Top 8 Voice Search Optimization Techniques For SEO Success

Forget the old ways of SEO. Voice search has stepped into the spotlight, and if you want your digital presence to stand out, your website needs to speak the language. That means getting on board with voice search optimization. 

But optimizing your website for voice search isn't as easy as it sounds – you need to be strategic and precise. We have compiled the 8 best voice search optimization techniques to help your site show up more often in voice search results.

What is voice search optimization?

Voice search optimization is enhancing your website and its content to make it more accessible and relevant for voice search queries. It structures them in a way that voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant on smartphones, smart speakers, and smartwatches can easily understand and discover.

8 voice search optimization techniques to boost your website's visibility

Voice search is changing the way people find information online. Here are 8 voice search optimization techniques you can use to attract more organic traffic.

1. Use conversational & long-tail keywords

The way voice search users type into a search engine isn't quite the same as how they ask their voice assistant for information. When they are typing a search query, it is short and to the point. But when they are using their voice, people ask questions or use natural language that makes voice search queries more conversational.

Regular search queries can be something like "best smartphones," but in voice searches, it is more likely to be "What are the best smartphones on the market right now?" See the difference? Voice searches are longer and more conversational.

Search engines are getting smarter and they understand how people naturally speak. So when you are optimizing for voice search, think about how people talk. When your content mirrors that and you add these long-tail and conversational keywords into your content, you are more likely to show up in voice search results.

Before you start finding conversational and long-tail keywords, assess your business and target audience. Understand what your customers are searching for and how they phrase their queries. Once you have a clear picture, you can start the keyword research process.

There are different ways you can find them:

1.1. Google's autocomplete

Type "best smartphones" into Google. As you start typing, Google will try to guess what you are looking for and show you suggestions. These are breadcrumbs leading you to what people are actually searching for. 

google auto complete

For instance, you will see "best smartphones 2024" or "best smartphones for Seniors". Get these suggestions – they are your potential long-tail voice search keywords.

1.2. "People Also Ask" Section

Scroll past the search results and you will find a section labeled "People Also Ask". These questions tell you the specific concerns and interests of users searching for information about smartphones. 

People Also Ask Section

Click on those questions. Each question opens up more related questions. Get into them and you will find specific queries that real people are curious about.

1.3. Online tools

Use online keyword research tools like Ahrefs to further expand your list of long-tail keywords. Enter your main keyword "best smartphones," into the tool's keyword research tool. Ahrefs will generate a list of related keywords, including long-tail variations. Look for keywords with high search volume and low competition to target in your content.

online tools

2. Create FAQ pages

When doing voice search SEO, creating FAQ pages is a must to improve your voice search rankings. These pages are highly valuable for voice search engines as they provide direct answers to common questions. Here’s how to go about it:

2.1. Identify key queries

Start by finding common questions about your niche. So if it is a job board for graduate programs and internships, think about what potential users might voice search – like "What are the requirements for a graduate program?" or "How to find internships in my field?" Look at forums, social media, and keyword research tools to identify these questions.

Identify Key Queries

2.2. Craft clear & concise answers

Keep your answers straightforward. Imagine someone asking you the question in person – respond in a way that is easy to understand. For instance, "To find internships, visit our 'Jobs' page and filter by 'Internship' under the job type". 

Add relevant keywords related to graduate programs and internships throughout your FAQ page. This helps voice search engines understand the context of your content.

2.3. Organize questions by topic

Group the questions into relevant topics, like the application process, eligibility criteria, types of internships, etc. This creates a well-organized FAQ page that is easy for both students and search engines to navigate.

2.4. Think local

If your job board serves a specific region, add local elements to your FAQs. For example, if you are targeting the Australian market, questions should be "What companies offer internships in Melbourne?"

2.5. Address user intent

Understand the intent behind the queries. If someone asks, "What is the application process for graduate programs?", they are looking for specific, actionable information. Offer a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to the application process. Include information on required documents, deadlines, and any specific instructions for different programs.

Ahrefs' "Identify intents" feature can be a helpful tool for understanding user intent. This feature uses machine learning to analyze the top-ranking pages for a keyword and categorize them into different intent groups. 

Address User Intent

For example, when you search for "internship" in Ahrefs, it categorizes them based on their inferred search intent like Local Internship Search, General Information, and Government Internship programs.

2.6. Regularly update FAQs

Keep your FAQs current. If there are changes in the industry or updates to application processes, update them in your answers.

2.7. Test voice search queries

Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Test potential voice search queries to see if your FAQs provide accurate and helpful responses.

2.8. User-friendly formatting

Structure your FAQ pages for easy readability. Use clear headings, bullet points, and concise paragraphs to improve user experience.

3. Embrace natural language

Voice search optimization is about customizing your content to match how people naturally speak, rather than using rigid, keyword-focused language. Let’s see how you can use a natural tone in your content:

3.1. Conversational tone

Write like you talk. Use a conversational tone in your content like you are explaining your topic to a friend. Avoid jargon or overly formal language.

