“Alexa, add Cheerios to my shopping list, please.”
“Google, order a thermometer for my oven!”
“Siri, where is the nearest gas station?”
More and more people are turning to voice-activated virtual assistants to help with daily chores or information searches. What used to be a novelty is quickly becoming an indispensable device in many households, or pockets, in the case of mobile device assistants.
So, how do you make sure your web content gets found in this brave new world of voice searches? The answer isn’t simple, but we have a few tips that will help.
Write Fantastic Content
No pressure, but experts say excellent content is still the most important factor for ranking high in searches of any type. Voice searches tend to pull information from the top-ranked sites listed on Google or any other search engine. So, you still need to craft great, original content to get in the top-ranking spot. To improve rankings, try to build your content around keywords for which you already rank well.
Also, consider using long-tail keywords. These are search terms that are less common, but more specific to your audience and less competitive. You may not get in the highest-ranked spot on a search engine for a common term, but you might for a long-tail keyword. Discovering and using these keywords is an art all by itself. If you’d like to hone in on how to use long-tail keywords, read this great article featured on searchenginejournal.com
According to Brian Dean of backlinko.com, it’s also best to write about your particular subject in-depth. Authoritative posts of at least 2,000 words tend to get noticed and cited by other sites more often.
Which brings us conveniently to the next topic. Getting noticed as an expert in your field will improve your search engine rankings because other people will be more likely to reference your material on their websites. Back-links improve rankings. (Notice how we cleverly inserted links to experts in the last paragraph to illustrate this point.)
Improving your rankings through links will increase the chances of information from your site being used in something called a “featured snippet” on Google. Featured snippets are most often sampled for voice queries.
Create Informative Images
Another way to become a recognized expert according to Brian Dean is to feature unique, informative embeddable images in your content. You want other web authors to use your image and link back to it. So, spend some time creating great info-graphics exclusive to your subject matter. While its true that voice-activated searchers won’t be able to see your graphics, those images can still help your site become more relevant to search engines.
Perhaps you have an old site that needs some pruning. Maybe you have pages that are rarely visited anymore. Having lots of dead-weight content on your site can hurt your search engine rankings. Consult your friend Google Analytics to discover which pages on your site get the least traffic. Then, condense and combine or get rid of those pages to make your site trim and more meaningful.
If you your site isn’t an HTTPS site, make sure to make the change now because search engines rate HTTPS sites more highly than HTTP sites. Read more about the value of HTTPS here. And, if your site is not mobile-friendly, add that task to your checklist and get it done quickly. According to a recent report from searchengineland.com, at least 50 percent of voice searches are being performed from mobile devices. If your site loads slowly or isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re losing valuable traffic.
Many experts recommend adding a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or section to your site. Your answers should be about 40-60 words long.
Alexa, why should I include FAQs on my site?
FAQ’s are important because many voice queries are posed as questions. Providing ready-made content in a question and answer format of no more than 60 words can help your information get sampled in featured snippets. Some refer to this as “snippet bait.”
Serving up 42 words, so you can see how it’s done. Right on target!
Voice searches and text searches may be different, but both still rely on good, original content. Plan your website thoughtfully. Write excellent content and create unique images. Employ the recommendations above and submit your site error-free to all of the relevant search engines to improve your site’s voice searchability.
Have questions or need help implementing an effective voice SEO strategy? Sublime Creations is an eco-friendly company providing local and small businesses with website consultation, design and personalized training solutions. Contact me online or call to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.