How to Optimize Your Website for Voice Search
A t first blush, talking to machines may seem like an episode of Black Mirror. The adoption of voice search (via Siri, Alexa, etc.), however, provides valuable information and allows people to look away from their screens. Voice simplifies human actions and gives people easier access to the information they desire.
By 2020, voice search is expected to make up 50% of all searches (Source). Voice search isn’t an internet fad or some new version of SEO, it’s an expansion of existing best SEO practices. It’s used by people of all ages, in all sorts of different places.
Voice is the next logical step in the natural evolution of search. Humans type an average of 40 words per minute, while we speak an average of 150 words per minute. As technology aims to make daily actions easier, voice is no exception. It allows people to search hands-free, at a quicker pace than they could otherwise.
Voice search isn’t going away, and you should optimize your B2B website to account for it. The smart home industry is predicted to reach $25 billion by 2020, make sure your business is a part of that.
ICYMI: A Recap of Our Webinar
Just last week, AMG’s SEO Specialist Abbi Plunkett and Technology Strategist Mike Hutchinson did an informative webinar on voice search. If you missed it, you can view it here.
Abbi and Mike covered the significance of voice search to B2B businesses and how to optimize your website for voice search.
“Voice is the next natural evolution in frictionless technology usage,” said Mike.
Don’t let yourself get behind of the curve. Optimize your website for voice search while it’s still fresh. Setting your website up for voice search will give you a strategic advantage as voice search increases.
“Let’s go back 11 years from today to the mid-2000s,” said Mike. “If we had a conversation and I said that your company’s website will need to be not just viewable, but fully functional on a screen as big as a playing card, you wouldn’t say I was a visionary, you’d say I was delusional. Ten days later when the iPhone 1 was released, you may have reconsidered.”
How to Optimize for Voice Search
If you’re already adhering to best practices for your SEO, optimizing your website for voice search should be pretty straightforward. Still, it’s helpful to understand what factors contribute to effective voice search optimization.
1. Page Speed
Page speed is key to ranking well in voice search. The average voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds, which is 52% faster than the average page. In order to optimize your website for voice search, you’ll have increase your page speed.
“It’s 2018,” said Abbi. “All websites should be secure by now.”
70.4% of Google Home result pages are secure. This means that the start of the URL will read “http” instead of “https.” It’s clear that secure websites dominate Google’s voice search results, so make sure to secure your site.
3. Authoritative Domain
Authoritative domains tend to produce voice search results significantly more than non-authoritative domains. The mean Domain Rating of Google Home result is 76.8. Moz is a great resource for determining your domain rating.
4. Target Snippets
Also referred to as Google answers, target snippets are important to a significant voice ranking. When a featured snippet is populated for a query, voice searches read the snippet and its source aloud. This is a huge boost for brand recognition and authority, as Google basically declares one company the expert.
“Position zero is the new page one,” said Abbi.
5. Language (Concise Answers & Readability)
The typical voice search result is only 29 words in length and reads at a ninth-grade level. You should narrow your content and be specific. Avoid acronyms and jargon that the average person wouldn’t understand. Use common words such as “see” instead of “observe” and “go” instead of “traverse.”
Tip: Tools like readable.io will help you improve your readability.
6. FAQ Pages
Optimize your FAQ page by answering common customer questions and making the page as clear and concise as possible. Your FAQ answers should be 29 words or less and should answer the questions very specifically.
7. Conversational Keywords
Voice searches tend to be more conversational than traditional searches. Research how your customers talk and mimic the language they use. You can do this by listening to customer support calls, speaking with your sales team, etc. Use the same terms your prospects and customers do, or they may not find you through voice search.
Free Voice Search Checklist
Abbi and Mike compiled a voice search optimization checklist to accompany last week’s webinar. The checklist is downloadable in a PDF format. It outlines specific steps to take as you optimize your website for voice.
If you need help optimizing your B2B website for voice search or want to learn more, contact us.
Ally Campbell, Business Development & Creative Intern
Ally is a journalism student at Ohio University specializing in marketing, PR and social media. She’s detail-oriented with a versatile skill-set, allowing her to deliver relevant and timely content.