3.2. Ask & answer

Frame your content as if you are answering someone's question directly. If the typical voice search is "How can I get to the nearest Applebee", make sure your content provides a clear and straightforward answer.

3.3. Use pronouns

Use pronouns like "I," "you," and "we" in your content. It adds a personal touch and makes your content sound more natural. For instance, "When you are searching for an Italian restaurant, you might wonder...".

3.4. Use easy sentence structure

Keep your sentences simple and concise. Short sentences work well in voice search. Avoid complex structures that confuse the listener. 

For instance, instead of saying “Utilize the GPS capabilities of your smartphone to initiate a search for dining establishments in close proximity to your current location”, you can simply say “Search for a nearby restaurant on your phone”.

3.5. Answer the who, what, where, when, why

Cover the basic questions comprehensively. If someone asks, "Where can I find information on equality and inclusion?" make sure your content covers the where, what, and maybe even why of this information.

3.6. Natural keyword integration

Instead of forcing keywords, integrate them naturally into your content. Think about synonyms and related terms people might use in their voice searches.

3.7. Local language

If your content is location-specific, use local language and references. For instance, if your audience is in New York, saying "internship opportunities in the Big Apple" sounds better than a generic term.

3.8. Avoid over-optimization

While it is important to embrace natural language, don’t over-optimize. Balance is key. If a phrase fits naturally, use it; if it feels forced, reconsider.

4. Create high-quality, informative content

To optimize your content for voice search, understand how people use voice search and tailor your content accordingly. Let’s discuss this in detail.

4.1. Research thoroughly

Before you start writing, gather comprehensive information on the topic. Understand what users ask and address those queries in your content.

4.2. Identify relevant topics

Choose topics that are relevant to your audience and align with their interests. For instance, if someone is starting an eCommerce business, this could include topics like how to choose a niche, setting up an online store, marketing strategies, and managing inventory.

4.3. Prioritize different types of content

types of online content

Create different content types to engage your audience. This could include blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, and case studies. Each type of content serves a different purpose and can help you reach a wider audience.

4.4. Be concise & relevant

Keep it to the point. Voice search prefers concise answers. Eliminate unnecessary fluff and focus on delivering the information users are seeking. If you have an eCommerce store, create step-by-step guides on using your products. 

Whether it is assembling furniture or programming a smart device, comprehensive how-to content helps users and aligns well with voice search queries.

4.5. Ensure a natural flow of information

Organize your content logically. Follow a natural flow of information to make it easy for users to follow along. If your content is scattered, it might not perform well in voice search.

4.6. Cover everything thoroughly

Go beyond basic information. Write extensive knowledge-base articles for valuable insights. If it is for an eCommerce business, develop content comparing your products with others in the market. If someone asks, "What is the difference between [your product] and [competitor's product]?" your content should provide a thorough comparison.

4.7. Use clear headings & subheadings

Break down your content into clear sections with descriptive headings. This makes it easier for users to navigate and for voice search engines to understand the structure of your information.

4.8. Add multimedia

Enhance your content with images, charts, and videos where relevant. Multimedia elements make your content more engaging and provide additional context for voice search engines.

4.9. Cite reliable sources

Back up your information with reputable sources. This adds credibility to your content. Voice search engines prioritize content that draws from reliable references.

4.10. Optimize for other search engines

While Google is the dominant search engine, don't forget about optimizing your content for other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. Each search engine has its algorithms and ranking factors so it is important to understand their requirements.

4.11. Focus on user-generated content

Encourage your audience to contribute content, like reviews, testimonials, and user-generated videos. This can help build trust and credibility. Turn positive reviews into content snippets. Voice searches like, "Tell me about customer experiences with [your product]" can be addressed with authentic testimonials.

5. Speed up your website

A faster website provides a better user experience and improves your chances of appearing in voice search results. Here's how you can speed up your website:

5.1. Optimize images

Compress your images without compromising quality. Tools like TinyPNG or ImageOptim can help reduce file sizes and make your website load faster.

5.2. Minimize HTTP requests

Limit the number of elements on your webpage that require separate HTTP requests. Combine CSS and JavaScript files to streamline the loading process.

5.3. Enable browser caching

Configure your server to instruct the browser to store static files in the cache. This means returning visitors won't have to reload everything.

5.4. Reduce server response time

Optimize your server to respond quickly to user requests. This involves fine-tuning server configurations, upgrading hardware, or exploring faster hosting options.

5.5. Use Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

Employ CDNs to distribute your website's static files across multiple servers worldwide. This reduces the physical distance between the server and the user.

5.6. Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Remove unnecessary characters, spaces, and lines from your code. Minification reduces file sizes for quicker loading. Tools like UglifyJS and CSSNano can help with this.

5.7. Prioritize above-the-fold content

Load essential content first. Users should see crucial information without having to wait for the entire page to load.

5.8. Upgrade your hosting plan

If your website experiences consistent traffic, upgrade your hosting plan. Higher-tier plans offer more resources and faster loading times.

