5 Tips for Voice Search Optimisation

Voice search optimisation is no longer a niche consideration. Voice searches are comprising a larger than ever percentage of mobile searches which, in turn, are also becoming the favoured method of making web inquiries. A website that isn’t correctly optimised for voice search risks losing out on a significant amount of traffic. These five tips will enable you to boost your site’s voice search ranking.

1. Mobile 

As the majority of voice searches are made on mobile devices, it makes sense that mobile optimisation is a key component of voice search optimisation. How your mobile site performs in search engine rankings has a direct impact on your voice search results. Focus on the clarity of the site as well as the copy and content. The highest-ranking sites are clear and easy to use on any mobile device.

The speed of a mobile site also has a significant influence on its search engine rankings, so improve your site performance and responsiveness. Voice search and mobile optimisation go hand-in-hand, so think about the characteristics you would most desire from a mobile site and try to implement them into your own.

2. Questions 

Most voice searches are structured as questions that the user has asked of the phone, tablet or other mobile device. When planning your site, consider how well it would answer the questions most likely to be asked by your target audience. If you can dedicate space in your site to succinctly answering common questions, you’ll fare better in search engine rankings.

Research your target demographic in order to ascertain the questions they would most likely have about your industry, brand or product. Once you know what questions are commonly asked of search engines, you can design your website around providing the answers.

3. Copy 

The copy that fills your site should reflect the language used in searches. Voice searches differ from regular typed enquiries in their language and syntax. Mirror the casual parlance of a voice search by creating copy that is more conversational than you may otherwise have planned. The highest ranking voice search results are often ones that match the tone of the request while providing a comprehensive and concise answer.

Voice search is often utilised by users for its speed and efficiency, so your copy should impart the same informed immediacy. Write content that lends itself to the casual yet pragmatic nature of voice searches and you’ll perform much better in relevant results.

4. Metadata 

Having a good amount of relevant metadata is always a good method of improving search engine results, you just need to tweak yours to be more relevant to voice searches. Once again, consider the most common questions asked via voice search and adapt your structured data accordingly.

Website metadata is used by search engines to properly organise and order search results with the most relevant and trustworthy first. If your metadata doesn’t match your newly optimised site, search engines won’t know to rank you higher. Alter your schema markup to match your optimised content to facilitate a better position in relevant search results.

5. Security 

Strict security practices benefit all aspects of your business, not least your search engine optimisation. The most highly ranked sites have all migrated from HTTP to HTTPS and have a small green padlock to the left of their URL to prove it. Google ranks HTTPS sites, mobile or otherwise, higher than HTTP due to the increased security provided by the sites encrypting data sent and received.

Every aspect of good web security should be adhered to at all times and will improve your voice search optimisation. Secure sites are naturally preferred to potentially insecure ones by developers, users and search engines so there is no excuse for not protecting your site.

Common digital practices are changing all the time, but the increase in voice searches looks set to continue. Making your site more visible to voice search users opens your content up to a potentially huge new audience. The changes needed to optimise a site for voice search are normally quick and easy to implement whereas the rewards are potentially huge.

Omar Kattan
About Omar Kattan
Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.
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