Did you know that optimizing your website for voice search presents a huge opportunity? By doing so, you increase your chances of reaching potential customers who use their voice assistants to find information.

With seven practical suggestions that I will provide via a thorough analysis of voice search optimization, your voice search rankings are about to hit the roof. So what is voice search optimization? In this post, I will answer that question and more. Let me begin with the basics.

7 Ways to Improve Your Voice Search Optimization

Source: Online Marketing Institute

What is Voice Search Optimization?

Voice se­arch optimization are strategic measures undertaken to boost your online presence­. The aim is to help a website appear for voice se­arch queries. Get chose­n and read aloud by voice assistants for voice se­arches. These digital assistants include­ Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Alexa. On desktops, pe­ople can do voice searche­s on search engines like­ Google too. But results look the same­ as text-based searche­s.

Text se­arches differ from voice one­s – people seem to phrase querie­s similarly when typing. But voiced reque­sts vary more in phrasing. Say you want an Italian restaurant nearby and type­: “Italian restaurants near me.” A voice­ query might be: “Siri, can you find an Italian re­staurant nearby?”

People usually converse with voice assistants as though they were actual humans. Thus, voice search requests are typically lengthier, more conversational, and structured as complete questions or phrases. To be selected by voice assistants, you must optimize for certain kinds of web questions.

The Importance of Voice Search Optimization for SEO

7 Ways to Improve Your Voice Search Optimization

Source: AliDropship

You can reach a larger audience by optimizing for voice search as opposed to only text-based queries. It is anticipated that the number of people utilizing digital voice assistants will continue to rise, according to Statista research. They are frequently used for mundane activities like playing music or setting alarms. However, people utilize digital assistants for information retrieval as well.

You must use strategies that will improve your overall SEO if you want to improve your chances of showing up for voice search searches. These strategies include improving your website’s loading speed, fixing voice search keywords in your content, and ensuring that your website functions properly on mobile devices.

Benefits of Voice Search Optimization

Enhancing your voice search visibility on the web improves the benefits you derive from traditional SEO in order to help you hit your business targets. To be more precise, voice search optimization can assist:

  • Increase how many voice search results you rank for: Having your content shared by voice assistants raises brand awareness, particularly at the local level
  • Build confidence with your target audience: Providing useful and valuable guidance through voice search results can help make you look authoritative and trustworthy
  • Improve user experience: Making changes to optimize for voice search includes improving technical SEO elements which generally leads to a better user experience.

Now that I have enlightened you a bit on voice search optimization, let me show you vital ways that should help boost your voice search optimization.


7 Ways to Improve Your Voice Search Optimization

7 Ways to Improve Your Voice Search Optimization

Source: Codedesign.

Here are seven voice search optimization tactics you should implement.

1. Research Keywords for Voice Search

Researching (and targeting) keywords for voice search is first on my list particularly because it can help improve the chances of your content being served to users using their voice assistants for answers. When researching keywords for voice search, it’s a good idea to concentrate on:

  • Long-tail keywords: These are highly specific questions that often have lower search volumes. An illustration of a long-tail keyword is “ways to edit a pdf.”
  • Question keywords: These are keywords that start with question words like “how,” “what,” “why,” “when,” and “where.” An instance of a question keyword is “how to edit a PDF.”
  • Conversational keywords: These are keywords that imitate natural conversation and reflect how people speak when using voice search. An illustration of a conversational keyword is “How do I edit a pdf.”

While each of these keyword categories is different, they often overlap and can even embody characteristics of one another. For example, many question keywords are long-tail keywords, and many long-tail keywords are conversational. So, how do you locate good keywords for voice search?

To begin, head to a good keyword research tool and input a seed keyword (a broad search term related to your business or a specific topic). Then, pick a country and click “Search.” Next, you’ll get a list of related keywords along with their respective search intent (the reason behind a searcher’s question), monthly search volume, Keyword Difficulty (a metric out of 100 that conveys how hard it is to rank in the top 10 traditional search results for a particular keyword), and more.

A great way to locate long-tail keywords is by selecting the “Questions” filter. This will offer a list of question keywords you can target for voice search. Another great way to find long-tail keywords is by utilizing the Keyword Difficulty filter (shown in the tool as “KD %”). Long-tail keywords often have a low difficulty score (but not always).

