This is a guest post by Stephanie Hyland, Search Content Specialist at Intertwine Interactive.
What time is it? Where is the closest movie theater? How many ounces are in a gallon? Regardless of what you may be looking for or wondering about, consumers of all ages are now turning to voice searches for information instead of physically typing their query into a search engine.
“We weren’t surprised to find that teens—always ahead of the curve when it comes to new technology—talk to their phones more than the average adult,” according to voice search survey Google conducted in 2014. “More than half of teens (13-18) use voice search daily—to them it’s as natural as checking social media or taking selfies. Adults are also getting the hang of it, with 41 percent talking to their phones every day and 56 percent admitting it makes them feel tech savvy.”
With more and more people using this hands-free type of search method to find what they’re looking for online, how do SEO experts stay on top of this growing trend? With the voice search method only gaining popularity, the SEO industry has to now look outside text-based search queries and start thinking along the lines of making everything more conversational.
Here are four tips that are important to consider if you want to continue to appeal to those who are looking for quick information in a more conversational tone.
1) Focus on Long Tail Keywords
Since many consumers don’t articulate in the same way when they use voice search as they do when they physically type a query into a search box, it’s important to focus on natural phrases. By making these long tail keywords more conversational, they’ll be found easier when a consumer’s using voice search to find a particular service, product, or location.
2) Become Familiar With Schema Markup
To make sure you’re as successful as you can possibly be in your particular industry or product promotion, be sure you’re well-versed with schema markup. Schema markup is a powerful SEO tool. This semantic vocabulary, when applied to your website, will index all of the information and will help search engines return the most useful results to the consumer.
Being familiar with this HTML add-on will help search engines make sense of the context of your content. If you have high-quality content that can be easily interpreted, you’ll not only rank better in traditional searches, but it’ll also help your content be recognized as a reliable source through a voice search.
3) Be Sure to Optimize Your Website’s Microdata
When consumers are using voice searches, they’re typically looking for a quick answer, such as directions or how close they are to a particular product or service. Be sure to optimize your website’s microdata by ensuring that information such as the address and directions to your location are accurate. If this information isn’t correct on your website, you run the risk of not showing up within search results and missing out on potential business opportunities.
4) Create Useful FAQs Pages
When consumers are using voice search to ask general questions, they’re typically framing their questions with “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” or “how.” In order to stay competitive within the search results for such requests, create or adjust your FAQ pages to be more conversational. By framing your FAQ pages in a more conversational tone, it’ll help your content show up as a reliable source within a voice search.
With advancements being made every day with voice search technology, consumers should expect to see new and improved aspects of this search method over the next few years.
“Though it’s already helping a lot of people save time and simplify their days, there’s also potential for voice search to do a lot more in the future,” according to the Google post.
To learn more about voice search technology, see Intertwine’s blog post that compares voice search and traditional search.