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How to Optimize Your Business for Voice Search

Technological advances are continually changing the way we interact with online content. Desktop computers were once the standard, but today, the majority of website traffic comes from mobile devices.

Search queries are also changing. A growing number of people are relying on voice searches to find information, which makes voice search optimization essential for businesses.

Why should you optimize your business for voice search?

Voice search has already had a major impact on the digital marketing landscape. If you can rank for voice search queries, you'll be able to reach a steadily growing audience.

What is voice search?

Voice searches use speech recognition technology to carry out search queries. Rather than typing out what you want to search for, you can rely on your voice.

When you use voice search, the words you say are converted into text. Search engines use the converted text as input, conduct a search, and provide results.

There is a wide range of platforms and devices that can use voice search technology. Apple users can make voice queries by talking to Siri, a virtual assistant. Android users can access Google voice search through the Google Assistant app.

While it's common for people to make voice queries on mobile devices, virtual assistant technology is also a key feature of smart speakers and other smart devices. Amazon Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana are regularly used for voice searches and voice commands.

How is voice search used?

In recent years, the demand for voice recognition technology has skyrocketed. Between 2022 and 2027, the market for Siri, Alexa, and other virtual assistants is expected to increase by 24.4%.

Now that speech recognition devices are widely adopted, people have become increasingly reliant on voice queries. It's a quick and convenient way for people to get information when they need it.

People often turn to voice search when they're unable to use their hands to type. For example, someone might use the virtual assistant on their smartphone to find the nearest gas station while they're on the road. If someone is cleaning up around the house and wants to see what's playing at the movie theater, they can quickly make a search query via their digital speaker.

Once people start using voice search technology, they often use it on multiple devices. As time goes on, it's likely that people will become more dependent on this fast and simple technology.

How does voice search differ from search engine queries?

The way that people interact with search engines is very different from the way people use virtual assistants. It's important to consider these differences in user behavior when developing a voice search SEO strategy.

Below, you'll find some of the most notable differences.

Different, longer language

Typing out a query takes time, which is why people typically use as few words as possible.

Voice searches don't have those kinds of limitations, and because of that, queries frequently include longer phrases.

Typically formatted as a question

When people talk to a virtual assistant, they have a tendency to use the same language they would use if they were talking to a person.

Search queries are more conversational and are often phrased in the form of a question. Some of the best keywords for voice search SEO sound like something a person would say to a friend.

Users are looking for immediate and local search results

It's common for people to use the voice search features on mobile devices when they're on the go. Not only do users want that information right away, but they're frequently looking for local information.

Learning more about local SEO can help you address potential issues and develop a more effective voice search marketing strategy.

Users get a single top result

When people access search engines via web browsers, they can look at the top search results before clicking on a link.

However, this isn't the case with voice search results. In most cases, voice assistants will read the top result and nothing else, which makes voice search results fairly competitive.

Tips on optimizing for voice search

Whether you focus on behavioral targeting or create compelling new content, the right strategies can help you broaden your reach. If you want to tap into the potential of voice search, these tips will put you on the right path.

Prioritize local SEO

Many people use voice search to find businesses in their area. If you focus your attention on local SEO, you're more likely to rank for voice search.

When possible, use location-based keywords or keywords that include the phrase "near me." Submit your site to local directories and encourage your customers to review your business online.

Understand your customers

People use voice search technology in different ways. If you learn more about your target audience, you'll be able to create a voice search marking strategy that's tailored to their behaviors and preferences.

Take advantage of tools that will help you get insights on your customers. Use analytics to monitor consumer behavior and identify the terms that are bringing people to your site.

Use long-tail keywords

While long-tail keywords tend to get less search traffic, they have a better conversion rate than short-tail keywords. Conversational, long-tail keywords are ideal for voice search SEO.

When you design your landing pages, find effective ways to incorporate the keywords that you're targeting. Focus on search intent and use the keywords in a natural way. Make sure the page includes a clear call to action.

Optimize for different devices

Since people use voice search on different types of devices, it's best to optimize your content for multiple devices. Consider voice-first devices, like smart speakers, and screen-first devices, like smartphones and tablets, when creating your content strategy.

While you should learn about mobile SEO, you should also think about how your content will sound when it's read aloud. Use short sentences and stick with a conversational tone.

Aim for the featured snippet

People usually only receive one result when they conduct a voice search, which means most voice search answers are featured snippets. Study the featured snippet format and create content that's likely to be featured. Many featured snippets are informational and are phrased in the form of a question. Ask a relevant question and provide an answer to that question within two or three short sentences.

Schema markup is your friend

Schema markup is a type of microdata that helps search engines to understand content. When you make it easier for search engines to read and categorize your content, you're more likely to have top-ranking content for relevant search terms.

You can take advantage of schema markup by visiting the Google Structured Data Markup Helper. Once you're here, you can paste links and add structured data to pages on your site. Schema markup can lead to more featured snippets and can even boost your conversion rate.

Answer relevant FAQs

Since it's common for people to ask questions when they use voice search, FAQs can be a valuable tool for voice search optimization. Get customer feedback and FAQs, then create pages that provide answers to those frequently-asked questions.

When you build your FAQ, you should stick with short, conversational answers that are search engine-friendly. Update your FAQ regularly so that you're able to answer the questions that are most relevant to your customers.

Claim your online business profiles

Claiming your Google Business Profile is an easy and effective way to improve your Google voice search results. When you claim this page and other online business profiles, you'll be able to add relevant information and control what search engines display.

You can create a profile or claim an existing profile through the Google Business Profile Manager. Once you have control over your profile, add important information, like your phone number and business hours. The information you add to your profile may show up in voice search results.

Check your website speed

Whether you're focused on voice search marketing or basic SEO, the speed of your site will have a noticeable impact on where your site ranks. Since voice search requires you to appear at the top of search engine rankings, you'll want your page load times to be as fast as possible.

To improve your performance on mobile, make sure you enable image compression and browser caching. Monitor your search console so that you can quickly respond to mobile errors. While many web hosts provide free DNS hosting, a premium DNS service could improve server response time.

Consider your brand reputation

Brand reputation is important for all businesses, but it's particularly crucial for local SEO. Business profiles, online reviews, and brand mentions can all have an impact on where you rank.

Reputation management tools can be invaluable as you work to build your online presence. If you're able to maintain an active presence on review sites and social media, you'll be able to protect and influence your reputation online. Not only will this improve your search engine rankings, but it can help you to maintain consumer trust.

Connecting to customers through voice search

Voice search technology has already been embraced by a wide audience. If you're able to rank for voice search, you'll be able to connect with potential consumers and strengthen your brand.

Mailchimp can provide you with the resources you need to effectively market your small business. When you use the platform, you'll have access to tools and features that you can use in a number of ways.

Whether you want to create custom ads or engage your current customers, you'll get support and guidance from Mailchimp. With the help of Mailchimp, you'll be able to make voice search technology work for you.

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