So, it’s an acceptable idea to set the keyword difficulty as “Easy” or “Very Easy.” You can also include good keyword options in a keyword list. If you are using Semrush, check the box next to the keywords you want to add to the list. Then, tap “+ Add to the keyword list.” You can then make a new list or add to an existing one. You can also export the list as a CSV, XLSX, or CSV Semicolon file from Semrush Keyword Manager.

2. Analyze Search Results for Keywords You Want to Target

Look into what’s already popping up on the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keyword results you might want to target. To gain an understanding of what types of content are likely to pop up, pay close attention to SERP features.

SERP features are unique elements on a SERP that add something special to a search result beyond the standard blue links. If you are wondering why SERP features matter, that’s because of a voice search study conducted in 2019 which showed that 70% of all answers returned from voice search occupied a SERP feature. Some notable SERP features on Google are:

  • Featured snippets: Featured snippets are short snippets of text that show a preview of a page’s content to provide users with a glance at the answers to their queries.
  • People also ask: ‘People also ask’ blocks offer users a set of questions related to their search queries and speedy answers to these questions.
  • Local pack: A local pack delivers the top business listings and a map for location-specific keywords (like “top restaurants in New York” or “best bakeries near me.”)
  • Rich snippets: Rich snippets, also called rich results, show additional information like ratings or reviews.

Note: Different voice assistants depend on different search engines for information (Amazon’s Alexa uses Bing, Apple’s Siri uses Google, etc.). So, it’s helpful to analyze SERPs from numerous search engines for your queries. Analyzing SERP features can assist you create content that aligns with search engines’ preferences. It also increases your chances of winning those SERP features.

3. Audit & Optimize Your Website Content

Before you begin working on new content, conduct a content audit to determine opportunities to optimize existing content for keywords you want to target in voice search. A content audit is the process of systematically analyzing and evaluating all the content on your website.

So, supposing you already have a blog post on your website titled “How to Edit a PDF.” At that point, you don’t need to write another post that targets different but related keywords like “How do I edit a PDF” or “Ways to edit a PDF.”

Instead, you can simply optimize your existing blog post to include those keywords. To perform a content audit, consider using use an AI-powered tool called ImpactHero to break down your content by customer journey stages. It pinpoints your most impactful content pieces and provides recommendations. Here are some best practices:

  • Use natural language: Match the conversational nature of voice search queries by utilizing natural language. To align your content with the phrasing of voice search queries and improve the chances of being shared by voice assistants.
  • Incorporate keywords naturally: Add voice search keywords in your headers and body content in manners that feel natural
  • Write concise answers: Provide information clearly and succinctly to increase the chances of winning SERP features
  • Add frequently asked questions (FAQs) sections: Create an FAQ section at the base of website pages if there isn’t an opportunity to naturally incorporate your voice search keywords elsewhere
  • Use schema markup: Implement schema markup (a structured data vocabulary that enables search engines to better understand the information on your website) to provide search engines with more context and improve the chances of winning SERP features and being served in voice search results

4. Focus on Giving Answers Directly

If you want to make the most out of your voice search optimization strategy, start by answering queries directly. Did you know that 50% of searches depend on featured snippets? The featured snippet pops up at the top of the search results in a box. Do you know the function of featured snippets? They answer search queries directly. Featured snippets aim to provide users with a quick answer.

So, to get into this coveted position, you must give direct answers to questions. Let’s assume someone verbally searches, “What is a fried chicken batter made of?” Which example do you consider most likely to appear as the featured snippet?

Example A. A Fried chicken batter comprises an all-purpose flour, garlic salt, pepper, and poultry season. To make the batter, you will require three cups of flour and a teaspoon each of garlic salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Mix all the ingredients to create your batter.

Example B. A Fried chicken batter comprises numerous ingredients. The basic ingredient is flour. Your flour should be all-purpose flour since it works best for the chicken. Other types of flour might not get the coating you need for your chicken. The second element is…

If you answered Example A, you’re right. Example A answers the user’s question directly and provides them with the needed information. Example B takes too much time explaining every small detail instead of delivering a direct answer. By giving direct answers, you’ll increase your chances of appearing at the top of search results so Google can read your listing to relevant searchers.


