How to Optimize Your Website for Google Voice Search - Xivic Agency Insights
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How to Optimize Your Website for Google Voice Search

Nick Kretz

SEO Director

03/12/2018

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The way people search the Web is changing - and it's imperative that your SEO efforts change with it. One of the biggest shake-ups in search is the rise of voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and of course Apple's Siri - all of which make it easy for individuals to simply speak their search query without having to type it.

This remarkable capability is proving to be more and more popular; it's currently estimated that about 40 percent of all adults use voice search every day. Meanwhile, some projections show voice search equaling or even overtaking conventional search within the next few years.

The question marketers and business owners must ask is: Can our content be discovered using voice search capabilities? And if the answer is no, what can you do to make your website more voice search-friendly?

Preparing Your Website for Voice Search

To make your website voice search-friendly, it's important to understand how people actually use tools like Siri and Alexa. Those who conduct voice searches tend to speak casually and informally, and they are more likely to phrase their search queries as actual questions. For example, in a conventional search, a user might type out best wireless headphones. For a voice search query, the user is more likely to ask, what are the best wireless headphones?

That may seem like a subtle distinction, but it has big implications for the way you develop website content. To capture voice search traffic, Web copy must indeed be casual and informal, and it helps to include question-and-answer phrasing whenever possible. We'd also recommend clean and concise copy; there's no need for wordiness or for keyword stuffing.

Using Schema for Voice Search Optimization

Another important tool to use in optimizing your website is schema. To understand what makes schema important, it's helpful to be familiar with Google's featured snippets.

Say, for example, you do a search for how to bake a chocolate cake. On the search engine results page (SERP), Google will offer you an "information box" that includes a picture of chocolate cake as well as a step-by-step recipe; this information is culled from a high-ranking source. This is an example of a featured snippet, and it provides the user with information without requiring him or her to click on any links or navigate away from the SERP itself.

These featured snippets are also important for voice search queries; for such queries, Siri, Alexa, or whatever other virtual assistant is being used will actually read this information out loud, including the cited source.

Obviously, then, if you're looking to rank for voice search queries, it's helpful if you can position your website content as one of these featured snippets - but how? The answer, as you might have guessed, involves schema markup - basically a code that you add to your website to help the search algorithms retrieve certain information more quickly.

The result of schema markup, combined with some of the natural-language Web copy we mentioned, can make your website far more competitive in voice search queries - and given the fast ascendancy of voice search tools, that's a very good place to be.

Ask Us More About Voice Search

You can help your website to rank for voice search queries, but it's not something that will happen by accident. A new approach to SEO, complete with the proper verbiage and schema markup, is essential. And our team can provide it.

Learn more about the ways in which you can help your site rank for voice search queries. Contact our team at Xivic today!

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