How to Optimize Your Website’s Voice Search

Voice search began decades ago with speech recognition systems introduced in the 1950s with the Audrey system from Bell Laboratories. Today, most people are familiar with the voice commands integrated into the Windows Vista, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant. There has also been a plethora of virtual assistants, speech and voice recognition apps like Alexa, Vlingo, Dragon Professional, and Voice Finger.

Is your website optimized for voice and speech recognition systems and apps?

According to a study on Google by Northstar Research, around 41% of adult Americans and 50% of American teens use voice search daily. Websites would be wise to jump on this bandwagon as expectations are high that voice search will continue to grow in popularity and use around the world. For 2017, it is expected to be one of the top SEO trends.

Websites have to be adjusted to accept voice-based queries because these are very different from the traditional types queries. For instance, voice queries tend to be longer and more explanatory using complete sentences and questions – as if the person searching feels the need to explain his search. With typed keywords, the general perception is to focus merely on short keywords so you can envision how drastic the dynamics have become.

Start by focusing your SEO efforts on long-tailed keywords and phrases. This would also mean adjusting your content to a more conversational tone and changing some content to be more specific like your FAQ page. Long-tailed keywords generally have three to four keywords. They are used to target specific markets and demographics. Those who use long-tailed keywords in their search tend to know what they want and are in a buying mode already.

Fortunately, long-tailed keywords also help improve your ranking faster than single keywords because you are less likely to be competing with many brands and businesses.

Claim your business. Voice searches tend to be localized searches or depend heavily on verified businesses. Thus, make sure your business is listed in popular and respected business listings like Yelp, Google, Foursquare, Maps, or even Facebook.

Test your website using a voice recognition app. The best way to know if your website will pop up with a voice search is to search it! Find an app and use it. Ask other people to do the same and analyze the results. If need be, change your long-tailed keywords, review your Home and FAQ pages.

Finally, make an effort to improve and generate positive reviews and feedback. Your online reputation will play a huge role in voice search especially if you make an effort to read and respond to reviews and feedback.