3 Great Ways to Optimize for Voice Search

Long-tail keywords and full questions.

When people use voice search, they tend to use complete sentences. Most people don’t search for something by saying, “Nearest Mexican restaurant.” They say, “Where’s the nearest Mexican Restaurant?” You can easily see the difference: One is a sentence fragment, while the other is an actual question. So, this means that syntax and grammar are important features of voice search, and your content should reflect this.

Some tips to find the best long-tail keywords and phrases for your site:

  • Do some old-fashioned keyword research: What are popular search terms? How do people find your business (or businesses like yours)? Make a list of the keywords you want to focus on.

  • Once you have these keywords, you can practice asking Google Assistant or Alexa to help you find them online. Pay attention to how you use your search assistant. The way that feels most natural to you is likely a way that will feel natural to your customers, too.

  • Refine your search terms as needed. If you’re finding that it’s difficult to formulate a question around a keyword, try a different variation. For example, you may have discovered that “roof repair near me” is difficult to fit into a natural-sounding sentence. But you may be able to phrase that question as, “Where is a good roof repair service near Houston?”

Optimize text for quick answers.

Have you ever noticed the “People also ask” feature in Google’s search results? It looks like this:

As you can see, the little snippet displayed after the question gives a concise answer to a simple question. You should formulate the text on your site to match the keywords and phrase, and give an answer to the query in a sentence or two. This way, if your answers show up in this section, people get a strong incentive to click through to read more.

The reason this is such a strong ranking factor is that these phrases are widely searched for. By answering this question in a satisfactory way, you have a better chance of gaining the attention of those who search by text input and voice.

A few other good ways to optimize for the “People also ask” section include:

  • Bulleted lists with concise information

  • Blog posts with keyword-optimized articles

  • Schema markup (ask your webmaster if you’re not familiar with this)

Treat Google My Business the same as text search.

People use voice search for local SEO all the time. Don’t believe us? There are over 1 billion voice assistant enabled devices in circulation as of April 2018. You need to fill out your Google My Business profile completely in order to get the most out of your listing. When people search for your business, they’re looking for important information, such as name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, menus or lists of services, and user reviews and ratings. Google My Business is the most important tool to relay this information, and it’s essential that you do it correctly for the best results. For more tips on Google My Business, read this article.

There are other ways to optimize for voice search, and the field is always evolving. As voice search becomes more popular, tactics will change. For now, these three tips should be a great start—good luck with optimizing your site for voice search!

#googlemybusiness #voicesearch

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