5.9. Use lazy loading

Implement lazy loading for images and videos to reduce the initial page load time. This means these elements load only when a user scrolls to them.

5.10. Run page speed tests

Run page speed tests

Regularly run page speed tests using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix. These tools provide insights into areas that need improvement and help you fine-tune your site's performance.

6. Claim your Google My Business (GMB) listing

Many voice searches are location-specific. When someone in your area searches for products or services you offer, voice assistants want to provide the most relevant results. A claimed and optimized Google business profile is the best way to be one of those top results. 

Claim Your Google My Business

Google My Business is an important aspect of local SEO and voice search optimization. With it, you can control the information that appears about your business in Google searches and maps. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Visit the Google My Business website and sign in with your Google account.
  • Search for your business by name and address. If it doesn't appear, add your business to Google My Business.
  • Google will send a verification code to your business address via mail or phone. Enter it in your GMB account to verify your listing.
  • Fill out all the required information for your business, including your business name, category, description, and photos. Make sure your business hours, contact information, and website are accurate and up to date.
  • Use relevant keywords in your business description and select the appropriate categories for your business. Add photos of your business, products, and services to make your listing more appealing.
Fill out all the required information

Positive reviews build credibility. Encourage your satisfied customers to leave reviews on your GMB listing. Positive sentiments expressed in reviews can be featured against local voice search queries to boost your reputation.

7. Optimize for mobile

Since many voice searches happen on mobile devices, mobile optimization can improve your website's visibility and accessibility for voice search users. Let’s see how it works.

7.1. Ensure responsive design

Make sure your website is responsive. This means it smoothly adapts to various screen sizes for an optimal voice search experience – may it be on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop.

7.2. Mobile-friendly content

Customize your content for mobile consumption. As we mentioned earlier, keep sentences short, use concise paragraphs, and ensure text is easily readable on smaller screens. This improves the chances of voice search engines picking up your content.

7.3. Voice search-friendly navigation

Simplify mobile navigation with voice search in mind. Make sure that menus and buttons are easy to find and use. Mobile-friendly navigation improves the experience when users interact with your site through voice commands.

Make your CTAs clear and voice-friendly. When users interact with your site through voice commands, having straightforward calls-to-action improves user engagement.

7.4. Voice-friendly search bar

Implement a voice-friendly search bar. Make it prominent on your mobile site so users can easily input voice search queries. A user-friendly search function is key to catering to voice search habits.

7.5. Use readable fonts

Choose fonts that are legible on mobile screens. Avoid small or intricate fonts that are difficult for users to read. Voice assistants rely on natural language processing (NLP) to understand and respond to user queries. Readable fonts help in this process by presenting text that is easy for NLP algorithms to interpret accurately.

7.6. Test on various devices

Before finalizing your mobile optimization, test your site on different devices and browsers to ensure voice search compatibility. This guarantees a consistent and user-friendly experience for anyone engaging with your site via voice search.

8. Use structured data markup

Structured data markup is a code you add to your website to provide explicit clues about the meaning of your content to search engines. It helps them understand the context and relevance of your information.

In voice search, structured data markup enhances the precision of search engine understanding. It helps voice search engines comprehend your content for accurate and relevant responses to user queries. Let’s see how you can implement it:

8.1. Schema.org for voice search

Schema.org For Voice Search

Schema.org is a vocabulary of tags that you can add to your code to improve the way your page is represented in search engine results. It provides a list of supported types and properties that you can use to mark up your content.

8.2. Choose a markup format

There are several markup formats you can use, like JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa. Google recommends JSON-LD which is the easiest to implement.

8.3. Identify content types

Identify the content types on your website that you want to mark up, like articles, products, events, or recipes.

8.4. Implement markup

Implement Markup

Add the structured data markup to your website's HTML code. For example, if you have a recipe website, you can use the Recipe schema to mark up your recipe content.

8.5. Test markup

Test Markup

Use Google's Structured Data Testing Tool to test your markup and ensure it is implemented correctly.

8.6. Monitor performance

Monitor the performance of your structured data markup in Google Search Console to see how it is impacting your search visibility and voice search optimization efforts.

Conclusion

Voice search has changed the way users engage with search engines. It is not a matter of "if" you should jump on board but more of a "when" you should embrace this new way of searching.

If you are looking to leverage the power of social media to drive traffic to your website and increase brand awareness, Marketing Catalyst provides the ultimate solutions. We create customized social media strategies that align perfectly with your specific goals and target audience. 

Contact us today and see how our team of experienced social media professionals can help your businesses succeed online.

About the Author Peter K.

Peter K. is an experienced digital marketer with a decade of expertise in driving business growth through innovative strategies. His data-driven approach and deep understanding of SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing have propelled brands to new heights. With a client-centric mindset, Peter builds strong relationships and aligns strategies with business goals. A sought-after thought leader and speaker, his insights have helped professionals navigate the digital landscape. Trust Peter to elevate your brand and achieve success in the digital era.

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