Voice-activated devices are all the rage these days. According to a study, about 40% of internet users in the United States use a voice assistant at least once a month, and that number increases to 55% when individuals use voice search to ask queries. Some of this expansion is natural, but much of it is fueled by consumers’ desire to interact with electronic devices of all kinds without having to touch them unless absolutely required.
All of these reasons together mean that businesses seeking to be found on the internet must optimize their websites and other internet assets so that customers can find and engage with them using their voices. When executed properly, that plan will undoubtedly result in increased leads and engagement, as well as increased revenue as conversions climb. Here are some concrete steps you may take to improve your website’s performance.
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1. Answer user questions (Customer support)
The simplest method to generate this contextual material is to set out to create rich and intelligent answers to frequently asked queries, so that your web pages naturally contain a lot of the relevant information that someone searching for a specific phrase would be interested in. Write information that answers the questions “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” “Why,” and “How.”
Remember that the more (and for how long) searchers interact with the sites you show them after a search, the more relevant they are to Google, and the more likely they are to be shown to subsequent users. If you publish especially insightful material, your webpage may be displayed as a snippet, giving you a significant advantage over other people vying for the same keywords. If you employ clickbait but don’t provide value, your website will be regarded irrelevant and will receive less visibility as a result.
2. Create conversational and user-focussed content
There was a time when the dogma in the world of SEO was to fill your website with page after page of precise keywords that consumers would search for in Google. That strategy has fallen out of favor for a variety of reasons, but it’s become even more irrelevant with the rise of voice search, because people who use voice search do so in very different ways than they would look for anything on the Google homepage. The majority of voice searches are in the form of questions, rather than single words or phrases.
That means that if you want to be the website that Google or another search provider chooses to bring up in answer to a query, your page must have enough contextual relevance. Keywords are still important, but conversational, long-tail keywords are what you need here, just as a user might ask Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa for help. Make sure to keep this in mind when conducting keyword research to ensure that you’re concentrating your efforts on remaining search engine optimized in the future.
3. Create a schema markup
This is where it gets a little technical (but not terribly so, don’t worry). Schema markups are, at their essence, website maps. They define the layout of the websites and label distinct categories and pages with content summaries to make it easier for search engines to detect and store information when they explore your site. Several studies have demonstrated that establishing a complete schema strategy improves SEO significantly.
When you search for a product on Google, the results page frequently displays if it is in stock and at what price in several retailers — schemas are a part of how that connection is done. Google released the Structured Data Testing Tool to make it easy for people to evaluate how well their schemas correspond to the required standards, emphasizing the importance of having a strong schema. The program examines your website’s markup and highlights any mistakes for easy correction.
Google is also releasing the Speakable Schema tool, which will help users improve their markup schemas for voice search. Though it’s only available for news sites right now, getting the basic structure right can keep your company ahead of the curve and visible to potential consumers in the meantime.