Optimize for Voice Search: A Simple 5-Step Guide

You need to optimize for voice search.

Well, have you been bitten by the Voice Search Bug yet? No?… really!

Voice search is here. And its here to stay.

It’s high time for your brand to optimize for getting found on search results that Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, or Cortana dish out to its users. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to completely rethink your brand’s SEO strategy.

However, you definitely need to revisit your brand’s SEO checklist and see whether there are any gaps you need to fill. Enter Unokha – your global reach local partner.

Five things that matter and what you can start with to optimize your brand’s website for voice search are mentioned below.

These are in no specific order, but it helps to follow them in the given order.

#1 Establish a Comprehensive Online Presence

Making sure that your website is listed on all major search engines with rich and accurate information is absolutely the most important thing you need to do. This is the key to optimize your local business for voice search.

The reason is simple and here’s why: voice assistants need a repository of information to pull data from when consumers ask a question—and where does that data come from? It comes from business-discovery websites and other digital profiles connected to your brand. When you start your process of optimization for voice search – get a professional to manage the scope formulation and get a well written scope for your product or service.

Google Assistant fetches results from Google My Business. Alexa extracts all the information it needs from Yelp. Siri uses Apple Maps Connect, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and a few other sources for this information. Cortana gets its facts from Bing Places and Yelp. You get the idea. The essence is to lay the foundation well, so you will reap the benefits as people start to search for something you sell.

The point is obvious — not having profiles set up on the voice platforms and not having reliable, brand-controlled information translates to you not being optimized for voice search. As voice search gains prominence, there’s no telling which data providers brands will want to integrate with.

Building your brand’s online presence should be on the top of your to-do list if you’re optimizing your brand for local searches. If you need more help with this or a session with our Digital Marketing Experts at Unokha.

#2 Add Structured Data Markup to Your Website

The local business schema – it is that wondrous unicorn that you still can’t find on most brand websites. Despite knowing the fact that Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Yandex collaborated to build this to make life easier for both webmasters and brands, adding structured data markup is something that several brands aren’t doing.

Maybe it’s not truly understanding the benefits of it or feeling like implementing it on websites is an arduous task. Adding structured markup data to your website doesn’t only help your brand stand out on search engines but also helps you control the data that search engines can extract from your website—in other words, allow the Google Assistants and Cortanas of the world to tell customers exactly what promotional offer your brand is running or the payment methods that you accept.

Building and optimizing your website schema is quite straightforward—you can use a schema generator tool to do this for your brand’s website in a matter of minutes.

#3 Decrease Your Website’s Average Page Load Time

Optimizing your website’s average page load time has been an SEO best-practice for years now, but this metric might just be more important than ever, now.

A study from Backlinko shows that the average TTFB (time to first byte) of a voice search result is just 0.54 seconds, as opposed to 2.1 seconds on the average desktop webpage.

This, coupled with the fact that the average page load time of voice search results is just 4.6 seconds (as compared to 8.8 seconds on desktop webpages) shows that your website’s page load time plays an instrumental role in improving your ranking on voice searches. Investing in a proper web optimization package will go a long way in helping you achieve the speed metrics.

There are tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights that can help you identify and perhaps optimize your brand’s website for voice search by decreasing its page load time.

#4 Optimize for Long-Tail Keywords

Voice search queries are longer than traditional typed searches, which means that you need to start optimizing your webpages and content for long-tail keywords, going forward. As long-time search engine users, we’re conditioned to string seemingly incoherent keywords together if we want to obtain search results.

We talk to our voice assistants the same way we talk to other people, and this drastically changes the way these searches will be phrased. The voice assistant is going to use NLP (Natural Language Processing) to extract keywords and phrases from your voice search queries and fetch results that seem like a good fit. For businesses this translates into NAP – Name, Address and Phone and this needs prominent mention across all search queries.

This means that you’ve got to optimize your content and webpages to show up for phrases that customers would use when they run a voice search for you instead of text typed search. In other words, you need to start focusing on writing content that is optimized for long-tail keywords.

A great example of optimizing for a long tail keyword is, well, this very post! Instead of optimizing this post for “voice search optimization”, which is a) hard to rank for, and b) not a long-tail keyword, we’re trying to make it rank for “how to optimize for voice search”, which is probably what someone running a voice search would say.

#5 Optimize for Position Zero

Voice assistants love to quote featured snippets when users ask them something. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what happens when I query “optimising for voice search” on Google Assistant.

Showing up on “position zero” can instantly make you rise above your competitors and show up as the one-and-only result that customers see—which explains why it’s such a coveted spot by SEO-ers.

The fact that Google is also trying to give webmasters and brands a chance to optimize better for featured snippets is proof that voice search is expected to gain even more prominence over the next few years.

What Next?

While these 5 steps are bound to give your voice search optimization a boost, it doesn’t end here, of course. SEO is all about covering all the bases and following best practices on every front, and as we all know, an ever-changing field. What we do know for sure is that consumer search behavior is changing at a rapid pace, and as marketers, we need to keep up with the times.

If you ever hit a road block, reach out to us at Unokha and we can help you take the next step.



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