7 Ways to Optimize Your Small Business Website for Voice Search

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More and more people are turning to voice search devices like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Siri when engaging with the Internet. According to Google, voice search is becoming more mainstream, as 20% of searches are now done by voice and it’s growing.

What is voice search optimization?

Voice search optimization is the implementation of specific content that will allow your website to be “voice search friendly” for virtual assistant devices like Google Home and Alexa. This means that if your website is optimized correctly, a consumer will be able to ask their voice assistant a question and receive a response taken directly from your website’s content.

Here are 7 ways to optimize your small business website for voice search:

  1. Know Your Audience

In order to effectively reach your desired target audience, you must put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and ask the questions that they would. A good approach is to conduct research on common keywords that your user might use to find your company.

  1. Create Conversational Optimization

Voice searches are much more conversational, so it’s important to emulate this style of speech within your optimization. While someone might type in “Store X hours” in a Google search, when speaking out loud to their virtual assistant they are more likely to frame it as a question such as, “How late is Store X open tonight?” To optimize for this, create long tail keywords, which are much more specific and often structured similar to how someone might ask a question by voice. People also want to be able to understand information as easily and as quickly as possible, which is why Google Voice Search results are written at a grade 9 reading level.

  1. Create an FAQ Section

An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section is the area on your website that directly addresses common questions people might pose about your company. Creating an FAQ section would directly answer the common who, what, when, where, why and how phrased questions that the majority of voice assistant users may ask.

  1. “Near Me” Searches

There has been significant growth in usage of “near me” searches as consumers are becoming much more locally oriented. This is especially true for voice searches since it is becoming more convenient to use your voice to quickly get information about physical places nearby. This has become a huge driving factor that is bringing more customers into brick and mortar stores, so it’s important to ensure that your SEO is optimized correctly to be receptive to these “near me” queries.  Be sure to include information like neighbourhood names, directions, nearby landmarks, transit and parking information on your website.

  1. Implement a Schema

A more technical step is to input something called structured data or schema. This is HTML code that you insert into your website’s backend in order to make your site more easily discovered by voice search engines. To learn more, visit https://schema.org/.

  1. Be Realistic

Keep in mind that there is a high probability that you won’t appear for all the voice search results you’d like to. Try your best to hone in on terms that directly correlate with your website’s content to find your niche in the busy web market.

  1. Test!

The only way to know that your website has been effectively optimized is to test it. Keep asking potential questions into a virtual assistant and see if your website is appearing in the voice search results.

If you follow these simple steps, your small business may gain a competitive edge in one of today’s fastest growing technologies.

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