5. Improve Your Site’s Technical SEO

7 Ways to Improve Your Voice Search Optimization

Source: Search Engine Land

Technical SEO is the process of optimizing a website to make it more visible, crawlable, and indexable by search engines. Improving your website’s technical SEO involves concentrating on your website’s user experience.

This can indirectly impact your search engine rankings and improve your chances of winning SERP features. This may make your content more likely to be read aloud by voice assistants. To optimize your website for voice search, it’s a nice idea to focus on the following technical SEO elements:

  • Page speed: Also called load speed, measures how fast the content on a webpage loads. Search engines want to prioritize websites that give a good user experience, and page speed is one aspect of that.
  • Mobile SEO: Mobile SEO is the process of optimizing your website for mobile gadgets like smartphones and tablets. Since many voice search users communicate with voice assistants on their mobile devices, it’s vital to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly.
  • Responsive design: Responsive design is an approach to web design that helps a website to adapt and respond to different screen sizes and devices, ensuring a good user experience across all gadgets. Google also recommends using a responsive design for your site.
  • Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTP): HTTPS is an encrypted version of HTTP that boosts security for your website visitors. Note that HTTPS has been a ranking factor since 2014.

You can start boosting your technical SEO using Site Audit. Once it’s done, the tool should give you valuable insights and recommendations to optimize your website.

6. Practice Local SEO

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to generate local traffic, visibility, and brand awareness. Why is Local SEO relevant for voice search? Local SEO is relevant because voice assistants often rely on local directories like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Bing Places to provide answers to local queries. Here are some local SEO tips you can implement:

  • Optimize your Google Business Profile: Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows you to influence how your local business appears for Google Search, Google Shopping, and Google Maps. Google Assistant depends on Google Business Profile for information on local voice queries. So, creating and optimizing your profile improves the chances of your local business being shared in answers from Google Assistant.
  • Leverage other local directories: Local directories (other than Google Business Profile) are domains that list businesses and their relevant details based on their geographical location. Although Google Assistant fetches local business data from Google Business Profile, that’s not the case with Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s Siri. To ensure that your local business is shared by various voice assistants, it’s essential to leverage different local directories.
  • Target local keywords: Local keywords are words or phrases individuals use to find businesses, products, and services in their areas. By targeting local keywords, you can improve the chances of your business ranking in local packs. To enhance the odds of your business appearing for local voice search queries.

Listing Management can assist check and manage your local listings. To begin, open the Listing Management tool and add your local business name, phone number, or website, then click the search icon. This tool will check the internet for your business presence and provide valuable insights and recommendations.

Scroll to “Fix These To Improve And Expand Your Coverage” to see which listings have errors. You can then export this list and input those changes manually. In case you have a paid plan, I would advise you to use the tool to distribute your information to different directories automatically.

7. Continuously Monitor Your Performance

Keep track of your search engine rankings and SERP features for the keywords you’re optimizing to rank for. To stay competitive, improve your odds of appearing in voice search results, and identify opportunities for optimization. You can use Position Tracking to observe your daily rankings and SERP features for a custom set of target keywords. You can also analyze your positions across different geographic locations and device types.

Note that you can configure your position-tracking campaign by setting your preferred search engine, device, location, and keywords to be tracked before you click “Start Tracking’ if you are using Semrush. You’ll then gain access to valuable insights and reports to monitor and optimize your website’s rankings and appearance in SERP features.

Proceeding to the “Overview” tab on Semrush for an in-depth look at your rankings will also help you see which keywords have SERP features by looking for icons representing SERP features in the two “Position” columns.

Signing Off

Note that optimizing your online presence for voice search shouldn’t be a one-time thing. It should be a constant process. Voice search optimization will assist you to generate more leads for your business and earn more sales. Regularly auditing and optimizing your website will also assist you in adapting to changing search trends, monitoring your efforts, and staying competitive in SERPs.

And if you follow these voice search optimization tips that I have painstakingly provided, you’ll be on your way to driving more voice searchers to your brand. If this journey has been overwhelming for you due to the demands of voice search optimization, I do hope that this post simplifies that process for you. See you at the top.