Voice search is here and it’s here to stay. Basically everyone has a smart phone, and smart home devices are becoming more and more common, and with these devices comes voice search. The entire internet is just one “Hey Alexa” away, and companies need to rethink their content to optimize for voice search. In voice search, if you are not the top result of the SERP, you aren’t going to be seen (or heard). How exactly can companies and agencies lean into the ever changing voice search landscape?
When developing content for voice search, you have to understand how people are searching for information and how that falls into the customer journey (most voice search is in question and answer form). Incorporating Q&A style content into your web pages is a great way to show up when people are asking specific questions. By understanding a couple main types of customer intent, you can tailor your content to answer those questions. There are three main types of customer intent:
Informational intent: consumers searching for answers or product info, guides, or how-tos.
Navigational intent: store locations, how to get somewhere, etc.
Transactional intent: customer is set on purchasing or are further down the funnel and looking how to buy a product.
Structured Data (schema)
Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website (in the code) to help the search engines return more informative results for users. Essentially Schema markups tell search engines what your data means, not just what it says.
Schema.org explains Schema as:
“Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string “Avatar” in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn’t give any information about what that text string means — “Avatar” could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user.”
Schema markup provides data markup for all types of web content including:
Voice Friendly = Mobile Friendly
Making your website mobile friendly is making it voice friendly. Majority of voice search is done on mobile devices, so optimizing your website for mobile is crucial. Improving your website on mobile will in turn, improve your voice search results.
Improve Site Speed
One of the most crucial points to improve your mobile optimization is improving your site speed. Google and other search engines are placing more and more emphasis on site speed. Improving site speed even by milliseconds can vastly improve your search results.
Voice Search Keywords
Understanding how people are using voice search is understanding the semantic differences and differences in speech patterns between typing out queries and how they speak. This is leading a shift in how content is developed for the web, no longer are we optimizing for the search engines, we are optimizing towards the people actually using the search engines. Making content have a more natural tone to it. This means more long tail keywords being used in content.