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4 steps to optimise your website for voice search in 2020

Upperdog Author
4 mins

The digital marketing landscape is ever-changing and growing with advances in technology and new trends emerging all the time. Voice search is one of the most prominent trends due to the fast adoption rate of digital voice assistants across the globe; with older generations more likely to use voice search to look for information, products, and services online. That is why embracing voice search SEO is now a must-do for every business.

What Is Voice Search And How Does It Work?

Voice search is a function that allows users to search on the internet by verbally asking a question on a digital or smart device such as a mobile phone. The query is answered by a search engine that takes information from a variety of sources. For local search, Amazon Alexa utilises Yelp, Google is driven by Google Maps, and Siri takes relevant data from Apple Maps. In the meantime, Cortana is powered by Bing.

Brand information is predominantly coming from Wikipedia, whilst product-based questions tend to come from Amazon, and news is pulled through the news algorithm of the search engine (Google, Bing) that the device uses.

The inception of voice recognition technology dates back 2010, when IBM released Watson, followed one year later by Google’s Voice Search and Siri, the first digital personal assistant developed by Apple. This was followed in 2014 by Cortana from Microsoft and Amazon Echo, a smart speaker which connects to the voice-controlled personal assistant service Alexa. Google Assistant and Google Home were both launched in 2016.

Nowadays, 27% of queries on Google are performed with voice search, and the most common voice searches on smart speakers are asking for music (70%) and the weather forecast (64%).

When it comes to local search, voice search is three times more likely to be used than text. This urgency makes the need for voice search optimisation, also known as VEO; “Voice Engine Optimisation”.

Below are our four recommendations that you can follow to ready your website for voice SEO.

1. Make Sure Your Website Is Fast

Slow websites are likely to be ignored when a digital assistant tries to find results. If your website is loading slow, it will not be ranking for voice search. A few tips to make sure your website loads quickly include compressing images to a smaller size, hosting videos on video hosting sites (YouTube, Vimeo, etc), reducing unnecessary graphic elements and compressing JavaScript and CSS files.

2. Optimise For Conversational Sentences

Voice search queries typically contain conversational words and are longer than traditional text search. As such, you should try to anticipate specific questions asked in a conversional manner to return precise results for users. This can be achieved with a detailed FAQ page or a blog post, including longtail keywords.

3. Add Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are used by Google to provide quick feedback to popular questions. There is no guaranteed method to obtain one, but if you add a summary answer within your content you will increase the odds of being featured by Google. Schema mark up, also known as structured data, is one of those factors that can give you an advantage over your competitors. Structured data is information that goes into your site’s source code that visitors do not see, but helps search engines to identify and order your content.

4. Provide Local Information For Your Brand

Google disclosed that 39% of voice search users are looking for business information and search interest for local search terms, such as ‘near me’ are extremely popular. As a result, you should focus on your local SEO, applying the localisation of keywords in your website by adding geographic signals to them. Also, make sure your Google My Business Page is up to date, with the correct address, contact details and opening hours listed.

If you are looking for a voice SEO agency to help you with your voice search optimisation, Upperdog has the sharpest nose in the business. As an approved Google Partner we will identify factors that need improving and help you become the top dog in voice SEO. Call us today on 01202 798 820 or drop us an email at hello@upperdog.co.uk.

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