If you’re a small business owner, there’s a good chance you understand the value of a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. But, do you know why it’s crucial to optimize your website for people who may be speaking into devices instead of typing? For many of us, voice search has become a pillar point of our SEO strategy.
More people are using smart speakers and smartphones to search for information, entertainment, and products than ever before. If consumers find your site through voice search, they are likely to stick around and continue engaging with your brand. We know this is true because a shocking 62% of smart speaker owners have used voice search to buy a product online.
The thing is, many business leaders and marketing teams struggle with enhancing the visibility of their website in the voice search space. Today, our goal is to go over several ways you can boost website traffic, engagement, and sales by optimizing your site for voice search in 2021.
Let’s dive in!
Improve Speed and Performance
The first thing you should look at when improving your voice search strategy is your website’s overall speed and performance. Google puts tremendous value on things like loading times. The reason for this emphasis boils down to how website speed directly impacts UX.
You could have the best product on the market; none of that will matter if users don’t have a good experience when they visit your website. If your site shows signs of lackluster performance, Google will avoid recommending your solution, even if it’s the best choice. We suggest you take the time to find ways to improve the speed and performance of your online store.
For starters, install a caching plugin and compress your images so you’ll use up less of your storage space, which will reduce loading times for visitors. You’ll also want to host larger pieces of media, like videos, on another site. In this example, you may want to consider hosting your videos on YouTube to preserve your resources.
You’ll also want to make sure your site is accessible to mobile users. Most people who are using voice search are doing so on their mobile devices. When you consider that there are over 5.11 billion mobile users worldwide, it’s easy to see how failing to optimize your website for mobile customers can impact searchability.
It’s also worth mentioning that 40.7% of voice search results come from featured snippets. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’re going to have a tough time making it to one of the top spots. In other words, failure to use a mobile responsive design could result in you losing almost 50% of your overall voice search traffic.
Tweak the Structure of Your Content
Next, let’s talk about how to make your blog content more searchable on voice-activated devices. Your content plays a prominent role in how people find your site for the first time. Globally, over 77% of internet users read blog posts, and that number is expected to rise in the coming years.
The best way to get more people to read your posts is to optimize your content for voice search. Generally speaking, content published in response to what a person might say sounds more conversational. When your blog posts are casual, more people are likely to stay until the end and follow your next suggestion, whether it’s to subscribe to your lead list or buy a product.
All visitors will benefit from more compelling, engaging blog posts. We also want to point out that, on average, 47% of consumers read 3-5 pieces of content before they become customers. If you want people to invest their money in your product or service, you have to put your value proposition on display.
For many businesses, content is the number one way they build rapport with their audience and offer free value, which leads to more subscribers and customers. The next time you’re developing your content calendar, think about posts you can write that will resonate with your target audience’s goals and pain points.
If your content is conversational and packed with value, you can expect to see more traction across all platforms. Specifically, you’ll see more visitors discover your site with voice search because your words sound like a natural response to something a consumer might say.
Add New Pages for Enhanced Visibility
You have to go beyond improving the searchability of your blog posts. We suggest making brand new pages that are designed to pull in more customers using voice-activated devices.
For example, a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page is an excellent way to introduce your brand to a new audience. Simply think about questions potential customers might have about your product, the industry, and how your product will resolve their pain points.
Write out the question and answer in full so Google has a better chance of finding your website when a user asks one of your listed questions. Don’t forget to take performance into consideration and organize your FAQ page, so it’s easy to navigate and understand.
We also suggest creating landing pages that are made with voice search users in mind. You should keep the same conversational tone you used on your blog when explaining the benefits and features of your products. The next time someone is looking for a product that matches the description you provided, they may find your website.
If you need help discovering how users find your website, check your Google Analytics account. You can learn a great deal about how current users are finding your products and content. Use this information to help customers while improving your voice search visibility.
Build Your Local SEO
Finally, you can attract more voice search visitors by focusing on local SEO. When you hear local SEO, you may be a bit confused — especially if you don’t have a brick and mortar locations. The thing is, there’s still a localized place where you try to sell your products or services.
For instance, a company that sells gardening supplies would likely segment their local audience based on where they live. It wouldn’t make sense to send promotions to people about growing tomato plants when they are currently under 6 inches of snow.
Research shows that local searches are extremely common on voice-activated devices. On that same note, 28% of local business searches eventually turn into a sale. If you want to show your business to your target audience, spend some time building customer personas. Customer personas are consumer profiles that highlight their demographics and psychographics.
Next, look for keywords you can use to attract your audience segments. Combine these words with local phrases like “near me” to see a dramatic rise in organic traffic.
You’ll also want to secure a spot on Google My Business. This program allows business owners to upload information about their company. If a user wants to find a brand, either in-person or online, they may use this feature to see what’s close. If your company pops up in the voice results, they will naturally navigate through to your website.
As you can see, optimizing your website for search visibility is about more than picking the right keywords. You have to understand the intent of your audience and structure your website to meet their needs. Google values businesses that provide an unmatched experience for customers.
If you start optimizing for voice search, there’s a good chance you’ll see a sharp rise in engagement, signups, and sales. Use what you learn to fine-tune your SEO strategy so you can have an advantage once other companies try to adapt to the world of voice-powered search.