Be Heard! How to Optimize For Voice Search

Unless you’ve been under a rock in the marketing world you’ve probably heard that voice search is quickly going to become an important factor in the industry. It seems like children are born with smartphones already in their hands. The rise of voice-search technology is quickly becoming a huge part of our everyday lives, which is why great marketers are already riding that wave to ensure that they’re ranking for some of the top voice searches in their industry. According to Hitwise, nearly 60 percent of searches are now performed on a mobile device. With more and more people using mobile devices to search, people often find it’s easier to use their voice to search instead of typing on tiny screens. As new devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa begin to become a staple in any home, it’s important that you know how to optimize for voice search.

How to Optimize For Voice Search

Know Your Semantics

A few years ago, Google made one of the biggest updates ever when it comes to how we use technology to search for information. Despite it being named the Hummingbird update, it was actually one of the biggest and most influential updates that Google has rolled out.

The update was essentially designed to help Google find out the searcher intent of voice searches. User intent is one of the most important fundamentals of search, yet for machines, it can be remarkably difficult to infer what users actually want when conducting certain searches. That’s among the many reasons why the Hummingbird update was so important – it signaled a shift in Google’s ability to determine the intent behind relatively ambiguous searches and provide users with an even better experience. When Google’s Rankbrain learning system eventually came out, this allowed the update to progressively learn the intent of user searches.

how to optimize for voice search

So what does this all mean for your company? Well, if you want to know how to optimize for voice search, you need to think with Hummingbird in mind. While Google will try its best to decipher user intent, it’s up to you to provide the proper results that it’s looking for. This means that you’ll want to use phrases and keywords in your content that will typically be used in a voice search. This will then allow Google to capture that content, and hopefully move your site up the rankings in no time.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Speaking of keywords, you still want to use some of the tactics that work for traditional search marketing. If you want to know how to optimize your voice search, start with your keywords! How would you ask particular questions? Or what kind of spoken questions might bring others to your site? This might be a different kind of long tail than you’re used to. It’s more about real speech and less about keyword variations. Whether your searchers are using a command or a question, this is how to optimize for voice search.

Use FAQs

If you want to know how to optimize for voice search, start thinking about the questions that people ask about your company. One of the biggest mistakes that a company can make in voice search optimization is not having a FAQs page.  Try to group common questions on the same page, and write as naturally as possible. At the beginning of each piece of content, you should also add in some quick answers to satisfy Google’s rich snippet requirements. A rich snippet is the crème de la crème of the search marketing world, and a FAQs page is a great way to ensure that your brand is showing up at the top of the search results.

Don’t Forget the Small SEO Tactics

While we’ve provided some major tactics on how to optimize for voice search, don’t forget those tiny details. We’re talking about the small things that you can do on your page to ensure that your content is SEO-friendly. This includes things like including your keyword within the alt text of your images as well as ensuring that the keyword is in the Meta description. These might seem like small adjustments, but they certainly add up.

If you have other tips on how to optimize for voice search, feel free to let us know below!

Troy Diffenderfer

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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