Times are changing. In the good ol’ days all you had to do to rank your website was cram it full of keywords, add some links and bam! Page 1. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy anymore–and with ever evolving technologies, the way you optimize your site is constantly changing. The newest fad spreading across the world are smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, Google Home or the Apple HomePod. These along with increasingly used voice assistant programs on mobile devices like Siri, OkGoogle and Cortana, have lead to a new field of search optimization: Voice Search. The way we speak is different that the way we write, so here are a few tips to have your website show up in the listings or provide the answer people are looking for when they search with their mouths! Read on to learn how to optimize your content for voice search.
Cut to the Chase (Speak like a Millennial, not your Grandfather)
This one can be a bit difficult for writers like myself who like to have a bit of fun with the opening paragraph before jumping into the meat of the content. (See, I should have gotten to the point already.) But one of the keys to optimizing for voice search is getting to the point, and doing so quickly. The first few sentences of your blog post or page should answer the question that your target audience is looking for. Which leads us to the next point…
Know your Audience (and Anticipate their Needs)
How are you supposed to quickly answer your audience’s questions if you don’t know what they’ll be looking for? Do some research and find out what sort of questions your target audience might be asking and optimize accordingly.
Consider Your Writing Style (Think Spielberg not Shakespeare)
Try writing like you would speak aloud instead of how a book would read. This will more closely match what people are actually asking their devices and it will make more sense when the answer is read back to them. Pretend you are writing a script for a film, not the next great American novel.
You Can’t Go Wrong with Question and Answer
This is probably the easiest way to write like people actually speak. Write out the question that someone might ask their smart device, then directly after write out the answer in a conversational tone. This will be easy for voice search devices to understand. It also makes it easier to optimize your content for featured snippets–where many answers are pulled from in voice search.
These are a few great tips to get started in the world of voice search.
While making improvements for voice search, don't forget good design!
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Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/25/2018) MEDION Pressestelle (Flickr)