Voice Search — The New SEO Trend for 2018

Voice search is a growing trend. Mobile users ask Siri and Cortana to search the web, and responsive speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home bring that technology into the living room. You’re missing out if your site isn’t optimized for voice search. Start the new year right with TechTe.am’s quick guide.

On the move

Combining geolocation with voice activation created a powerful search tool that provides answers to precise, specific questions. “Siri, what time does Walmart close?” “Cortana, where is the nearest gas station?” Voice search evolved to understand these questions, and SEO must evolve to provide the answers.

When people are on the move, they seek answers to immediate questions. It’s no surprise queries with “near me” are made via mobile 88% of the time. Harness local SEO to ensure your site gets the lion’s share of local traffic to your brick-and-mortar business.

Accuracy and simplicity rule

Think about the occasions when people are more likely to use voice search. They’ll usually be times when the person is distracted and wants a fast answer to a question. When driving, they might want to know where the nearest rest area is, or what time a fast food restaurant closes. At home they could be looked for the best substitute for condensed milk, or what time a TV show starts.

Longwinded web pages and blog posts won’t perform well with voice searches. Instead think about the questions people might ask about your business, and ensure your site answers them. Opening hours, locations, prices, specifications and more are all queries made on the fly. And don’t underestimate comparative queries. “What’s the best alternative to…?”

Featured snippets

Voice search will make search engine optimization even more fundamental for website performance. Featured snippets dominate Google results, and you can harness voice searches to the same end. These are website excerpts presented at the top of Google’s homepage in response to a query.

You can’t make Google choose your site as a featured snippet, but if you’re ranked in the top 10 on their search engine results page and provide a clear answer to a common question, it’s possible. Unsurprisingly, Wikipedia has more featured snippets than any other domain.

Rich snippets

Google can’t create featured snippets from every site. Instead you can provide the same information using rich snippets. There are dozens of WordPress plugins that can help you create rich snippets, or if you don’t use WordPress, a little simple HTML is all you need.

Search engine snippets automatically pull the first line or two from your webpage to display under search engine results. Snippets let you input different text in the site’s code, helping you entice more viewers. With rich snippets, you can also display directions, contact details, review ratings, and more, using Schema markups to populate the information under the site’s title on the SERP.

FAQs

Never underestimate the power of frequently asked questions. Consider how easy it is to find out about your business if you’re not looking at your website, but hearing sections read aloud. Think about the questions people ask most often. Then create a FAQ section including the questions and answers. The next time somebody makes a voice search of that question, the answer is waiting for them.

Conclusion

Voice searches are changing the way we use the internet. By considering how, when, and why people make these searches in relation to your business, you can put your site ahead. Provide search engines with information about your business using Schema.org markups. Make the most of results pages with rich snippets. And give answers to common questions.

Not sure how to optimize your site? Struggling to understand Schema markups or HTML? Pick a plan today and let TechTe.am’s friendly experts be your guide!

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