Google Home News: You Should Be Optimizing for Voice Search, Now! Here’s Why

Topics: Google Algorithm, Local SEO, SEM Tips, SEO Tips Written on January 15, 2019 by Surfaced Media

The use of smartphones and home speakers like Alexa and Google Home has become more popular than ever with no signs of slowing down. More than 75% of people in the U.S. own a smartphone and nearly 35% own a smart speaker.

All of these smart devices are changing the way people search for things at home and on the go. Consumers are more likely to use voice search options when using their smartphone. While interactive capabilities like voice search are the point of a smart speaker.

Forward-thinking business owners following Google Home news know they need to start optimizing their websites for voice search now. Keep reading to learn how to stay ahead of the curve and drive more traffic to your website with voice search optimization.

Google Home News: 7 Tips for Creating an Effective Voice Search Optimization Strategy

Voice search is here to stay and businesses need to prepare their websites now to ensure they do not get left behind. The U.S. analytics company ComScore predicts that voice search will account for 50% of all searches conducted by 2020. Here are 7 tips to help you get started.

1. Claim and Optimize Your Business Listings

Claim all possible business listings online, especially your Google My Business listing. Google still remains the most popular search engine with nearly 90% of U.S. searches performed on Google. So you want Google to access all your important information as easily as possible and a Google My Business listing does just that.

Double-check that you listed your business name, industry/category, address, phone numbers, business hours, and all other relevant information the same way in every listing. Businesses lose billions of dollars every year due to inaccurate or missing listings.

2. Use Conversational, Long-Tail Keywords

When people use voice search, they tend to ask questions rather than using short keywords seen in desktop online searches. The questions users ask create longer keywords called long-tail+ keywords.

Although traditional online searches also generate long-tail keywords, it’s the conversational aspect of the voice search that sets the long-tail+ apart. You must include these conversational phrases with the long-tail+ keywords in a natural way that mimics how people talk in real life.

Consider the questions customers frequently ask when they call your business. Record the exact phrases and words they use and how they phrase their questions. Use this list of questions and statements to create pages of content that focus on these conversational, long-tail+ keywords and phrases.

3. Include a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page

You can also use your collected list of customer questions to develop a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.

Incorporate the long-tail+ keywords and conversational phrases into the FAQ page naturally so they sound like a human conversation. Group related questions together in the same section of the same page to make it easier for voice search to find answers.

Remember that people using voice search speak conversationally and ask very specific questions. They ask, “Okay, Google, what kind of console controller can I use to play games on my PC?” rather than saying, “console game controller for PC.” Tailor your answers to these kinds of specific questions to appear more often in search results.

4. Make Your Website Faster

When in doubt, always improve website speed. The faster someone can get an answer from your website, the higher you end up ranking. Someone voice searching for an answer on their smartphone while out and about will not wait around. They want their answer and they want it now.

Google even released a speed update in July 2018, which factors in site loading speed for ranking mobile searches as well as desktop searches. So now higher results in mobile and voice searches require faster loading times than your competition.

5. Optimize Your Structured Data

In traditional desktop searches, the websites that appear in second or third position on a results page get nearly as much valuable traffic as the first result. In voice searches, the device offers only one answer from the website with the best optimization.

To be that one answer, you want to make it as easy as possible for search engines like Google to crawl your pages. Submit a sitemap to the Google Search Console if you have not done so already.

You should also use structured data markups, also known as schema markups. A structured data markup allows you to include metadata for all your content. This metadata quickly informs search engines what your page is about without affecting the content seen by viewers.

6. Focus on Local SEO

Many consumers use voice search when looking for local businesses. Since most perform these searches while out of the house or office, it makes sense that they use voice search on their mobile phones.

The use of “near me” in local searches continues to grow alongside voice searching. So you need to focus on local search engine optimization (SEO) as well.

7. Test, Test, and Test Again

Finally, you’ve paid attention to Google Home news and you’ve spent lots of time optimizing your website for voice search. Now you need to test that it works correctly.

Use different devices to search for answers to the common questions you identified and see if your website comes up. If the answer from your website does not appear first, make note of which ones do. Find out where and who it comes from and review their website.

Take a look at how many listings each of the devices provides you. Then see where your website stands amongst the competition.

Do your research if you don’t appear first and play around with content until you figure out what works best.

Succeed in the Future By Preparing Your Business’s Website Now

Staying up-to-date with all the latest tech trends and Google Home news is a great way to make sure your business does not get left in the dust. Even so, the rapid changes in digital marketing mean your strategies fall behind while you focus on the other parts of your business.

Let the digital marketing professionals at Surfaced Media stay on top of all these changes and how they affect your rankings for you. They follow all the latest search trends and know how to improve your site so you do not break anything or lose business. Contact Surfaced Media today so you feel prepared for what may come tomorrow!

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