead of just proofreading it.
A recent study found that 40% of mobile voice searches are looking for local answers. Think about your average consumer on-the-go. They’re using voice search to find services and products that are close by. Brands should put extra thought into these local consumers – how they speak and their unique search habits.
Your local audience is paying attention to reviews so keep track of them. Engage with the good ones and address the bad ones. Add and claim your business in local directories like Yelp, Yahoo, and Yellowpages.com. Be sure to always include your brand’s name, address, and phone number on your website. You can also include locations in your keywords, like “downtown” or “on the waterfront.” When your audience is looking for you, they’ll know where and when to find you almost instantly.
It is also important to use the right Schema markups for different types of content. A schema markup is a form of microdata that creates the descriptions in search results. It gives search engines (and searchers!) more context about what is on your page. You can do all this through Schema.org.
Voice search offers brands a unique way to reach their audience and answer their questions. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get your content in front of more people – optimize your website for voice search. Not sure where to start? Our team of experts has got you covered.
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