Have you ever wondered how Amazon Alexa or Google Home gets information when you ask a question, like “why is the sky blue?” The answer is voice search optimization.
These voice platforms browse the web, pull up a top-ranking answer, and repeat back the most relevant snippets to answer your question. Typically this pulls from Google’s featured snippet or knowledge panel, but voice platforms may pull from additional sources as well.
Voice search is rapidly growing in popularity because it provides an easier, more convenient way for users to navigate the web. An increasing number of websites are optimizing content for voice search similar to how you would for Google web search.
But what exactly is voice search optimization and how can you get started optimizing your site for voice? We break it down below.
How Do I Optimize My Site for Voice Search?
If you’re familiar with search engine SEO tactics, voice search optimization will feel very familiar. To optimize your website or mobile app for voice search, you must format your website in a way that fits voice technology’s preferred content structure.
Use longer, conversational keywords
Say you’re creating a gardening website. SEO optimization for websites typically uses shorter keywords, so you might fill different web pages with “sunflower watering tips” or “cherry tomato plant time.”
Voice search optimization, on the other hand, prefers longer keywords, or key phrases, that are full sentences. That’s because when we speak to a voice assistant, we speak in full sentences. On the web we might search “NYC weather,” but when speaking to Alexa we would ask “What’s the weather in New York City?”
To optimize your site for voice search, you’ll want to use similar, conversational key phrases. This includes filler words like “i” “you” “the” “for” “on” and other words that emulate a spoken conversation.
Your gardening website would instead include phrases like “How often should I water my sunflowers,” or “The best time to plant cherry tomato seeds.”
Answers should be short and succinct...in the beginning
While voice platforms prefer longer question phrases, shorter answers will perform better. This is because voice assistant technology wants to deliver clear, succinct responses rather than rambling off a paragraph of information. Cut the fluff and only include necessary information.
So if the question is “How often should I water my sunflowers?” you would optimize your answer for voice search by providing information like “Sunflowers should be watered once per week in the morning.”
Your voice search optimization shouldn’t stop there, however.
You can provide the shorter information upfront, then followed up with details later on in the webpage. In the sunflower example, you may want to include how much water the plants should receive and other information on sunflower growth cycles.
Although voice search will speak short answers, it will favor websites that contain high-value content and a lot of details. This content can be similar to web-optimized content, so long as it supports the initially asked question and answer(s).
Provide a FAQ section
Frequently asked question sections are a great way to catch the attention of voice search platforms because they combine short questions with long, detailed answers. Depending on the structure of your site, FAQs can be grouped together at the end of your webpage or weaved throughout the content.
Follow technical web optimization strategies
Aside from content, there are technical aspects that can improve your website’s search engine rankings. These also apply to voice search platforms.
Optimizing your website’s speed and keeping ads off your platform is one way to improve voice rankings. Another way is to optimize your site for mobile by including mobile-friendly navigation and content layouts.
How to add voice search to your website
Adding voice search to your website or mobile application boosts accessibility and creates a better user experience by allowing users to navigate and complete actions with only their voice.
Voicer is an easy-to-use voice search platform that can be added to any website or application without technical skills.
Create an account, copy Voicer’s HTML snippet, and paste it into the body of your website. As soon as you save your site, Voicer is ready to go and your guests can begin using intelligent voice navigation.
Rather than clicking through menus or using search bars, users can click the Voicer icon that appears on your website. Voice-enabled content searching, filtering, and other key website functionality can be completed by simply telling Voicer what you’d like to see or where you’d like to go.
Start optimizing your website for voice search
If you think it will take a few years for voice search to gain mainstream popularity, think again. Plenty of websites use voice integration with Amazon Alexa or Google Home, and others are turning to third-party options like Voicer for additional voice functionality.
That being said, these websites are already optimizing their content for voice navigation. If you haven’t begun voice search optimization, you’re already behind. Take a good look at your content, see what can be optimized, and begin preparing for the voice revolution.