With 2019 here, it feels like we’re getting closer and closer to the future – every single day. And that means that more people are performing voice searches, whether they’re on the go with their smartphone or using their smart speakers like an Alexa or a Google Home. These voice searches are definitely on the rise and they’re not slowing down anytime soon. This is going to be super widespread in cars and everything else. You’re definitely going to want to be optimized for it.
Basically, one in two smartphone users uses voice search every day. Half of all searches are going to be voice-based by next year in 2020. And 72 percent of people who own one of those smart speakers like an Echo say that it’s part of their daily routine. And people want quick easy answers in one of two categories the first being, they want to know something, or they want to know how to do something or want to go somewhere or buy something.
How you can optimize your website for Voice Search
If you’re a local business it makes a whole lot of sense to want to be found in those near me searches. And it doesn’t even have to be a brick-and-mortar location if you just kind of serve a specific local area this is still going to be great for you. If you’re more of a national or online business this may be a little less important for you it still will help you get a little bit more business around your area.
To do this your first step is going to be to claim and optimize your Google my business listing which includes choosing the right categories. You’ll also need to make sure that all the info that’s in your Google my business profile is reflected back on your website itself. You’re going to want to include your business name, address and phone number on your site exactly as it appears on Google my business. And there are a few extra things you can include on your website as well that are really going to cement you into your geographic area like an embedded google map and links to the neighborhoods or cities that you serve.
A lot of these voice searches don’t act like Siri, don’t actually use Google my business listings for their results instead they use third-party sites like Yelp or Foursquare for those results. You’re definitely going to want to make sure that you have those profiles all optimized filled out as completely as possible. And you’re probably going to want some good 5-star reviews as well. And that’s pretty much all there is to getting found in those near me searches. Because the number one main factor is just proximity. If people are searching near you, you’ll pop up if they’re searching further away your competitor who’s closer to them is likely to show up there. But you do want to make sure that when people are close to you, they’re finding you.
But what about if you want to get some of your great content to show up as an answer to questions that people may have. So that you can you know become the go-to guide that they want to work within the future. You’d want to create and optimize that content to be findable in these voice searches. Usually what would be shown in a voice search is the same thing that would otherwise be shown as a featured snippet.
Brainstorm And Find Actual Question That People Are Likely To Be Asking
The first step here is that you want to brainstorm and find the actual questions that people are likely to be asking. Think about the problems your business all so were the services you provide and think of what are the most basic versions of those solutions or services that people may be trying to figure out how to do on their own.
If you’re an electrician it might be how do I change out a wall plate, if you’re a dog groomer might be how do I trim my dog’s nails. And if you’re stuck with finding these questions just start with YouTube type in the keywords how-to and then the general keywords of the topic that you’re trying to figure out. And then see what kind of videos pop up since Google loves showing a video is an answer to most how-to questions you might want to make one of them yourself.
It’s the best way to build trust and brand recognition with your potential customers. If you make that video make sure that it’s hosted on YouTube because Google owns it and they give preferential treatment. You’re going to want to optimize that videos title with the exact question as people are going to ask it. You’re also going to want to include that question and variants of that question in the tags when you’re uploading your video.
And then you want to write out a really detailed description of that video in this space they provide. You’re going to use that question verbatim in the description as well. If you don’t want to do a video you could just write a really detailed article explaining, how they can do something from start to finish? Just include lots of images, headers, lists, numbered lists if possible that’s just the overall structure that Google likes to see. Also think of questions that aren’t even how to’s they’re just general knowledge questions, like how often do dogs nails need to be trimmed, or can I switch my outlet with a USB outlet, things like that.
If you’re stuck thinking of these questions there’s a website, I like to use called answerthepublic.com just type in a keyword related to your field of expertise. And it’s gonna show you all the different types of questions that people type into Google about that topic. Just try to get the ones that are really structured to ask questions. Because that’s going to be what people are going to verbally search for into their smartphone or smart speaker. Just make a list of all the questions that you think you can do a good job answering and then create an FAQ page. And just be sure to structure the question in the exact words that you found it in your research and use that as a headline. And then make the answer body text below it. When you structure it that way Google can just detect that it’s a question and an answer.
Other than that, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to increase your chances of being found as a featured snippet and as a voice search:
- Make sure your site loads really quickly. Just go to Google PageSpeed insights, and run a test and see if there’s anything they recommend you can use to speed your site up.
- You want to make sure your site is authoritative, to begin with. That’s definitely going to help all aspects here. The way to do that is to start creating really high quality relevant consistent content on your site. And you’re also going to want to start building some really high-quality backlinks to your site.