Get your website voice search ready

“Alexa. How. Long. Is. Left. On. The. Timer?” you say slowly and clearly.

“There are no timers set” she smugly responds.

SHIT. We’ve all been there.

And as unreliable as our annoying-as-hell voice assistant friends can be, voice search is on the rise with over 1 billion searches monthly. And it’s *probably* not something you’ve really thought about in terms of your own website until now.

TL;DR
To prepare your website for voice search, focus on accessibility features, use long-tail keywords and answer common questions in FAQs or blog posts. Ensure your Google Business profile is up to date and prepared for local SEO.

Tim to read: 6 mins
Get your website voice search ready

Voice search is something that you might not have thought about, but chances are, it’s something that you’ve used.

Almost everybody has a virtual assistant in their home these days, they’re even built into our phones and computers, but most website owners don’t think about making sure their website is ready for voice search. 

With more and more voice searches happening each month, it certainly isn’t going away any time soon. It’s well worth thinking about voice search now if you haven’t already. 

Accessibility 

Make sure your website is taking full advantage of as many accessibility features as possible, your website should be inclusive. And the more people that can engage with your website, the better.

If you make sure that your website has the appropriate accessibility features, this not only means that your website is usable by as many people as possible, but it also means that search engines can find all of the info they are looking for and display it when people search.

Making sure you have decent alt text on your images, a clear structure to your website and high mobile usability means that your website is accessible to the widest range of people – it also makes you more likely to be found via voice search. 

Long tail keywords

People interact with voice search differently from how they use Google.

A Google search tends to be a short few words to find what you are looking for, but when you are using voice search, it is more conversational. People tend to ask questions and use long tail keywords – so that is where the opportunity lies for voice search. 

Answer the Public can help you get an idea of the questions being asked in your industry.

Just give it a prompt and it will give you a list of related questions. I typed in ‘web design’ to get the screenshot below.

This is a really useful place to get an idea of what kind of questions are being asked most frequently.

Choose the questions that are most relevant to you and your business to answer in your FAQ – bonus points if they are one of the ‘Highly Searched’ questions!

Answer the public search for web design.

Rather than focusing on the short, snappy keywords with really high search volumes, voice search uses lower-volume, longer search phrases – usually in the shape of a question.

Think about what you can help your clients with, what kind of questions might they be asking? Can you answer them on your website? Maybe with an FAQ section or even better, a blog post on the topic? 

Blog posts are a great way to answer the meatier questions that you can go into more detail, but some questions don’t need that much detail.

These questions are for your FAQs, try to keep your answer short and to the point in these sections, nobody wants to read an essay to find the answer to ‘what are you opening hours?’ – a clear and concise FAQ answer gives you a better chance of being used as one of Google’s Featured Snippets which will help to get loads of eyes on your content!

Preparing your SEO

A lot of the set-up for voice search comes with common best practices anyway, like the accessibility features that I mentioned above. 

Making sure that your Google Business profile is set up properly and kept up to date will be useful for getting your business seen in voice search results. Google Business is beneficial for voice search as they are often ‘near me’ searches – people looking for a specific product/service in their local area.

If your Google Business is already set up, then Google will be able to recommend your business to them. 

This is a great place to start when it comes to preparing your website for local SEO. Don’t just leave it to the Business Profile though. Tell your users where you are in the content on your pages as well. This helps you in general SEO and specifically for voice search.

There is nothing wrong with letting Google know where you are in the world, even if your business isn’t location specific it can still help you get some local clients onto your website.

And if you don’t have a physical address you can say something like ‘based in Manchester and The North West of the UK’ (like us!)

Voice search is here to stay

As technology improves and everything gets easier for us, we get lazier – we maybe aren’t so far from becoming the people in floaty chairs from WALL-E.

We don’t have time to type our questions out anymore, we wanna whip out our phone and say “Hey Siri, where does the word Yellow come from?” and be served an article all about it on a plate like magic.

Voice search isn’t going anywhere, the technology keeps getting better and more reliable, and soon we probably won’t need keyboards at all…

The good news is everything mentioned here to set you up for voice search will help your general SEO efforts too – so it’s a win-win.

By figuring out what questions people are asking Google about your business, you can start to build sections of your website where you answer these tricky questions and show the world that you really know your stuff.

Over time, you will establish yourself as an “expert” in your niche and the go-to source for reliable info – Google is a big fan of this.

If they can see that your users trust you as their go-to source for industry tips-and-tricks, they’ll rank you higher – sound good? Check out “Help! I’m not an expert” – What being an expert in your niche really means

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