Voice search is not a fad. It’s a reality that every website owner needs to embrace. According to a report by Juniper Research, voice-based ad revenue could reach $19 billion by 2022.
That’s a huge opportunity for marketers who know how to optimize their sites for voice search.
But how do you optimize your site for voice search in 2023? What are the best practices and strategies to rank higher in voice search results? How do you create content that appeals to voice search users and voice assistants?
In this article, I will answer all these questions and more. I will share with you the latest trends and tips on voice search optimization, based on my experience as a certified digital marketing professional and a voice search enthusiast.
By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how to optimize your site for voice search in 2023 and beyond.
What is Voice Search and Why is it Important?
Voice search is the process of using your voice to ask a question or make a request to a device, such as a smartphone, smart speaker, or laptop. Voice search allows you to get information or perform actions without typing or clicking.
Voice search is important because it is changing the way people interact with the internet. More and more people are using voice search to find answers, products, services, and entertainment.
According to Google, 27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile devices. And according to eMarketer, 111.8 million Americans will use a smart speaker in 2020, up from 76.5 million in 2018.
Voice search is also important because it is influencing the behavior and expectations of users. Voice search users tend to use natural language, long-tail keywords, and conversational phrases. They also expect fast, accurate, and relevant answers. They want to get the best results with the least effort.
Therefore, if you want to reach and satisfy these users, you need to optimize your site for voice search. You need to make sure that your site can provide the best answers to the most common and relevant voice queries in your niche.
How to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search in 2023: A Complete Guide
Optimizing your site for voice search in 2023 is not rocket science. It’s a matter of following some proven best practices and applying some creative techniques. Here are the main steps you need to take:
Step 1: Do Keyword Research for Voice Search
Keyword research is the foundation of any SEO strategy, and voice search optimization is no exception. You need to know what your target audience is searching for using their voice, and how they phrase their queries.
To do keyword research for voice search, you can use tools like AnswerThePublic, SEMrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools can help you find popular questions and phrases related to your topic or industry. You can also use Google Search Console or Google Analytics to see what voice queries are driving traffic to your site.
Some tips to keep in mind when doing keyword research for voice searches are:
- Focus on long-tail keywords that are more specific and less competitive.
- Include question words like who, what, where, when, why, and how.
- Include modifiers like best, top, cheap, easy, near me, etc.
- Include local keywords if your business has a physical location or serves a specific area.
- Include keywords that trigger featured snippets or answer boxes on Google.
Step 2: Optimize Your Site Structure and Technical SEO
The next step is to optimize your site structure and technical SEO for voice search. This means making sure that your site is fast, mobile-friendly, secure, and easy to crawl and index by search engines.
Some tips to optimize your site structure and technical SEO for voice search are:
- Use a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and devices.
- Minimize page load time by compressing images, enabling caching, using a CDN, etc.
- Use HTTPS protocol to ensure security and trust.
- Use schema markup to add structured data to your pages and help search engines understand your content better.
- Use XML sitemaps and robots.txt files to guide search engines on how to crawl and index your site.
- Use breadcrumbs and clear navigation menus to help users and search engines find their way around your site.
Step 3: Create Content That Answers Voice Queries
The most important step in optimizing your site for voice search is creating content that answers voice queries. This means creating content that is relevant, informative, engaging, and concise.
Some tips to create content that answers voice queries are:
- Use headings and subheadings to organize your content into sections and make it easier to scan.
- Use bullet points and numbered lists to present information in a clear and concise way.
- Use tables and charts to display data and comparisons visually.
- Use images and videos to enhance your content and provide more value.
- Use quotes and testimonials to add credibility and social proof.
- Use call-to-actions (CTAs) to encourage users to take action or visit other pages on your site.
- Use natural language and a conversational tone that matches the way users speak.
- Use keywords and phrases that match the voice queries you want to rank for.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs that are easy to read and understand.
- Use facts and data from reputable sources and cite them properly.
Step 4: Optimize Your Content for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are the boxes that appear at the top of Google’s search results page (SERP), providing a quick answer or summary of a query. Featured snippets are also known as “position zero” because they rank above the organic results.
Featured snippets are important for voice search optimization because they are often used by Google Assistant (and other voice assistants) as the source of answers for voice queries. According to a study by SEMrush, 70% of all answers returned by Google Assistant came from featured snippets.
Therefore, if you want to optimize your site for voice search in 2023, you need to optimize your content for featured snippets as well. This means creating content that can provide clear and concise answers or summaries of common questions or topics in your niche.
Some tips to optimize your content for featured snippets are:
- Identify the types of featured snippets that are relevant to your niche (paragraphs, lists, tables).
- Format your content accordingly using headings, subheadings, bullet points, numbered lists, tables, etc.
- Include the question or query you want to answer in your content (preferably in a heading).
- Provide a direct answer or summary of the question or query in the first paragraph or sentence of your content (preferably within 40-60 words).
- Provide additional details or explanations below the answer or summary if necessary.
- Use schema markup or HTML tags (such as <p>, <ol>, <ul>, <table>) to help Google identify your content as a potentially featured snippet.
Step 5: Monitor Your Voice Search Performance
The final step in optimizing your site for voice search in 2023 is monitoring your voice search performance. This means tracking how well your site is ranking for voice queries, how much traffic you are getting from voice searches, and how satisfied your users are with your content.
Some tips to monitor your voice search performance are:
- Use Google Search Console or Google Analytics to see what voice queries are driving traffic to your site, how many impressions and clicks you are getting, and what pages are ranking for them.
- Use tools like SEMrush or Moz to see how well your site is ranking for specific keywords and phrases, and what featured snippets you have earned or lost.
- Use tools like Hotjar or Crazy Egg to see how users are interacting with your content, what elements they are clicking or scrolling, and where they are dropping off.
- Use tools like SurveyMonkey or Typeform to collect feedback from your users, ask them about their experience, and what improvements they would like to see.
Voice search is not a fad. It’s a reality that every website owner needs to embrace. By following these steps, you can optimize your site for voice search in 2023 and beyond, and provide the best answers to the most common and relevant voice queries in your niche.
If you need help with optimizing your site for voice search, or any other aspect of digital marketing, feel free to contact me anytime. I’m a certified digital marketing professional with years of experience in helping businesses grow online.
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Thank you for reading!