Optimising for Voice Search in 2018

If you didn’t have a resolution for your business in 2018, then optimising for voice search should be a prime one. Voice search is growing far faster than general searches, enabled by informational appliances in our homes and cars that let us ask questions. These natural queries tap into humans’ instinctive behaviour, so we’ll soon see far more people having conversations with their phone, whether asking for information about a trend or recommendations for nearby service providers. Let’s discuss a few ways your website can be optimised for voice search in 2018.

Consider Rich Snippets – Yours and Others’

Voice search results tend toward the rich snippets format over taking people to your website where the AI then reads the content to the user. If someone else answers the voice search with a rich snippet, the odds are that the searcher will never hear about your brand. If your website can answer the query with a rich snippet, make sure it references your business, your brand and/or your website.

For example, give advice on how to perform a task or solve a problem in two or three sentences. Then add that if this doesn’t work, they need to contact your business so a professional can address the problem. Or, provide the simple answer with a reference to your company in a matter similar to radio announcers mentioning their sponsors.

Tap Into the Potential of Video and Audio Content

Not everything can be answered in a rich snippet. And the internet is seeing a spike in audio and video streaming media replacing TV viewing and listening to the radio. Tap into the potential of audio content by pairing up with existing podcasts and online “shows” to promote your product or service while answering questions from the influencer. Or create how-to videos that come up in response to questions, knowing that a fair percentage of mobile phone users will stop what they’re doing to watch a several minute video clip to see how they should do something or better understand the topic.

Optimise Content for Voice Search

When you optimise content for voice search, it is a delicate balancing act. People asking the question expect a quick answer, so putting five variations of the question in the content itself is a turn-off, even if it improves voice SEO.

One solution is switching to a frequently asked questions format. Instead of listing the details and amenities of your product, you list questions about that particular detail and then answer it. You may not need to rewrite all of your content. For example, e-commerce sites are adding FAQ sections or customer questions followed by answers without altering the product details listed on the page. Now you’re simply adding questions and answers that rank well for voice search.

Integrate Voice Search into Local SEO

We already said that infotainment systems in cars are one of the literal drivers of voice search. Integrate voice search into your local search engine optimisation efforts.

For example, don’t just have the business name, address and phone number on your homepage. In the “about us” text, have headers like “Where are we located?” followed by your address and driving directions. Instead of having a section called “Hours of Operation”, use the heading “What hours are we open?” Little niceties like a section on “Where can I park by Business Name?” will improve your local search engine optimisation while ensuring that at least a few customers don’t abandon their trip to your store for lack of a parking space.

A trend to tap into is the “near me” queries asked by those in your immediate area. Integrate local search phrases tied to answers for conversational queries such as “X service provider near the Y landmark” or “best X near the downtown shopping centre”.

Optimising for voice may seem like a challenge, especially if you were not familiar with SEO to begin with. If you don’t feel confident with implementing these methods yourself, you should consider working with an agency that understands voice search.

If you want to improve your voice search and SEO results, work with the experts at Matter Solutions to improve your site’s voice search optimisation in 2018.